—At a separate event on Wednesday, when asked about a specific lawsuit from a teacher over a relatively new performance evaluation system, Cuomo said he’s not surprised and expects there her case won’t be the last. “Basically the way the teacher profession worked was, you got a job, you got tenure and then you basically had total job protection for the rest of your life,” he said. “This system says we’re going to have an evaluation system and if you don’t do well in the evaluation system, you could lose your job, so it really is jarring.” Capital’s Jessica Bakeman [PRO]: http://capi.tl/1Q7q3BN
Lederman is suing not because she isn't a good teacher (she is - see the accolades here), she is suing because Governor Cuomo's APPR system found her ineffective on the test based component, giving her 1 out of a possible 20 points, but never explained why she received this score.
This is particularly important since her students passed their state tests well above the state average and her scores were similar to the previous year when she was rated effective on the test component:
The lawsuit shows that Lederman’s students traditionally perform much higher on math and English Language Arts standardized tests than average fourth-grade classes in the state. In 2012-13, 68.75 percent of her students met or exceeded state standards in both English and math. She was labeled “effective” that year. In 2013-14, her students’ test results were very similar but she was rated “ineffective.” The lawsuit says:
This simply makes no sense, both as a matter of statistics and as a matter of rating teachers based upon slight changes in student performance from year to year.
Lederman was deemed effective overall as a teacher because of the other 80% of her APPR rating, but under Cuomo's latest APPR iteration, the test component will weigh as much as 50% of a teacher's rating, meaning somebody like Lederman could have the overwhelming majority of their students pass the state tests with scores well above the state average, still get dinged as ineffective on the test component and be slated for firing in another year if they don't "improve."
I cannot tell you how angry the statement from Cuomo makes me, because it goes to show once again how deceptive and dishonest he is when it comes to teacher evaluations.
NYSED has yet to show why Lederman was rated ineffective on the test component, but Cuomo doesn't much care about the particulars here, only that the system dinged her and therefore she must be ineffective.
NYSED tried to get the case dismissed, arguing the "No Harm, No Foul" rule since Lederman was still found effective overall despite the ineffective test component rating, but thankfully a judge ruled that Lederman's case should go forward.
Now NYSED will have to defend the rating in court, something they have been loathe to do because they know it is indefensible.
But nothing is as indefensible as Cuomo's statement about Lederman and the evaluation system.
Here we have an APPR system that is as hidden from scrutiny as the Wizard of Oz, that inexplicably found her effective one year and ineffective the next with test scores that were essentially the same, yet Cuomo treats the rating as if it is objective reality.
He essentially said yesterday, "Sheri Lederman is a bad teacher" because his flawed APPR system said so.
Unfortunately for him the APPR system is going to go on trial and now NYSED will have to defend it.
Let's see how that court battle goes.