Oral arguments begin in the Sheri Lederman VAM case today.
Diane Ravitch posted information from Lederman's lawyer, her husband Bruce, on how they are approaching the case.
One important thing to note about this case:
NYSED never wanted it to go forward.
They tried twice to have the case dismissed on the "No Harm, No Foul" rule (see here and here), arguing that since Lederman was rated "effective" overall despite the inexplicable "ineffective" rating on her test component, she wasn't adversely affected by the rating.
But under the current law, two "ineffective" ratings overall and a teacher can be fired and the test component part of APPR has been increased to 50% of the overall rating.
Going forward, if a teacher gets an "ineffective" rating on the VAM test component, it ensures an overall "ineffective" rating or, at best, "developing" rating - that means the test component score can and will have an adverse effect on teachers.
NYSED never provided the data for why Lederman went from 14 out of 20 points in 2012-2013 to 1 out of 20 points in 2013-2014 when the test score data was almost identical in both years.
I suspect the reason NYSED never provided the data is because they know the data won't stand up to scrutiny, that it was pulled out of John King's goatee rather than based on some objective, scientific reasoning.
We'll see as the case goes forward whether they've got some rational explanation for why Lederman went from 14 out of 20 points to 1 out of 20 points in VAM when the test data was almost identical.
But I would bet my own VAM they don't.
I love your blog - however, one small thing. When our side reports things, I feel we need to be 100% accurate - otherwise, the reformers pounce on the inaccuracy, however minor, and then use it as a justification to not pay any attention to the valid points being made. Also, we sometimes lose neutral parties when this happens.ReplyDelete
You say: "Going forward, if a teacher gets an "ineffective" rating on the VAM test component, it almost ensures an overall "ineffective" rating or, at best, "developing" rating. This is misleading. An ineffective rating would ensue if observations are developing or ineffective, but a developing rating would be given if observations are effective or highly effective. The system is indeed draconian and absurd, but I feel embellishment on our part does not help our cause because it gives reformers, as well as people on the fence, an easy excuse for not paying attention to any criticism.
Thank you for all that you do.
Where's the embellishment in what I wrote? Best you can get is "developing" if the test component is "ineffective". If you get an "ineffective" on the test component, you are ensured of getting either an "ineffective" or, at best, a "developing.Delete
Ask someone with no say in the matter how they interpret this part: "it almost ensures an overall "ineffective" rating". You are right regarding the best case scenario is a developing. But when someone read it "almost ensures,", that means that it is over 90% or more. A person without intricate knowledge of the matrix would assume that it would take a minor miracle to not get an ineffective if test scores are ineffective. Is what I'm saying making sense? Of course if your admin. is out to get you, then you will be in dire straits [which is one of many reasons why this system is bogus]. However, if you are an ordinary teacher who has not made any enemies of admin., and you do your job [or "play the game " with the Danielson rubric] well enough to get an effective, then ineffective test scores will result in a developing rating.Delete
You said just now: "If you get an "ineffective" on the test component, you are ensured of getting either an "ineffective" or, at best, a "developing."
This reads much differently than the original, which pretty much says you will get an ineffective barring a minor miracle. Sorry to nitpick, but I just really believe that if we are beyond criticism when reporting on this stuff, then we will get more and more people on our side, the side of truth.
Took out the word "almost" to make it read clearer.Delete
Thank you - and thank you again for your amazing reporting and commentary.Delete
Thanks for the kind words, but I don't do reporting - that comes from some of the great news sites and reporters covering education that I read.Delete
I find Capital NY (now Politico NY), State of Politics, the Times-Union/Capitol Confidential, Politicker, the NY Daily News, the Rochester D&C, the Buffalo News, NJ.com and many other sites very useful for my commentary on the ed/political news.
In order for Sheri Lederman to end up with an overall effective rating, her principal must have given her all 60 points on her observations.ReplyDelete
And of course under the new "matrix" that's going to be rolled out as soon as districts come to an agreement with the local unions, a 1 out of 20 on the test component would screw a teacher on the overall rating.Delete
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