Union to continue fight for meaningful evaluation system
ALBANY, N.Y. May 10. 2016 – New York State United Teachers today applauded State Supreme Court Justice Roger McDonough's decision throwing out use of the state's "growth formula" in a Great Neck teacher's evaluation.
The justice found Great Neck teacher Sheri Lederman's state growth score and rating for 2013-14 was arbitrary and capricious.
McDonough said he threw out Lederman's state growth score because he found "convincing and detailed evidence of bias" in the state's value-added measure (VAM), including the disproportionate effect of small class size and high-performing students on Lederman's ratings. While McDonough did not make a general ruling on the state's use of growth scores, he criticized the state's "bell curve" that automatically found 7 percent of teachers ineffective based on student scores on state tests.
NYSUT congratulated Sheri Lederman and her husband, Bruce Lederman, the attorney who represented her. "We congratulate Sheri Lederman on her victory. While there is now a protective moratorium in place shielding teachers from the misuse of state tests in their evaluations, Sheri Lederman's case is Exhibit A of why that moratorium was needed in the first place. New York teachers statewide have been unfairly labeled by the state's untrustworthy and mysterious mathematical algorithm that took the focus away from what matters most — teaching and learning. VAM is junk science. As we move forward, NYSUT remains committed to working with the Regents to develop a fair and objective evaluation system that provides meaningful support to teachers so they can best serve students."
NYSUT, which provided research and technical support in this case, is mounting multiple legal challenges to the state's growth formula on behalf of members statewide.
New York State United Teachers is a statewide union with more than 600,000 members in education, human services and health care. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association and the AFL-CIO.