Reply to the POST article from Michael Thomas:
|Teacher Tim McNamara has concerns about the implementation of the state’s new contract system, which will|
eventually replace teacher tenure
In Sheri Lederman's 18 years of teaching, failing her students has never been a concern.
Her employers consider her to be an "extraordinary teacher" and her students' parents refer to her as "one of the most influential educators" their children have ever had. Her students, years after they sat in her fourth-grade classroom, cite her as an integral part in their strong academic
But when the State Education Department's teacher ratings rolled out in September, the Great Neck public school teacher was found to have scored only one point out of 20 — deeming her ineffective — in the Office of Assessment's Growth Score and
Rating system. Lederman's students, however, met or exceeded test standards at more than twice the state's average scores since the new testing standards were implemented two years ago, according to State Education Department data.
Lederman was told by the State Education Department that she can't appeal her growth rating score, because it is a subcomponent of her composite score of "effective" for the 2013-2014 school year. Lederman was told her only option was to sue, so that's what she has done, with the aid of her husband who is serving as her attorney.
Now, the state is attempting to dismiss Lederman's suit, which claims the evaluation system and Lederman's rating is "arbitrary, capricious and an abuse of discretion," according to
documents filedwith the state Supreme Court in Albany. The state argues that Lederman's concern about parents finding out her low score is unfounded, as the information can't be accessed through a Freedom of Information Act Request.
Additionally, the state argues her other evaluation scores are high enough that her low growth rating does not bring her overall composite score to the level requiring disciplinary action, according to court
The State Education Department declined comment on the case, citing the pending litigation.
Neither Lederman nor the district administration has been provided any data to support why she received only one out of 20 points.