Attorney Bruce Lederman represented his wife Sheri Lederman in a lawsuit challenging New York’s teacher rating systemSheri teaches elementary school on Long Island is considered an exemplary teacher by her principal, parents, and former students.


The Ledermans won. The decision is posted here, on the NYC Parents’ blog.


Bruce Lederman writes:


“I am very pleased to attach a 13 page decision by Judge Roger McDonough which concludes that Sheri has “met her high burden and established that Petitioner’s growth score and rating for the school year 2013-2014 are arbitrary and capricious.” The Court declined to make an overall ruling on the rating system in general because of new regulations in effect. However, decision makes (at page 11) important observations that VAM is biased against teachers at both ends of the spectrum, disproportionate effects of small class size, wholly unexplained swings in growths scores, strict use of curve. It is clear that the Judge has serious problems with the Value Added Model (“VAM”) system even though he did not set aside the entire system on account of changes in regulations.


“To my knowledge, this is the first decision to overturn a teacher’s rating system which was based upon the system championed by John King, Jr., when he was chancellor of the New York Board of Regents. Mr. King is now Secretary of Education for the United States, and never wavered from his support of VAM as Chancellor. Indeed the Department of Education never backed down from fighting Sheri’s score, even when confronted with overwhelming evidence of its irrationality.


“The decision should qualify as persuasive authority for other teachers challenging growth scores throughout the County. Court carefully recites all our expert affidavits, and discusses at some length affidavits from Professors Darling-Hammond, Pallas, Amrein-Beardsley, Sean Corcoran and Jesse Rothstein as well as Drs. Burris and Lindell . It is clear that the evidence all of these amazing experts presented was a key factor in winning this case since the Judge repeatedly said both in Court and in the decision that we have a “high burden” to meet in this case. The Court wrote that the court “does not lightly enter into a critical analysis of this matter … [and] is constrained on this record, to conclude that petitioner has met her high burden.”


“I want to particularly thank the experts who contributed their time and expertise.


Bruce H. Lederman, Esq.
D’Agostino, Levine, Landesman & Lederman, LLP
345 Seventh Avenue, 23rd Floor
New York, New York 10001


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