Decision in the Lederman Case

A decision was announced in the Sheri Lederman case today, with State Supreme Court Justice Roger McDonough finding that Ms. Lederman’s rating was, as she claimed, “arbitrary and capricious.”

While this is not the slam-dunk we were hoping for (which would have been a ruling that would invalidate the use of value-added measures to evaluate teachers) it’s still great news. The ruling applies only to Lederman’s rating, with the judge stating that “he could not rule beyond the individual case . . . because regulations around the evaluation system have been changed,” but it sets an important precedent.

Bruce Lederman, Sheri’s husband/lawyer, said he believes this is the first time that a teacher’s evaluation has been overturned by a court, and says “The decision should qualify as persuasive authority for other teachers challenging growth scores throughout the country.” Additionally it provides great evidence for lobbying efforts to eliminate the use of value-added measures, something especially important as the Regents and NYSED begin their work to explore the way tests are being used for evaluations.

For more, see Carol Burris’ piece in the Washington Post.

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