Great Neck teacher to sue state over evaluation system

A state judge says Sheri Lederman can sue for a drop in her rating last year as a fourth-grade teacher at Baker Elementary School in

A state judge says Sheri Lederman can sue for a drop in her rating last year as a fourth-grade teacher at Baker Elementary School in Great Neck.

A state judge says Sheri Lederman can sue for a drop in her rating last year as a fourth-grade teacher at Baker Elementary School in Great Neck. (6/3/15)

GREAT NECK - A Great Neck teacher received the green light to sue the state Education Department over New York's teacher evaluation system.

A state judge says Dr. Sheri Lederman can sue for a drop in her rating last year as a fourth-grade teacher at Baker Elementary School in Great Neck.

Lederman's lawsuit says she was deemed "ineffective," even though her fourth-graders "generally" outperform state-standardized test averages.

Dr. Lederman says she has the support of her principal and superintendent, who submitted court documents that called her an "exceptional leader with a flawless record."

State assessment scores make up 20 percent of overall evaluations for teachers in grades 3 through 8.  Gov. Andrew Cuomo pushed for a new evaluation system based more heavily on test scores.  Lawmakers approved it in April. The governor said he wasn't surprised by the lawsuit.  

"The way the teacher industry worked was you got a job and you got tenure and you had a job for the rest of your life. Now we're saying if you don't do well on this evaluation, you could end up losing your job so it really is jarring," said Gov. Cuomo.

The state teachers union has already filed similar lawsuits on behalf of teachers in Syracuse and Rochester. Lederman's filing is believed to be the first lawsuit by an individual teacher.

A court date is scheduled for August.

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