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Letter: Teacher evals not statistically valid

Many desks inside this classroom at Valley Stream

Many desks inside this classroom at Valley Stream Memorial Junior High School were empty on Thursday, April 16, 2015 as students opted out of the state's English Language Arts test. Tens of thousands on Long Island are expected to refuse the math exams, too. Photo Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.

I have read many negative comments in response to the Newsday article about Sheri Lederman, the Great Neck teacher who is suing New York State because of her "ineffective" score on the state exam portion of her teacher evaluation . The underlying theme is that she should accept her evaluation and stop complaining, and that her lawsuit is just another example of teacher resistance to accountability.

In my professional opinion, the current statistical methods used in the evaluation of teachers are unstable and invalid. This has been borne out by many reputable and nonpartisan researchers and professional organizations. If your child were given an intelligence test and one year scored a 110 and a year later scored a 90, you would hardly have faith in the methods.

There should be the same lack of faith in the scores teachers receive based on the statistical methods used in New York and many other states. The only difference is that when the new teacher evaluation plan is enacted, teachers' jobs could be lost based on those measures. This is not only bad for teachers, but can have a significant impact on students and the community.

Brad Lindell, Ronkonkoma

Editor's note: The writer has a doctorate in school/clinical psychology and submitted an expert opinion affidavit in support of Sheri Lederman's lawsuit.

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