Monday, September 14, 2015

Sheri Lederman's lawsuit Points the Way to a Class Action Suit for ALL UFT teachers---

...but it will never happen with a union leadership that defends APPR, as Arthur Goldstein points out today: Leadership Defense of APPR Is Total Nonsense . "UFT leadership sold us this bill of goods."

Maybe Sheri Lederman's lawyer will take on 65 thousand NYC teachers.

I'm not big on going to court since I believe they are stacked against us - lawsuits are often a distraction from real organizing - and they cost a ton.

I guess my question of the day is - can the UFT/NYSUT be embarrassed into going to court? My guess is if there is enough demand what they will do is do a faux court case to deflect people from real action - they will gather names, etc and then strangle the case from backstage.

Why? Because as Arthur points out the UFT is in favor of APPR. You can surmise why they are but maybe that is not the important issue, though many of us suspect the links to ed deformers might the issue, the seat at the table and even money changing hands.

Carol Burris covered the case at WAPO- The Answer Sheet
The exasperated New York Supreme Court judge, Roger McDonough, tried to get Assistant Attorney General Galligan to answer his questions. He was looking for clarity and instead got circuitous responses about bell curves, “outliers” and adjustments. Fourth-grade teacher Sheri Lederman’s VAM score of “ineffective” was on trial.
The more Ms. Galligan tried to defend the bell curve of growth scores as science, the more the judge pushed back with common sense. It was clear that he did his homework. He understood that the New York State Education Department’s VAM system artificially set the percentage of “ineffective” teachers at 7 percent. That arbitrary decision clearly troubled him. “Doesn’t the bell curve make it subjective? There has to be failures,” he asked.
The defender of the curve said that she did not like the “failure” word.
The judge quipped, “Ineffectives, how about that?” Those in attendance laughed.
I think the judge's reaction is a sign this case could be won. Which must scare the hell out of our union leaders.


  1. 'm not at all sure it scares them. Should APPR be dumped, they will take credit for yet another victory. It was a victory when Mulgrew negotiated the junk science plan. It was a victory when we allowed Reformy John King to do whatever he pleased. And it must've been another victory when the Heavy Hearts signed off on the Cuomo plan, because Mulgrew thanked them for it. Therefore it will be yet another victory if Lederman and common sense prevail. Because if we've learned anything over the last few years, whatever happens is a victory for UFT Unity Leadership, even if they vehemently opposed that position just last year.

  2. A history of the UFT as I see it.

    Social movements occur that lead to policy changes, the UFT tries to go with the flow, they take a huge gamble and it backfires in their face. Same pattern. Every time....

    Late 1960s - the movement toward local control. The UFT tried to get along with that! It wasn't until the local school boards started firing teachers that Unity realized it had blown up in their face. The resulting strike (over due process) wound up completely realigning the power structure in NYC. Nice job!

    '75 - Fiscal Crisis -- UFT supports huge loans to help the city government. Massive layoffs happen anyway and the whole thing blows up in a strike that leadership didn't want and the membership didn't win. Nice!

    Oughts- more money for less protections, We had relatively large cash pay raises in exchange for less seniority and day to day job protections. More power to the principal! Wasn't until the witch hunts of the late oughts that they realized that blew up in their face as well. 99% of U ratings -many with no supporting evidence were upheld on appeal (signed by Shael), Morel money was spent on needless investigation and 3020s than ever before. But the cash was nice!

    Then the recession. Wasn't that fun! RTtT comes along and the teacher accountability movement goes on steroids. The UFT tried to come up with a plan that takes power away from the principals (to cover their screw up from the previous decade of too much power to principals) and pleases the reformers. The result (60-20-20) is a train wreck and becomes this new 50-50 disaster we have now. All based on tests that few accept and a scientific formula that is, what's the term? Junk.

    Watching my Union is like catching a rerun of Ground Hog Day. Can't wait to see what embarassing attempt they'll come up to address this.

  3. PR would be bad for anyone who files CA. I think Union hopes someone else will do it, so it can be successful and they don't have to suffer the blowback. Which is a cowardly approach.

    I don't think Bruce Lederman intends to file a CA. I don't think he wants to be perceived as in it for the money. But, he does sound like he will continue to fight to change the APPR after the case.

  4. Is there a class action suit. If so Id like to join it. My probation was terminated in August of this year so I am not entitled to my retro pay even though I was working as a teacher sin e August 2007


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