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.

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.

Ms. Galligan preferred the term “outlier.” Those who got ineffective growth scores were “the outliers who are not doing a good job,” the attorney said. She seemed oblivious to the fourth-grade teacher who was sitting not 10 feet away from where she stood.

“Did her students learn nothing?” Justice McDonough asked. “How could it be that she went from 14 out of 20 points to 1 out of 20 points in one year?” He noted that the students’ scores were quite good and not that different from the year before.

Back behind the bell curve Ms. Galligan ran. As she tried to explain once again, the judge said, “Therein lies the imprecise nature of this measure.”

This is transcript from a lawsuit where a teacher sued the state of New York including the former head of its educational department (legal precedence for naming Murphy in future lawsuits) challenges the rationality of the VAM model, and in it alleges that the New York State Growth Measures “actually punishes excellence in education through a statistical black box which no rational educator or fact finder could see as fair, accurate or reliable.”

For those who do not know, this lawsuit comes from a  4th grade teacher who  in 2012-13, had 68.75 percent of her New York students which met or exceeded state standards in both English and math. She was labeled “effective” that year. In 2013-2014, her students’ test results were very closely similar, but she was rated “ineffective.” Meanwhile, her district superintendent, Thomas Dolan, declared that this teacher Lederman — whose students received  standardized math and English Language Arts test scores consistently higher than the state average — has a “flawless record.”

The point I’m making which you can plainly see from this dialogue is that in court is where we have to take this argument.

The befooslement doesn’t work on real judges as it does pretend ones like Mathew Albright or Mr. Sweeney.  You can’t hide facts in a courtroom like you can in a General Assembly speech, or interview with the News Journal...

I am asking for which Delaware lawyer wants to be the next Clarence Darrow, known for the next 100 years, as being the one brave enough to use real science to debunk the false science being used to ruin teachers, students, and schools across Delaware today.

We need this in court… It is a sham. It is a disgrace and in court is the only place we can get a fair and impartial governmental hearing…

Lets get teacher VAM in court here now!    (And tag Mr. Murphy in it… I’d love to hear our judge rake his word salad in public…

Advertisements