Brief of Education Law and Education Measurement Professors as Amici Curiae in Support of Plaintiffs-Appellants

Scott R. Bauries, University of Kentucky College of Law
Brian J. Sutherland, The Buckley Law Firm, LLC
Cheryl B. Legare, The Buckley Law Firm, LLC

Brief of Education Law and Education Measurement Professors as Amici Curiae in Support of Plaintiffs-Appellants, Cook v. Bennett, 792 F.3d 1294 (2015) (No. 14-12506).


This brief is filed on behalf of professors of education, education law and educational measurement as amici curiae in support of Plaintiffs-Appellants Kim Cook et al. Amici have dedicated their careers to studying education, educational testing, and/or education law. Regardless of their backgrounds, all of amici have a commitment to valid, rigorous, and fair educational testing and evaluation of student and teacher performance.

Amici have a significant interest in this case because the District Court’s erroneous rulings below immunize from constitutional attack uses of public teaching employee evaluation methods that are invalid, unreliable, and completely lacking in scholarly support, and are patently arbitrary teacher evaluation methods, which produce information that misleads, rather than informs. If such methods were to bear a constitutional imprimatur—as they would under the District Court’s ruling, then public teaching employees nationwide would have their livelihoods, their careers, indeed their callings threatened by purely arbitrary decisions, clothed with a false veneer of rationality. As teachers and scholars of education law and educational measurement, amici strongly believe that such arbitrary decision making should not be viewed as constitutionally permissible in public educational institutions, and they collectively urge the court to consider the scholarly consensus in the academic community, that these methods—used as they are under the challenged policies in this case—are invalid, unreliable, and arbitrary means of making high-stakes decisions.