Friday, April 16, 2010

It Changes Nothing

The City of New York & the Teachers Union have reached an agreement regarding the elimination of "rubber rooms". From the NYT:

Under the agreement, teachers the city is trying to fire will no longer be sent to the rubber rooms, known as reassignment centers, where the teachers show up every school day, sometimes for years, doing no work and drawing full salaries. Instead, these teachers will be assigned to administrative work or duties outside classrooms in their schools while their cases are pending.

Some points:

1) The parties came together and reached this agreement because they were both severely embarrassed by the recent media coverage of the rubber rooms. Steven Brill's piece in the New Yorker led the way in putting a spotlight on this shameful & wasteful practice.

2) Reassigning these incompetent teachers to perform clerical duties in schools instead of reporting to the rubber rooms does nothing to solve the core issue here. While their cases chug along through the arbitration process, these teachers still will be getting a paycheck to do essentially nothing. Therefore, while the actual rubber rooms will be eliminated, they will live on in spirit as its members will be spread throughout the system.

3) A lot of these teachers that currently report to the rubber rooms have sexual misconduct allegations against them. Is the city going to let these people around school children?

4) Some of the rubber room teachers have drug and or alcohol abuse cases pending. Again, where is the city going to put them?

5) Please give the parents vouchers so that they don't have to be caught between the city and a labor union.

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