Thursday, February 28, 2008

Rubber Room Movie Team on Chicago Public Radio

UPDATE: Listen to 880 AM in NYC on Saturday March 1 at 11am for the program.

Greetings all,
We are pleased to announce that Chicago Public Radio's This American Life, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program with an estimated 1.7 million listeners, is teaming up with Five Boroughs to do a radio segment on New York City's Rubber Rooms. The radio segment, entitled "Human Resources", will air beginning this Friday, February 29th, and will feature audio from Five Boroughs Productions film footage as well as original interviews conducted by This American Life producers. This American Life is an award winning radio program, recognized time and time again for excellence in journalism, and we at Five Boroughs could not be more thrilled to be working with them.
Copy and paste the following links into your browser address bar:

Find This American Life broadcast times and stations in your area:

"Human Resources". (Once the show has aired you can stream the broadcast free at this link):

Jeremy Garrett
Executive Producer
Five Boroughs Productions

If you want to contribute to the project, contact Jeremy at:

The RR movie trailer can be accessed here.


  1. Norm, the website looks great. Only thing I would suggest is maybe a link where someone could donate funds to support the production. After reading the site and watching that trailer I was ready to whip out my credit card and send you a little something, something. Is it too soon to suggest topics for the next production. I would love to see an expose on the DOE's spinning of statitistics and manipulation of state tests. Or, maybe something about the UFT and how it's run like a thiefdom? Great work as usual.


  2. The concept and culture of the rubber room really bothers me. To have all of these teachers sitting in complete boredom at full pay, fighting over space, etc, is such a criminal waste of their skills.
    To improve their morale, make good use of their skills, and use their time to better benefit, they should get together to develop educational materials... software, books, correspondence courses, etc. They could be doing teaching work again, and could make money while they are waiting.
    I understand that they might not be inclined to do this work for their employers, but that's not even required. They could start their own business and work on it during their time in the rubber room. That way they could make money for themselves full time without risking their salary. In fact, if you could organize this teaching materials production company, perhaps the profits might be enough to finance your movie.

  3. I had no idea something like the rubber room could exist in modern western country. It's basically a 'lord of the flies' meets Oz sub culture.

    It seems insane to me first that someone would set up a system like that and second that the people there would revert to such a dysfunctional state.

    A week of this seems insane. That someone could do that for a year seems certifiable. What sort of intellect would not just leave and move on with their lives. It's like a voluntary auschwitz or something.

    Awesome doc to share this insanity with us! Why it didn't collapse in a big political scandal the day this was aired I don't know.

  4. Where was/is the teachers' union? Mine was no help after 20 years of dues.

    Putting teachers in the R room means their courses must be taught by substitutes--more money, less education. Bad deal all around.

    What about the depart. of labor?


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