Q from reporter:
I am working on a story about rubber rooms. As you probably know, the DOE says about 650 to 700 teachers are in these reassignment centers drawing their full salary for doing nothing. Is this something that you are concerned about? Are there people I may not have thought of who I should speak to about this issue?
I am copying this message to Patrick Sullivan, Manhattan rep to the PEP who has made this one of his central concerns. Yes I think all parents are concerned about the incredible waste of manpower and money involved in more than 600 teachers sitting idly in the rubber room, month after month, when class sizes are going up and kids do not get adequate attention. Not to mention the violation of human rights this entails. No charges are brought against these teachers for years at a time. Some of them haven’t even been informed of what the allegations are that were made against them. In some ways, it’s our Guantanamo.
Class Size Matters
I was contacted by the reporter and sent this message
I'd be glad to give you some background on many of the people in the rubber room, who are indeed being paid to do nothing. But that decision to have them do nothing is not theirs, but the DOE's. I can guarantee there is some useful work they could be doing even if they have to be away from kids. Leonie hit the nail on the head about Gitmo.
Yesterday I spoke to a former colleague who has been in the RR for 3 years. Another colleague recently got out after 14 months. The "charges" against them are rediculous. Yet they are forced to sit in the same space with some teachers who are truly disturbed. That is like putting people who get parking tickets in the same cell with murderers. The goal is to make things so untenable they will resign.
Most RR who get back to their schools (and most do, some after a serious fine) are so scarred and scared they are never the same and wouldn't talk on the record because they think they are permanent targets.
The other day I was at a robotic tournament and a young lady who was volunteering was doing a fantastic job. One of the organizers was so impressed he said we have to get her more involved and introduced me. In our brief conversation she told me she is a former Teach for America who is a grad of the rubber room, which led to her leaving teaching. She said she would love to expose what is going on.
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