Monday, September 10, 2012

NYC and Chicago/Where Are They Hiding the Rubber Rooms?

Why are Chicago teachers so ready to strike? They have had enough after 17 years of ed deform attacks. The Portelos story is just one of many in NYC but not enough yet to create a critical mass amongst NYC teachers to get near reaching the stage Chicago teachers have reached. It will take the impact and slaughter of the new evaluation system that has to be signed here by January to really shake the tree. I spoke to the wife of a newly minted ATR last night and she told me a story of having proof that the principal actually told this teacher's best students not to show up for a regents in order to make the teacher look bad. It will get worse.
sadly say that I too believed, before I was a teacher, that these people should be “fired” and not sit and collect our tax dollars. Wow, I feel horrible and am sorry. ---Portelos is on the case
Let's take a brief break from coverage of the Chicago teacher strike but to touch on a related issue -- the overwhelming power to destroy a teacher's career in a relative instant. The Francesco Portelos case provides a perfect illustration. A top level STEM teacher and former engineer, he was sent to the rubber room last April for exposing the corrupt principal in his school, IS 49 in SI, ironically a school getting over a million dollar STEM grant from the Obama administration while their top STEM teacher sits in the rubber room. Portelos, not one to mope over his situation strikes back:
I’ve made the decision to publish the 15+ allegations made against me. The time has come for all to know why countless students were placed dead last on hidden agendas in and out of my school. As my colleagues go in and administer their noble craft of educating students, I will sit at a cubicle over an hour away, read and educate myself.
Now with time on his hands Portelos is tracking the location of all the rubber rooms, not tucked away in nooks and crannies and no longer an embarassment to Tweed and the UFT, which is perfectly happy to not have to answer questions about the RR or be embarrassed, which of course is one of their prime directives. Here is the link to his post. Feel free to leave comments with any RR locations you are aware of. Or email him or Betsy Combier with any info you have as directed below.
Rubber Room Registry

“Rubber Room” is the nickname that was given to enormous rooms, around NYC, where teachers were reassigned to pending investigations. I want to come out and sadly say that I too believed, before I was a teacher, that these people should be “fired” and not sit and collect our tax dollars. Wow, I feel horrible and am sorry. I felt this ideology was wrong before I was sent to one. How could I ever imagine that there was a modern day Salem Witch Trial in progress within education. What about the students?

In 2010 they “supposedly” closed down all these so called Rubber Rooms:

They are now scattered around the city where reassigned educators are placed along with Children First Network offices personnel. 6 people could be in an elevator, going to different floors, and no one would know who is who and how many of the 6 are Rubber Room teachers. Brilliant idea. My hats off to you!

Here is a list that we are forming.
Location: 8201 Rockaway Blvd. Queens, NY    Approximately 8. Longest one there from January.
” Another RR at 4360 Broadway in Manhattan. As of end of June, 2 were sitting, including an AP. This network office is located in PS 48. Ironic how those deemed “dangerous” to schools and students are mingling with such.”
335 Adams Street, Brooklyn
333 7th Avenue, Manhattan
Source: Betsy Combier
Email me, or to register location and approximate number. No names will be published.


  1. Thank you Dick, so much for posting this. I have now completed the survey!

  2. Mr. Portelos' statement is too often not just reflecting public thought but also thought among teachers. As he says now, "sadly say that I too believed, before I was a teacher, that these people should be “fired” and not sit and collect our tax dollars. Wow, I feel horrible and am sorry" he couldn't say then. Ask the reason why.
    Karen Lewis made the point that teachers need to rally around the accused. As I asked one reporter, "where are the indictments" when I was asked about alleged child abusers. Too often I have heard the phrase, even from teachers, where there is smoke there is fire. The only fire is too often the pants on fire from administrators. Teachers and their unioins need to get to the bottom of this by getting in front of it.


Comments are welcome. Irrelevant and abusive comments will be deleted, as will all commercial links. Comment moderation is on, so if your comment does not appear it is because I have not been at my computer (I do not do cell phone moderating). Or because your comment is irrelevant or idiotic.