In NYC the mayor and the city’s teachers’ union have finally agreed to do away with teacher “rubber rooms”. Rubber rooms are reassignment rooms full of teacher’s accused of incompetence or wrongdoing waiting for their respective hearings. This disciplinary system has rightly made both City Hall and the teachers’ union subjects of ridicule.
There are now about 550 teachers, costing the city of New York $30 million a year.
Under this agreement between the mayor and the teachers union the teachers that the city is trying to fire will no longer be sent to the rubber rooms. These rubber room reassignment centers are rooms where the teachers show up every school day, sometimes for years on end, doing no work and drawing full salaries. Stories in newspapers and magazines have detailed how teachers run businesses out of the rubber rooms or doze off for hours on end all at tax payers expense. This is an absurd and expensive abuse of tenure.
The new agreement will now require that these teachers will be assigned to administrative work or non-classroom duties in their schools while their cases are pending.
The union did not appear to sacrifice much in the deal. While the agreement speeds hearings, it does little to change the arduous process of firing teachers, particularly ineffective ones. Administrators still must spend months or even years documenting poor performance before the department can begin hearings, which will still last up to two months.
Although the city has invested about $2 million in hiring more lawyers to help principals get rid of teachers, it has managed to fire only 3 for incompetence in the last two years.
Blog - Rubber Rooms