Friday, September 17, 2010

The New York rubber rooms aren't really gone, just morphed

The infamous New York rubber rooms where teachers who were awaiting disciplinary hearings spent their time doing crossword puzzles and taking naps while being paid over $100,000 a year to not teach aroused deep public anger. This year New York officials announced a deal with the teachers unions to get rid of the rubber rooms. But they're not really gone. They've just shifted the teachers waiting discipline into clerks for the Department of Education instead of having them sitting around doing nothing.
The city is transforming hundreds of high-priced, do-nothing teachers accused of wrongdoing into pricey paper pushers.

The teachers -- who for years spent their time dozing, playing games or doing zilch while earning full pay in infamous holding pens known as "rubber rooms" -- are now being dispersed to DOE offices around the city as they await disciplinary hearings.

"I'll be doing clerical work, which means they'll be paying me $100,049 to be making photocopies," said Hal Lanse, a Bronx teacher who learned yesterday that he's being assigned to a district office in The Bronx.

He said he was accused of sexually harassing a colleague but claims the accusation was payback for exposing grade-tampering.
I suppose it's better that they're not simply sitting around. But how about having an expedited hearing procedure that could decide whether or not these teachers have been wrongfully accused and either get rid of them or bring them back into the classroom? No business would have to wait longer than a year to decide if they were going to get rid of a worker accused of egregious abuses.