I just wrote the following for The Pulse: Education’s Place for Debate…
The New York Times reports that New York City Public School teachers accused of wrong-doing or incompetence are made to spend 181 days per year in one of twelve “reassignment centers,” commonly referred to as the “rubber room.”
A room designed for 26 people routinely warehouses “upward of 75” (one report said, 100) from 8 AM until 3 PM each day. The windowless rooms don’t even have a clock.
“From our perspective, it’s not punitive,” said Andrew Gordon, the director of employee relations at the department.
Read the rest of this unbelievable article, Where Teachers Sit, Awaiting Their Fates (NY Times 10/10/07)
Here are a few quotes from a similar New York Post article (9/30/07)…
“David Pakter, 62, has been in a rubber room for a year for buying a plant for his school and giving students watches he’d made, he said…
Pakter, a former “teacher of the year” honored at City Hall during Rudy Giuliani’s mayoral tenure, just bought a new Jaguar with his $90,000 salary for ‘doing absolutely nothing.'”
“Yet another, an Army reservist who spent almost 3½ years in a rubber room before he retired, begged to be able to go to Iraq instead of staying in DOE Siberia.”
“The union now counsels its members to avoid becoming too involved – including even in breaking up student fights – because it could land them in a rubber room.”
Veteran educator Gary Stager, Ph.D. is the author of Twenty Things to Do with a Computer – Forward 50, co-author of Invent To Learn — Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom, publisher at Constructing Modern Knowledge Press, and the founder of the Constructing Modern Knowledge summer institute. He led professional development in the world’s first 1:1 laptop schools thirty years ago and designed one of the oldest online graduate school programs. Gary is also the curator of The Seymour Papert archives at DailyPapert.com. Learn more about Gary here.
4 thoughts on “You Will NOT Believe This Story!”
Truly, there are lunatics in high places. Unbelievable.
There are times when it is truly a wonderful thing to be teaching in New Zealand. This is outrageous!!
FOR THOSE INTERESTED IN THE TRUTH
ABOUT NEW YORK CITY’S RUBBER ROOMS
I am that New York City educator who “bought a plant” but that is not the real reason I was banished to one of New York City’s infamous Rubber Room gulags which are being used in New York to retaliate against Whistle-blowers or teachers in general who expose corruption and mismanagement in the 17 Billion dollar New York City Dept/Board of Education.
THE NEW YORK POST, which recently ran the very slanted story in that paper regarding NYC “Rubber Rooms” approached me a month before the story ran maintaining they wanted to expose what was the real reason these reassignment centers existed.
Despite that newspaper’s well known history for bashing teachers in New York and in particular their union, The United Federation of Teachers, I agreed to be interviewed in the hope that maybe a small iota of the actual facts would see the light of day.
Alas, that was too much to be hoped for and thus the story that is now the talk of the country on numerous blogs is what is making the rounds in the world of Education.
Should anyone wish to know the real reason/s I was removed from my position, it is only necessary to visit the following website:
There one will see a photograph of me being Decorated by the former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani in New York’s City Hall, as a “Teacher of the Year” for “Exceptional Achievement in Education”. I had designed, built from the ground up, and personally funded, the first premiere Medical Illustration Program in the United States for gifted Minority students. The goal of the program was to serve as a launching pad to propel those students from socio-economically deprived backgrounds into Ivy League Universities and into careers including Medicine, as Physicians and research Scientists.
The success of this unique program was such, that it attracted the attention of Pulitzer Prize winning Journalist, Clara Hemphill.
But once I became a Whistle-blower the New York City Dept/Board of Education went after me with a vengeance not witnessed in decades and has led to a $ 30,000,000 “Notice of Claim” and Lawsuit against those responsible.
To see just a small example of what New York’s students are being deprived of visit my personal website:
I welcome being contacted by Mr. Stager, a true Renaissance Man as well as visionary, as well as any member of the news media who is interested in getting the real story behind the skewed and embarassingly slanted story that ran in the NEW YORK POST on Sunday, September 30, 2007, which pretended to represent itself as “news”.
As I wrote the following day, that NEW YORK POST article can only be referred to as “A Black Sunday for Journalism in New York City”.
The subsequent story that ran in The New York Times, “Where Teachers Sit, Awaiting Their Fates”, by Columbia Professor Samuel G. Friedman, while more nearly reflecting the reality of what New York’s “Rubber Room” system is about, also did not delve deep enough into how these “reassignment centers” are used to bludgeon, retaliate against and crush any teacher who has the temerity to Whistle-blow and/or otherwise report corruption or wrongdoing of any kind within the 17 billion dollar New York Dept/Board of Education.
See also: http://www.ParentAdvocates.org
and NAPTA, National Association to Prevent Teacher Abuse, a problem that is increasing at an alarming exponential rate throughout the United States as well as in other countries.
I have been languishing in the rubber room for the last three years on trumped-up charges. The story behind the story : principal’s vendetta against me for telling my colleagues that I did his computer science project in April 1994 when he was a doctoral student at Teachers College. The dunce was smart enough to remove anything suggesting the academic origin of his assignment. This is my third stint in the rubber room. I felt violated, humiliated and abused . To fight back I created a website http://www.teacherabuse.com. I invite you to visit and have more insight into this obscenity.
Oh, yes : the DOE is intimidating me into shutting down the website.
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