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 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.