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(The New York Times)   Remember how NYC finally got rid of those 'rubber rooms' full of teachers getting paid to do nothing while waiting out disciplinary hearings and how everything was so much more efficient and fair now? About that   (nytimes.com) divider line 44
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8438 clicks; posted to Main » on 28 Sep 2013 at 11:09 AM (47 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-09-28 10:54:51 AM
And here I thought rubber rooms were where they kept the condoms for all the teacher on student sex and our swing sets for all the sport farking
 
2013-09-28 11:18:09 AM
Corruption in New York public schools and unions?

Color me shocked.
 
2013-09-28 11:20:11 AM
I am sure that at least one of the two sides involved is not totally crooked and acting purely in its own interest at the expense of everyone else.
 
2013-09-28 11:31:20 AM
Teacher's unions have your children's best intrest in mind when they do these things.
 
2013-09-28 11:34:11 AM
Seems like these rubber room teachers need to be put on maintenance duty. I'm sure there are rooms needing painted, floors scrubbed, graffiti removed from lockers... that kind of stuff.
 
2013-09-28 11:35:16 AM

Whatchoo Talkinbout: Teacher's unions have your children's best intrest in mind when they do these things.


Yup, all the union's fault.  Not the fault of the administrators, government bureaucrats, school boards, department of education, or corporate interests that are seeping into the public schools, ALL of whom have your children's best interests in mind.  If only we could get those pesky unions out of the way, the education panacea we were all promised would be delivered.
 
2013-09-28 11:42:18 AM

Peter von Nostrand: And here I thought rubber rooms were where they kept the condoms for all the teacher on student sex and our swing sets for all the sport farking


There's no sex in the champagne rubber room.

/The lap dance geography quiz is always better when the stripper teacher is crying
 
2013-09-28 11:44:43 AM

illannoyin: Peter von Nostrand: And here I thought rubber rooms were where they kept the condoms for all the teacher on student sex and our swing sets for all the sport farking

There's no sex in the champagne rubber room.

/The lap dance geography quiz is always better when the stripper teacher is crying


::adds lap dance from crying stripper to his bucket list::
 
2013-09-28 11:51:11 AM

bigskank: Whatchoo Talkinbout: Teacher's unions have your children's best intrest in mind when they do these things.

Yup, all the union's fault.  Not the fault of the administrators, government bureaucrats, school boards, department of education, or corporate interests that are seeping into the public schools, ALL of whom have your children's best interests in mind.  If only we could get those pesky unions out of the way, the education panacea we were all promised would be delivered.


Exactly. Teachers at least interact with students and so have some sense of connection. Everyone else? Hahaha. I've heard of a lot of good teachers farked over by administrators and bureaucrats.
 
2013-09-28 12:00:24 PM

Whatchoo Talkinbout: Teacher's unions have your children's best intrest in mind when they do these things.




The mayor just wants to keep your child from drinking too large of a soda
 
2013-09-28 12:01:24 PM

bigskank: Whatchoo Talkinbout: Teacher's unions have your children's best intrest in mind when they do these things.

Yup, all the union's fault.  Not the fault of the administrators, government bureaucrats, school boards, department of education, or corporate interests that are seeping into the public schools, ALL of whom have your children's best interests in mind.  If only we could get those pesky unions out of the way, the education panacea we were all promised would be delivered.


While there is a problem recently with unions being demonized for everything, this specific case is very much the fault of the unions:

www.pirateballerina.com

http://reason.com/assets/db/12639308918768.pdf
 
2013-09-28 12:03:23 PM
They smoked a monkey.
 
2013-09-28 12:03:53 PM

bigskank: Whatchoo Talkinbout: Teacher's unions have your children's best intrest in mind when they do these things.

Yup, all the union's fault.  Not the fault of the administrators, government bureaucrats, school boards, department of education, or corporate interests that are seeping into the public schools, ALL of whom have your children's best interests in mind.  If only we could get those pesky unions out of the way, the education panacea we were all promised would be delivered.


Oh no. It's always the fault of unions. It's much easier to blame them than thinking
 
2013-09-28 12:10:49 PM
In a letter to the schools chancellor this month, Michael Mulgrew, president of the union, laid the blame on the city, saying the process of selecting arbitrators "would be expedited" if school officials proposed better candidates.  He also said that fewer arbitrators would be needed if the city processed the cases more efficiently, and that the shortage would not be as bad had several arbitrators not left because the state had not paid them.
Tom Dunn, a spokesman for the New York State Education Department, acknowledged on Friday that the state was behind in payments, because of budgetary issues. "We have a set amount that we can spend," Mr. Dunn said.


Whoops.  Yep, it's the city on this.  (Look, NYC, you're lucky the teachers are even showing up since they haven't had a contract in 4 years.)
 
2013-09-28 12:10:56 PM
A corrupt Union? Complete BS.
 
2013-09-28 12:14:18 PM

yukichigai: bigskank: Whatchoo Talkinbout: Teacher's unions have your children's best intrest in mind when they do these things.

Yup, all the union's fault.  Not the fault of the administrators, government bureaucrats, school boards, department of education, or corporate interests that are seeping into the public schools, ALL of whom have your children's best interests in mind.  If only we could get those pesky unions out of the way, the education panacea we were all promised would be delivered.

While there is a problem recently with unions being demonized for everything, this specific case is very much the fault of the unions:

[www.pirateballerina.com image 551x291]

http://reason.com/assets/db/12639308918768.pdf


So you object to a clear and well-thought out process for dismissal that protects the employee, the employer and the children involved?  OK then.
 
2013-09-28 12:17:16 PM

Stoker: Seems like these rubber room teachers need to be put on maintenance duty. I'm sure there are rooms needing painted, floors scrubbed, graffiti removed from lockers... that kind of stuff.


Oh sure.  Piss off the custodian's union.  That'll go well.
 
2013-09-28 12:23:27 PM

bigskank: Yup, all the union's fault.  Not the fault of the administrators, government bureaucrats, school boards, department of education, or corporate interests that are seeping into the public schools, ALL of whom have your children's best interests in mind.  If only we could get those pesky unions out of the way, the education panacea we were all promised would be delivered.


Because union administrators and bureaucrats always have the best interests of your children in mind.  And are not remotely focused on making sure union dues continue to come in to pay their six figure salaries and fill up the pension coffers that they will steal later.  Nope - no incentive for corruption there.
 
2013-09-28 12:32:45 PM

JosephFinn: yukichigai: bigskank: Whatchoo Talkinbout: Teacher's unions have your children's best intrest in mind when they do these things.

Yup, all the union's fault.  Not the fault of the administrators, government bureaucrats, school boards, department of education, or corporate interests that are seeping into the public schools, ALL of whom have your children's best interests in mind.  If only we could get those pesky unions out of the way, the education panacea we were all promised would be delivered.

While there is a problem recently with unions being demonized for everything, this specific case is very much the fault of the unions:

[www.pirateballerina.com image 551x291]

http://reason.com/assets/db/12639308918768.pdf

So you object to a clear and well-thought out process for dismissal that protects the employee, the employer and the children involved?  OK then.


It's more the part where at any stage in that multi-tiered process just one person who isn't a judge can halt the entire thing, and even after multiple hearings have established that your teacher is, in fact, incompetent and needs to be fired, they're still employed and working.
 
2013-09-28 12:36:59 PM

JosephFinn: In a letter to the schools chancellor this month, Michael Mulgrew, president of the union, laid the blame on the city, saying the process of selecting arbitrators "would be expedited" if school officials proposed better candidates.  He also said that fewer arbitrators would be needed if the city processed the cases more efficiently, and that the shortage would not be as bad had several arbitrators not left because the state had not paid them.
Tom Dunn, a spokesman for the New York State Education Department, acknowledged on Friday that the state was behind in payments, because of budgetary issues. "We have a set amount that we can spend," Mr. Dunn said.

Whoops.  Yep, it's the city on this.  (Look, NYC, you're lucky the teachers are even showing up since they haven't had a contract in 4 years.)


Pretty much this, and also subby the rubber rooms are gone.

I don't mind a teacher being on paid leave or given non-student-related work while awaiting a hearing.  The rubber rooms pissed me off because the teachers were in there and being guarded and watched by up to four other employees, iirc.

So instead of one teacher being paid to do nothing, you had a retarded multiplier effect put on top. I don't know whose initial plan that setup was, but it smacks of over-the-top 'won't you please think of the children' screaming to have the teachers under guard like that.  Not to mention the "ZOMG PAID VACATION" screaming where people with no understanding a damn thing piss and moan that their union-less ass can get fired without cause while, surprise surprise, union employees fit requirements into the contracts so that the employer cannot circumvent union rules by a cause-less firing of anyone who doesn't break them as ordered.

While not everything a union does is great, the reason they exist is because the folks at the top will still fark the employees over any time they get a chance, and it is worth it to employees to pay a portion of their pay for an administrative body whose sole purpose is an adversarial stand against that.

My last non union job had me doing my bosses' duties at sub-minimum wage pay.

I don't know what the solution is to our education system.  It isn't throwing money at it, but neither is sucking it dry or whining and crying about the existence of public sector unions.
 
2013-09-28 12:41:50 PM
Non-Existent Problem: Teacher's being fired for "politics"
Solution: Make it impossible to fire any teacher no matter their competence.
Result: Tripling of costs with respect to inflation since 1979 and a slight decrease in test scores.

Brilliant!
 
2013-09-28 12:49:27 PM

yukichigai: bigskank: Whatchoo Talkinbout: Teacher's unions have your children's best intrest in mind when they do these things.

Yup, all the union's fault.  Not the fault of the administrators, government bureaucrats, school boards, department of education, or corporate interests that are seeping into the public schools, ALL of whom have your children's best interests in mind.  If only we could get those pesky unions out of the way, the education panacea we were all promised would be delivered.

While there is a problem recently with unions being demonized for everything, this specific case is very much the fault of the unions:

[www.pirateballerina.com image 551x291]

http://reason.com/assets/db/12639308918768.pdf


my dad was a principal in the NYC school system, and has fired a few teachers over the years. getting rid of teachers, while complicated, is not impossible. the biggest problem is the laziness of the principal.
 
2013-09-28 12:53:35 PM
The biggest reason we have teachers' unions is because some people insist on treating education like a business.
 
2013-09-28 12:57:21 PM

UNC_Samurai: The biggest reason we have teachers' unions is because some people insist on treating education like a business.


Not to mention political firings.

You taught my little jonny an arabic letter. You taught that tax increases raise revenue. My 12th grade 17 year old read a naughty word!
 
2013-09-28 01:14:41 PM

Whatchoo Talkinbout: Teacher's unions have your children's best intrest in mind when they do these things.


School administrators have your children's best intrest [sic] in mind when they do things.
 
2013-09-28 01:15:26 PM

yukichigai: bigskank: Whatchoo Talkinbout: Teacher's unions have your children's best intrest in mind when they do these things.

Yup, all the union's fault.  Not the fault of the administrators, government bureaucrats, school boards, department of education, or corporate interests that are seeping into the public schools, ALL of whom have your children's best interests in mind.  If only we could get those pesky unions out of the way, the education panacea we were all promised would be delivered.

While there is a problem recently with unions being demonized for everything, this specific case is very much the fault of the unions:

[www.pirateballerina.com image 551x291]

http://reason.com/assets/db/12639308918768.pdf


The "Rubber Room" issue may or may not be genuinely problematic, but I'm sick of flow charts that dishonestly make problems appear more byzantine and complicated than they really are. Most of the flows in that chart could've easily been condensed, if the author were genuinely trying to inform, rather than propagandize.
 
2013-09-28 01:22:49 PM

yukichigai: While there is a problem recently with unions being demonized for everything, this specific case is very much the fault of the unions:


This flowchart -- though I hesitate to even call it that -- fatally presupposes that the teacher involved is demonstrably and undeniably incompetent.
 
2013-09-28 01:29:55 PM

poot_rootbeer: yukichigai: While there is a problem recently with unions being demonized for everything, this specific case is very much the fault of the unions:

This flowchart -- though I hesitate to even call it that -- fatally presupposes that the teacher involved is demonstrably and undeniably incompetent.


You're right.  There's no such thing as a bad teacher, they're all saints.  There certainly aren't "rubber rooms" where teachers who are too dangerous and/or incompetent to be allowed near children are stashed away because their contract has made it too difficult for management to fire them, where they collect benefits and salary while stealing oxygen.

And if you think otherwise, and think it's a problem, then you clearly hate organized labor and teachers because Wall Street gets away with worse and I don't see you doing anything about that, so what if working people game the system?
 
2013-09-28 01:34:16 PM

poot_rootbeer: yukichigai: While there is a problem recently with unions being demonized for everything, this specific case is very much the fault of the unions:

This flowchart -- though I hesitate to even call it that -- fatally presupposes that the teacher involved is demonstrably and undeniably incompetent.


And that's the case with many of the people in NYC's rubber room system. They have often been unable to fire teachers who are abusing children, or simply sit at their classroom desks and do absolutely nothing.

Look, I'm a liberal and am generally in favor of unions. But teachers unions have made it ridiculously difficult to fire even the ridiculously incompetent in many places. There has to be a balance, and in places like NYC, it is far, far too difficult to fire people. Not every teacher is a golden angel from heaven- some legitimately need to be fired. I'm all for due process, but a reasonable system of due process allows resolution in a reasonable period of time, and it requires that both sides get a fair hearing and that neither one has an inordinate degree of control over the process.

And for that matter, primary and secondary school teachers shouldn't have tenure anyway. Tenure was designed to allow professors doing scholarly research freedom to operate without the fear of being fired for taking an unpopular position in that work. Could you remind me of what controversial and dicey papers a middle school math teacher is publishing? It's just become a guarantee of employment even if you abuse kids or just don't bother showing up to work.
 
2013-09-28 01:45:32 PM
The more things change...
 
2013-09-28 01:45:45 PM

cptjeff: . I'm all for due process, but a reasonable system of due process allows resolution in a reasonable period of time, and it requires that both sides get a fair hearing and that neither one has an inordinate degree of control over the process.


This x1000.  Too many people white knight public employee unions, particularly teachers unions.  It's true that in many places teachers are underpaid and treated like shiat.  But the whole point of a union is to put labor on an equal footing with management.  If you can't get fired because you're dangerous or incompetent, your union has too much power.  And you have a bunch of class warriors who forget that unions are actually kind of capitalistic, the idea that the union is seeking the most value (profit) possible.  Unions are corporate entities, whether you like it or not.
 
2013-09-28 02:26:17 PM

poot_rootbeer: yukichigai: While there is a problem recently with unions being demonized for everything, this specific case is very much the fault of the unions:

This flowchart -- though I hesitate to even call it that -- fatally presupposes that the teacher involved is demonstrably and undeniably incompetent.


To echo what others have been saying, are you honestly suggesting that there are no undeniably incompetent teachers who need to be fired in the entire NYC school system, nor will there ever be?

And to everyone else who has responded to this thing I posted, a lot of you are missing the underlying point here: if it is this time-consuming and onerous to fire someone who you have mountains of evidence on, how difficult must it be to fire someone whose incompetence isn't that blatant?  Impossible, perhaps?  I honestly don't know, but it doesn't bode well.

dumbobruni: my dad was a principal in the NYC school system, and has fired a few teachers over the years. getting rid of teachers, while complicated, is not impossible. the biggest problem is the laziness of the principal.


I would love to hear more about this if you can provide any further details.

Also how long ago were these firings?  Within the last 10 years, or longer than that?
 
2013-09-28 02:33:06 PM

cptjeff: poot_rootbeer: yukichigai: While there is a problem recently with unions being demonized for everything, this specific case is very much the fault of the unions:

This flowchart -- though I hesitate to even call it that -- fatally presupposes that the teacher involved is demonstrably and undeniably incompetent.

And that's the case with many of the people in NYC's rubber room system. They have often been unable to fire teachers who are abusing children, or simply sit at their classroom desks and do absolutely nothing.

Look, I'm a liberal and am generally in favor of unions. But teachers unions have made it ridiculously difficult to fire even the ridiculously incompetent in many places. There has to be a balance, and in places like NYC, it is far, far too difficult to fire people. Not every teacher is a golden angel from heaven- some legitimately need to be fired. I'm all for due process, but a reasonable system of due process allows resolution in a reasonable period of time, and it requires that both sides get a fair hearing and that neither one has an inordinate degree of control over the process.

And for that matter, primary and secondary school teachers shouldn't have tenure anyway. Tenure was designed to allow professors doing scholarly research freedom to operate without the fear of being fired for taking an unpopular position in that work. Could you remind me of what controversial and dicey papers a middle school math teacher is publishing? It's just become a guarantee of employment even if you abuse kids or just don't bother showing up to work.



Truer words were never spoken.  That's an awesome explanation of tenure.

/you and I disagree on a lot of stuff, but not this topic
 
2013-09-28 02:34:56 PM

cptjeff: And for that matter, primary and secondary school teachers shouldn't have tenure anyway. Tenure was designed to allow professors doing scholarly research freedom to operate without the fear of being fired for taking an unpopular position in that work. Could you remind me of what controversial and dicey papers a middle school math teacher is publishing?


media.tumblr.com
 
2013-09-28 02:58:59 PM

cptjeff: poot_rootbeer: yukichigai: While there is a problem recently with unions being demonized for everything, this specific case is very much the fault of the unions:

This flowchart -- though I hesitate to even call it that -- fatally presupposes that the teacher involved is demonstrably and undeniably incompetent.

And that's the case with many of the people in NYC's rubber room system. They have often been unable to fire teachers who are abusing children, or simply sit at their classroom desks and do absolutely nothing.

Look, I'm a liberal and am generally in favor of unions. But teachers unions have made it ridiculously difficult to fire even the ridiculously incompetent in many places. There has to be a balance, and in places like NYC, it is far, far too difficult to fire people. Not every teacher is a golden angel from heaven- some legitimately need to be fired. I'm all for due process, but a reasonable system of due process allows resolution in a reasonable period of time, and it requires that both sides get a fair hearing and that neither one has an inordinate degree of control over the process.

And for that matter, primary and secondary school teachers shouldn't have tenure anyway.

Tenure was designed to allow professors doing scholarly research freedom to operate without the fear of being fired for taking an unpopular position in that work. Could you remind me of what controversial and dicey papers a middle school math teacher is publishing? It's just become a guarantee of employment even if you abuse kids or just don't bother showing up to work.

While they don;t do academic research, these teachers are often fired for political reasons for merely doing their job, not unlike college professors without tenure.
 
2013-09-28 03:42:01 PM

dave2198: While they don;t do academic research, these teachers are often fired for political reasons for merely doing their job, not unlike college professors without tenure.


Is New York an at-will state?  In the state can you fire someone for no reason, or a really bad one like "some child asked their ultra-conservative parents why we're descended from monkeys so to appease them I'm going to fire the science teacher", separate from tenure that is?

If yes, then tenure sounds like a justified but still excessive reaction to that kind of environment.  If no, then what were they thinking?

Separate of any of that, tenure on par with what a college professor gets is too much to be handed out automatically after five years of just not messing up.  College-level tenures are either not automatic or automatic after something like 20 years, not five.
 
2013-09-28 03:45:15 PM

yukichigai: Separate of any of that, tenure on par with what a college professor gets is too much to be handed out automatically after five years of just not messing up.  College-level tenures are either not automatic or automatic after something like 20 years, not five.


I should clarify this to point out that I meant promotion to tenured positions, since that's usually how it works.
 
2013-09-28 04:14:19 PM

yukichigai: To echo what others have been saying, are you honestly suggesting that there are no undeniably incompetent teachers who need to be fired in the entire NYC school system, nor will there ever be?


I'm not, and I don't see how my comment could be interpreted as suggesting that.

What I'm saying is that if Reason were interested in publishing a fair illustration of the process of how a bad teacher can be dismissed, they would have included steps in which a teacher's fitness for the job is objectively evaluated, instead of jumping straight to "Bad teacher is bad. Now what?"

No doubt: a teacher who is abusing children needs to be fired, and the union should applaud as he or she is drummed out of their profession.

A teacher who is alleged to have abused children, but not proven, on the other hand -- in fairness to the teacher and the children, the situation needs to be defused and the truth figured out before any more damage is done.  Do you see the difference?
 
2013-09-28 04:49:47 PM

poot_rootbeer: A teacher who is alleged to have abused children, but not proven, on the other hand -- in fairness to the teacher and the children, the situation needs to be defused and the truth figured out before any more damage is done


You mean the process which the teacher's union has been blocking for years.
 
2013-09-28 04:55:51 PM

MyRandomName: Non-Existent Problem: Teacher's being fired for "politics"


Actually, that is an existant problem in any jurisdiction where there is no union representation.

But you're big and bootstrappy. Tell me how you were left in the wilderness immediately after birth and you subsequently raised yourself, taught yourself to read and write, and are now CEO of a fortune 500 company with absolutely no help from anyone.
 
2013-09-28 04:58:01 PM

poot_rootbeer: yukichigai: To echo what others have been saying, are you honestly suggesting that there are no undeniably incompetent teachers who need to be fired in the entire NYC school system, nor will there ever be?

I'm not, and I don't see how my comment could be interpreted as suggesting that.

What I'm saying is that if Reason were interested in publishing a fair illustration of the process of how a bad teacher can be dismissed, they would have included steps in which a teacher's fitness for the job is objectively evaluated, instead of jumping straight to "Bad teacher is bad. Now what?"


Why?  Why does it matter how they've come to the conclusion?  This isn't an overview of the whole firing process.  This is a hypothetical situation where you have the worst teacher in the world, and its being used to point out what specific part of the process is broken.  If you're a school administrator and you have ample evidence to fire a tenured teacher, you're looking at 8 months to two years to actually getting them out of the classroom, and that's if everything goes your way.  There's no way around that unless the teacher actually committed a felony.  That's broken.

No doubt: a teacher who is abusing children needs to be fired, and the union should applaud as he or she is drummed out of their profession.

That's the point though: in the situation where a teacher is objectively bad, where multiple people on the school's staff agree that the teacher is bad and needs to go, the process still requires this huge amount of effort which can be flat-out killed if just one person along the way disagrees.  The "drumming out" you describe requires more effort, more burden of proof on the part of the school, and more appeals than attempting to convict someone of first degree murder.  I'm all for reasonable job protections, but that's excessive.
 
2013-09-28 06:03:58 PM

ferretman: A corrupt Union? Complete BS.


Yes, sweetie, the only place you find corruption is in unions. Corporations NEVER do anything wrong.

/Hey, those union guys get paid better than me and have better benefits than me. DAMN UNIONS!
 
2013-09-28 07:19:21 PM

JosephFinn: (Look, NYC, you're lucky the teachers are even showing up since they haven't had a contract in 4 years.)


No contract in four years means a whole lot less to public servants in New York than it does elsewhere, thanks to something called the Triborough Amendment.

The Triborough Amendment kicks in when a teachers' union's contract with a school district expires - and it states that the terms of the old deal, all the step and lane increases and perks and so forth, continue indefinitely for as long as there's no contract. And if the old contract was lined up during flusher times and/or by politicians keen on overpromising to powerful blocs like teachers' unions...well, that's mighty farking sweet for the union.
 
2013-09-29 02:13:09 AM

Gulper Eel: And if the old contract was lined up during flusher times and/or by politicians keen on overpromising to powerful blocs like teachers' unions...well, that's mighty farking sweet for the union.


You can also type that sentence in reverse.

It takes two to tango.
 
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