But the arbitrators did not terminate everyone, and the Rubber Rooms became a public relations nightmare and Bloomberg had to close them. A second way to remove tenured teachers was to create a pool of professional, tenured teachers who were not fired at 3020-a or whose Principals could not create enough false charges to bring to a 3020-a trial. These professional tenured teachers were pushed into a rudderless ship called "Absent Teacher Reserve" or "ATR" status where they have no UFT chapter leader and basically no rights to any part of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (UFT contract).
These gypsies go from school to school, assigned to classes outside their license area and told to teach children they know nothing about. Where is the UFT? According to a source, the UFT suggested rotating teachers as substitutes and the DOE agreed to do this. According to the Commissioner's Regulations Regulations 80-5.3, a superintendent may allow a teacher to teach in a certification/license area outside of his or her own for no more than five classroom hours per week. This practice is known as “incidental teaching,” and, according to the state guidelines, it is acceptable only “when no certified or qualified teacher is available after extensive and documented recruitment.”
Even a bathroom key is a problem. ATRs are assigned security desk duty, cafeteria and hallway bathroom access monitoring, Xeroxing, etc. Principals don't respect them, and the kids don't either.
Now, the DOE has sent in a new troop to observe these ATR transients: Field Supervisors. These people observe the ATRs as they try to teach a curriculum they know nothing about to children who they have only met that day, or a day or two prior. Most certainly this process has nothing to do with helping children learn anything. The entire observation/evaluation process has been overturned.
How does this make sense? And, please notice that the UFT is a partner with the DOE in setting all of this up and doing nothing to protect members.
The new rubber room is worse than the old. Remember, I have said all along, the "rubber room is not a place, but a process."
Below is a very good post on NYC ATR from August 2012 on a third way that Bloomberg made professional tenured teachers into trash, by closing schools and making teachers re-apply for their jobs. Then, all a principal has to do is sift through the most senior teachers with the highest salaries, and make up a reason not to hire them back. Easy.