Saturday, March 29, 2014
Oh boy, did Crain's article on the "Rubber Room" rub me the wrong way. Rance (Crain) did not pursue good journalism in the article in his publication, CRAIN'S New York Business, re-posted below. Rance and I met many years ago at a fund-raising event held for our alma mater, Northwestern University.
First, the "Absent-Teacher-Reserve" is not a "rubber-room". ATRs are tenured teachers who have been put into a substitute teacher position because (1) their school closed; (2) a 3020-a Arbitrator decided not to terminate; (3) a principal or administrator decided to move him/her out for any number of reasons.
A rubber room is what I've studied for 12 years. The "Rubber Room", really 8 rooms or floors set aside in buildings rented by the Department of Education, were warehouses holding tenured and probationary teachers and Assistant Principals who were dumped when someone made an allegation of either misconduct or incompetent service against them. Before I worked for the UFT (2007-2010) and until today, I visited these rooms (all of them) and have spoken to the people placed outside of their tenured positions.
The most outrageous thing is, and something the article does say which is the truth, is that the UFT went along with this denial of rights all these years without a peep. The article below makes me think that in the contract negotiations being held right now behind closed doors, of course, are discussions about the bizarre and embarrassing policy of putting tenured teachers out of their career path without warning and without any rule, regulation or law.
And, for the author of this article to make a nexus between ATRs and "incompetent colleagues lingering on the public dole" is truly an insult to all the fine people I know in the ATR pool.
This is simply bad journalism. So sorry, Rance.