NYC teacher “rubber rooms” are back

posted at 2:01 pm on January 17, 2016 by Jazz Shaw

I used to think of this as a case of good work if you can get it, but it’s really more like great not working but getting paid anyway. There was a time when teachers unions across the country came under significant public scrutiny and pressure over the use of so called “rubber rooms.” These were holding centers where teaches who were suspended for reasons ranging from minor administrative infractions to sexual assault of children sat around collecting their pay while their cases were handled. This went on for years at a stretch in some cases. But once the taxpayers who pay the bill for all of this caught wind of it, the practice was eventually abolished.

Or was it? The New York Post has been trailing the culprits in the Big Apple for a while now and they’ve discovered that the rubber rooms are back in style.

In one of the “reassignment centers,” 16 exiled educators sit in a city Department of Education building in Long Island City, Queens, including a dozen packed into one room — where they do virtually no work.

They listen to music, do crossword puzzles, chat — and as this exclusive Post photo reveals, doze on the taxpayer’s dime.

The rules forbid beach chairs and air mattresses, but not nap time. The teacher sprawled on the floor, pulled a wool hat over his eyes to shut out the fluorescent lights and slept.

Others prop up two chairs to recline or just lay their heads on the table. “It’s gone right back to the way it was in the old days, an old-fashioned rubber room,” one banished teacher said.

The Post has a charming picture of one diligent educator sprawled out on the floor wearing camouflage pants with a wool cap pulled down over his eyes as he catches up on his beauty rest. He looks terribly comfortable, and all the more so because he’s drawing his full pay thanks to the generosity of New York’s taxpayers. The state Department of Education refused to comment to the Post as to how many teachers are currently enjoying this fabulous work situation, but it’s estimated that between 200 and 400 of them are napping on the public dime for a total bill in the range of $15M to $20M per year.

Interviews with some of the teachers reveal just what a burden it is for all of them.

While the city promised to keep removed educators busy, the Queens exiles say they only occasionally oblige requests to do menial tasks like stuffing folders or making copies. Others refuse to do such work, calling it “demeaning.”

They mainly just kill time to get through a six-hour, 20-minute day.

“I’m so exhausted from being in this place doing nothing,” one said.

I wonder if any of them are the teacher who crashed the drone into the US Open? Or the one arrested for having sex with a 12 year old student? I’m sure they’re still on the payroll because you don’t want to lose talent like that.

RubberRoom


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Comments

More New York Values!
It just gets better and better by the day.

Constitutionalist on January 17, 2016 at 2:07 PM

I have no sympathy with NYC voters.

At all.

ladyingray on January 17, 2016 at 2:11 PM

They need rooms for rubbers to do their students? Man, that’s a lot of those…

——- Sandra “Heavy Duty” Fluke

viking01 on January 17, 2016 at 2:12 PM

From the article:

In 2010, the DOE and the teachers union trumpeted an agreement to close the centers holding more than 700 idled educators accused of misconduct or incompetence.

Many teachers settled charges by paying finds and returned to classrooms, while those still expelled were scattered across the five boroughs.

But the rubber-room deal is routinely violated.

The teachers union is more interested in protecting the educators accused of misconduct or incompetence than they are in educating the children of NYC. The deal brought little more than a slap on the wrist for many – and returned them either to the classroom or administrative positions as opposed to being dismissed. And those educators remain very loyal to the leadership of the teachers union.

But in the same edition of the NY Post is another story that is even more troubling than this one which made the cover of today’s Post…

My year of terror and abuse teaching at a NYC High School

The problem goes well beyond the fecklessness of the teachers union. But it still finds itself embraced and fostered by the contemptuous policies and attitudes of the left.

Athos on January 17, 2016 at 2:19 PM

#NewYorkValues

portlandon on January 17, 2016 at 2:21 PM

Jazz. Lol!! The only thing schools know about rubber any more is that it is an ingredient in condoms…..

Indiana Jim on January 17, 2016 at 2:28 PM

This and their ability to take massive casualties makes them irresistible!

trs on January 17, 2016 at 2:33 PM

NYC teacher “rubber rooms” are back……..sexual assault of children

………….oh geeeeeez!……what will Donald say?

JugEarsButtHurt on January 17, 2016 at 2:35 PM

Sounds like personnel awaiting training in the Army. It made me nuts after about 3 days.

Pegcity on January 17, 2016 at 2:42 PM

OT. Iranians say Captuted US sailors started crying after capture but kindness of Iranian troops calmed them. I have no problem with US sailors crying while on the job. After all, they are only emulating John “weepy” Boehner, Jeb! an act of love when illegals murder, Obama who weeps when talking about gun control. We have pussified the males in this country, so what the hell should we expect. There’s a few of us left who still remember what it was like to be a man. Guess that’s why we support Trump. The rest of you pussies can go vote for Jeb or little Marco or soft spoken Carson, if it will soothe your hurt feelings. Guess they can mandate safe spaces for you, kinda like bomb shelters during the cold war era.

they lie on January 17, 2016 at 3:10 PM

Also off topic,re. headlines, Rich Lowry is a GOPe water boy and is full of shit. Trump is exposing all of the so called conservatives. Gotta love it. We can now, as conservatives, quit supporting these buffoons. Let them eat chit and see how well they do attracting the so called mods and liberals. Last time I checked, all those liberal msm and liberal pubs., were going belly up.

they lie on January 17, 2016 at 3:15 PM

trs on January 17, 2016 at 2:33 PM

Disgusting comment.

If you had been one of the families that lost someone that day, you wouldn’t be so callous with your remarks.

Barred on January 17, 2016 at 3:19 PM

Probably still earning tenure to boot.

Oxymoron on January 17, 2016 at 4:31 PM

From 2014

New York City officials filed disciplinary charges against 826 educators for misconduct or incompetence over the past two years—and in at least 171 cases, teachers had to pay fines to keep their jobs.

New York City Department of Education data show that in cases it filed in the past two school years, arbitrators terminated 40 educators for egregious transgressions or poor performance and suspended 19. Hundreds of cases settled, often with teachers agreeing to resign or retire, and hundreds haven’t been resolved.

City education officials note that only a tiny fraction of the roughly 75,000 teachers in the nation’s biggest district have disciplinary problems. By the city’s tally of cases filed in the past two school years, 23 tenured teachers were fired for poor performance and 17 for misconduct.

So…they really can be fired.

hundreds haven’t been resolved.”

I would think that in such circumstances their cases would be dismissed as I’m sure they would in any regular court. If they aren’t resolved, then doesn’t that point to lack of evidence of wrongdoing? If so, why aren’t they immediately put back on the job?

“…agreeing to resign or retire…”

So you screwed up badly enough that you can’t be in the classroom anymore, but yet you keep your retirement. Interesting. The only way I can see in supporting that is that you have a teacher advanced in years and may be getting into the senile range, or physically can no longer do the job. Generally, loss of retirement would only be imposed because of the determination of an egregious act that would cause license revocation.

Probably still earning tenure to boot.

Oxymoron on January 17, 2016 at 4:31 PM

Yes. But should they have their teaching license revoked, it wouldn’t make any difference as they would not qualify for retirement.

I think we have to remember that these people were accused of something or another. Doesn’t mean they’re guilty of anything…unless such a determination is made down the road.

I don’t think any of us would like to be put in a position where we’re bound over indefinitely, though innocent, until the system decides it wants to defecate or get off the pot. LOL. But, think about it…even in the regular justice system people are held in jails for months or for a year or more (or on bail) pending their court date.

Whatever happened to the concept of a speedy trial?

Dr. ZhivBlago on January 17, 2016 at 4:39 PM

Disgusting comment.

If you had been one of the families that lost someone that day, you wouldn’t be so callous with your remarks.

Barred on January 17, 2016 at 3:19 PM

I’m not celebrating that fact only trying to figure out what Trump is referring to when he brings it up to garner votes. Firemen and police run to danger every day across this country. New York doesn’t have any corner on that market. It was a terrible day for America but isn’t a political trophy and that was my point.

trs on January 17, 2016 at 5:04 PM

Disgusting comment.

If you had been one of the families that lost someone that day, you wouldn’t be so callous with your remarks.

Barred on January 17, 2016 at 3:19 PM

Well, if I had family that died on 9/11 I would not be wrapping myself up in the their burial shroud to protect me.
That takes a particularly twisted person to do that.

Constitutionalist on January 17, 2016 at 5:42 PM

But in the same edition of the NY Post is another story that is even more troubling than this one which made the cover of today’s Post…

… My year of terror and abuse teaching at a NYC High School

The problem goes well beyond the fecklessness of the teachers union. But it still finds itself embraced and fostered by the contemptuous policies and attitudes of the left.

Athos on January 17, 2016 at 2:19 PM

I read that article. I went to one of the NYC public junior high schools in that same part of Manhattan 50 years ago, and things have definitely “changed”.

And today’s Democrat Party owns the thuggish “students” in “Room 314”; “Chantay” and “Kameron Shields” are future Democrat voters, for sure.

Of course the Looney Left author concludes his horror story by calling for the same tired old liberal “solutions” that haven’t fixed the problems in the NYC public school system since I was a student there in 1966.

Del Dolemonte on January 17, 2016 at 6:02 PM

trs on January 17, 2016 at 5:04 PM

Constitutionalist on January 17, 2016 at 5:42 PM

If you want to criticize Trump, that is fine.

But this sentence

This and their ability to take massive casualties makes them irresistible!

is knocking everyone that was affected by this tragedy.

Barred on January 17, 2016 at 6:18 PM

Anybody ask Donald about this?

Viator on January 17, 2016 at 7:31 PM

The wheels of justice grind exceedingly slow.

I’d much rather have guilty guys in rubber rooms until they are found guilty than to have innocent guys turned out onto the street without pay until he is found innocent.

I wish, however, that the rest of us had the same right of presumed innocence until proven guilty. That’s not where things are going with secret no-fly lists and such.

unclesmrgol on January 17, 2016 at 8:51 PM

OT. Iranians say Captuted US sailors started crying after capture”

They started doing What Now???

loubkk on January 17, 2016 at 10:33 PM

The picture looks like the student “suspension” rooms where trouble-makers are sent to get them out of the class-room (if such is still possible in today’s schools).
Maybe if they didn’t have so many teachers fit only for rubber rooms they wouldn’t have so many trouble-making students.
They are opposite sides of the same coin.

But in the same edition of the NY Post is another story that is even more troubling than this one which made the cover of today’s Post…

… My year of terror and abuse teaching at a NYC High School

The problem goes well beyond the fecklessness of the teachers union. But it still finds itself embraced and fostered by the contemptuous policies and attitudes of the left.

Athos on January 17, 2016 at 2:19 PM

Of course the Looney Left author concludes his horror story by calling for the same tired old liberal “solutions” that haven’t fixed the problems in the NYC public school system since I was a student there in 1966.

Del Dolemonte on January 17, 2016 at 6:02 PM

Indeed.
Because if they fixed the problems they lose their constituencies.

The wheels of justice grind exceedingly slow.

I’d much rather have guilty guys in rubber rooms until they are found guilty than to have innocent guys turned out onto the street without pay until he is found innocent.

I wish, however, that the rest of us had the same right of presumed innocence until proven guilty. That’s not where things are going with secret no-fly lists and such.

unclesmrgol on January 17, 2016 at 8:51 PM

I would agree with you on this in general, but there is no serious doubt in my mind that the teachers stuck in the rubber room are probably guilty, but the unions won’t let the schools get rid of them; innocent ones don’t make it into that limbo.

AesopFan on January 17, 2016 at 11:35 PM

I would agree with you on this in general, but there is no serious doubt in my mind that the teachers stuck in the rubber room are probably guilty, but the unions won’t let the schools get rid of them; innocent ones don’t make it into that limbo.

AesopFan on January 17, 2016 at 11:35 PM

I disagree. My brother in law was accused, and it took three months to clear him. It was one of his daddies doing the abuse, not the teacher. But he was out of the classroom for three whole months.

So, I do have no doubt that there are pedophiles in the classroom, but I also have no doubt that some of those accused are probably innocent.

Given the universally progressive nature of both the school system and the teachers union, it’s also possible that one or two are also there for anti-union reasons.

unclesmrgol on January 18, 2016 at 1:13 AM

I would agree with you on this in general, but there is no serious doubt in my mind that the teachers stuck in the rubber room are probably guilty, but the unions won’t let the schools get rid of them; innocent ones don’t make it into that limbo.

AesopFan on January 17, 2016 at 11:35 PM

Surely. Now if only our court system would realize that. Why waste time with trials and all that nonsense. If you’re accused, arrested, booked and arraigned, you must be guilty!

Some of the things I read here are rather scary, and I’m not talking about the trolls.

Dr. ZhivBlago on January 18, 2016 at 1:45 AM