2 responses

  1. JC
    August 28, 2009

    I am not acquainted personally with any teachers in the “rubber room”. However, I know a teacher who was discontinued for a trumped up charge. She has a Masters in Education, graduating with a 3.93 average. She borrowed $30,000 to get her Masters so she worked hard to try and keep her job. Her students went from 2 to 3’s on their English Language Arts exam. She worked diligently every night preparing lessons. Her students loved her and so did all the teachers that worked with her. However, the Assistant Principal used something out of context to give her an “Unsatisfactory” on her last formal classroom observation. She was given an “Unsatifactory” because she did not have conference notes for the entire year, which were only a suggestion. She was getting a satisfactory up to this point (middle of May). She was not given the sufficient amount of classroom observations according to Department of Education Contract and then in June she was suddenly “discontinued”. Teachers “tenured” and “untenured” pay union dues. A contract exists. If you are familiar with contractual law, the Dept of Education is violating the basic principals of employment contract law. This violation of law eventually can affect you and me. Setting this precedent alone is dangerous.

    Has it ever occurred to you that the government may be trying to privatize the school system making it a “profit gain system”? The principal that did this to her is a very ignorant man. Many of her coworkers also told me this. He barely speaks English correctly and has only 3 years of former teacher experience. This may be hard to believe but I am working as a teacher in the private sector and I have heard many horror stories like this about public schools and teachers in bad neighborhood. If schools become Charter schools then someone is making a profit. Also, these ignorant principals are usually hidden away in bad neighborhoods (such as bad sections of the Bronx) with parents that do not know how to complain or fight back. This is a present day atrocity that is happening to many of our good NYC teachers. We cannot and should not write this off. Popular opinion would condemn these individuals. However, popular opinion changes. My belief is these individuals will eventually be vindicated. It has become a witch-hunt. It is almost like black listing people. This type of employment (teaching) is different and often difficult than working in the private sector with difficult children. Please be careful before you pass judgment on all these teachers.


  2. Greg
    September 30, 2009

    Hi JC,

    The case you mentioned sounds unfair, but it’s unwise to rely on the single narrative to make broader judgments. If she’s a great teacher, another school will recognize that, hire her, and value her skills. The principal who did this to her has shot himself in the foot by getting rid of one of this best teachers, and he’ll be on the line soon when the students’ performance decreases.

    One more thing: NO ONE is making a profit off charter schools … because they’re public schools, just like “traditional” DOE schools! They receive the same per-pupil money but are simply free from some of the DOE regulations.


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