I’ve never blogged about the “rubber rooms,” but I feel compelled to comment on today’s front page article in the Times which reports that progress is slow in Bloomberg’s goal to rid school’s of bad teachers. I’m not a Bloomberg/Klein fan to begin with, but I know they continue to make the jobs of those in service miserable.
It is outrageous to be constantly reminded that as their cases drag on, teachers who have been removed from the classroom still “receive full pay as they spend each school day with other teachers facing charges of incompetence or misconduct” – at the cost of $30 million a year! I am finally relieved to read that current contract negotioations may enable “bad” teachers to be removed more quickly and they will be suspended without pay while awaiting arbitration. If they are reinstated, they wll receive their salaries plus 50% in back pay. That’s fair enough. After all, what type of self-esteeem can a person of sound mind possess by getting paid for not doing an honest day’s work? Unless they are not of sound mind – and then we’re back to square one. It reminds me of the Orwellian world of Nineteen Eighty-Four in which Winston Smith admittedly worked in a sinecure of a job at the Ministry of Truth. Appointed to a sub-committee of a committee, it was a more highly paid position than his old job had been. It is now 2010 in the City of New York and rubber room salaries are just as unconscionable as bonuses being awarded to exiting Wall Streeters.