Posts tagged "RIP rubber rooms"
April 23, 2010
Mayor Bloomberg and UFT President Michael Mulgrew got a lot of applause when they vowed to shut down the city’s infamous “rubber rooms” by December. But that might be an impossible goal.
The trouble hinges on the fact that the city has not ended the practice of granting a trial to all teachers accused of incompetence or misconduct. It has simply decided to speed up those trials, which take place in a lower Manhattan office building across from Tweed Courthouse, presided over by paid attorneys called arbitrators who act as judge and jury.
To speed up the trials, the city has promised to nearly double the number of arbitrators starting in September, and also to increase the number of days they work on teacher cases each month to seven from five. By doing this, the city and the union claim, all of the nearly 650 teachers still waiting for a verdict will get one by December.
But a GothamSchools analysis shows that, to meet this goal, the city will have to force arbitrators to cram multiple hearings into each working day — a rate that is now unprecedented. (more…)
April 16, 2010
When he announced that he would close the city’s infamous rubber rooms yesterday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg declared, “To say that this is a big deal is an understatement.”
The agreement will shutter the reassignment centers where teachers accused of misconduct or incompetence wait idly for their cases to be heard, a process both the city and union have accused each other of dragging on interminably. But the deal, which was struck outside of formal contract negotiations, does little to resolve the most contentious issues the city and union have long fought over.
Yesterday’s rubber room agreement traded one largely-ignored time-line for hearing cases for a speedier one. Union and city officials pledged to strictly adhere to the faster schedule and clear out the backlog of cases by the end of the year.
“We want a faster, fairer process,” United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew said. “That’s the way this process should work and that’s what this agreement does.”
The deal does little to make it easier to fire teachers for incompetence, a major goal of the Bloomberg administration that the union bitterly opposes. Nor does it address a costlier problem: the pool of teachers who remain on the city’s payroll after losing their positions to school budget cuts or school closings. (more…)