Saturday, August 29, 2009

"There Was No Such Thing As Incompetence"

This article about the New York Schools Chancellor and his efforts to rid the city's school system of is great fun, although if I lived in New York it would be terrifying. Thanks to the unions it is impossible to fire utterly useless teachers and pretty difficult not to promote them but some of the worst of the worst get sent to the "Rubber Room" where they receive full pay but don't go anywhere near a classroom:
Neither the Mayor nor the chancellor is popular in the Rubber Room. “Before Bloomberg and Klein took over, there was no such thing as incompetence,” Brandi Scheiner, standing just under the Manhattan Rubber Room’s “Handle with Care” poster, said recently. Scheiner, who is fifty-six, talks with a raspy Queens accent. Suspended with pay from her job as an elementary-school teacher, she earns more than a hundred thousand dollars a year
They see themselves as a persecuted group, (First they came for the idiots.....):
We talk about human rights in China. What about human rights right here in the Rubber Room?” Seven of the fifteen Rubber Room teachers with whom I spoke compared their plight to that of prisoners at Guantánamo Bay or political dissidents in China or Iran.
The whole thing is here.



Anonymous said...

So if I'm reading the article correctly, teachers only get tenure after three years. There didn't seem to be any mention of the city using those three years as a probationary period to weed out incompetents...

Ross said...

In fairness they might become a good deal more incompetent once they have tenure than they were on probation simply because there are fewer incentives to stay on the right track.