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Rubber rooms and ATR: separate issues

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  • John M. Beam
    Absolutely. My point was that we have to be careful not to promote confusion of two distinct set of issues. I did my best to lay out the two mechanisms as
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 2, 2010
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      Absolutely.  My point was that we have to be careful not to promote confusion of two distinct set of issues.

      I did my best to lay out the two mechanisms as neutrally as possible.  I do think that conflation (a la David Brooks) of the two as well as the pundits' notion that ATRs are the folks no principal wants end up casting aspersions on all the folks who find themselves in either situation.

      John.


      At 02:55 PM 1/2/2010 -0500, you wrote:
       

      Yes, in response to John, but I also don't want our response to be such that we suggest that the "rubber room" occupants are less deserving.  It's our basic legal system--innocence is presumed - in which case they are all in the same situation.  It's one thing - in cases of serious charges - to pull someone out before the evidence is compiled and a hearing set.  But we are talking about people whose lives we have ruined--in the case of the "rubber room"--based only on their supervisor's opinion.  erring on the side of student safety is okay--for a reasonable limited time.  It's in our somehow seeing the ATRs as the worthy and the latter as the incompetents that I believe we need to find a term for describing them both!!  Teachers-in-limbo--possibly forever?

      Deb

      On Sat, Jan 2, 2010 at 1:00 PM, John M. Beam <John_Beam@...> wrote:
       

      I'm not sure because I have not read every single post for this thread, but I think sometimes our discussion (e.g., the exchange below?) echoes David Brooks in confusing the rubber rooms (for folks waiting for determination of alleged mal- and misfeasance) and wherever the folks whose jobs were eliminated, (supposedly) due to budget consideration/bumping/etc. (ATR), have to bide their time. 

      Happy New Year all.

      John


      At 10:19 PM 1/1/2010 -0500, you wrote:
       

      Leo--

      But what is the DOE's vs the UFT's explanation about why this Rubber Room process takes so long?  What provisions in the contract enable this to happen?  The same thing happened to my daughter, but it would have been resolved within a year--at most--and by that time they came to a settlement.  f course the AFT contract in Massachusetts (the town she tught in) may be very different.  They fired her at short notice and cut off her pay and she had to appeal. 

      Where did the term rubber room come from.

      I ask all this because the power of that Brill story is amazing and it gets brought up to me oer and over and I want to overwhlemthe the next time with my detailed knowledge!  Did you or some else write a detailed reply to Brill? 

      Deb

      On Fri, Jan 1, 2010 at 7:10 PM, Leo Casey <lcasey@...> wrote:
      ATR is an acronym for Absent Teacher Reserve. ATRs are teachers, both tenured and probationary, who were excessed from their schools for any one of a whole host of possible reasons. Most often, they were teachers in a closing school and were unable to find a regular appointment in another school, but they could also have been excessed for budgetary reasons, because the school lost population or because the program in which they taught was phased out. ATRs are -- contrary to the spin out of Tweed -- satisfactory teachers. In the ATR pool, they are supposed to be covering classes of sick teachers on a daily basis. In fact, today many ATRs -- maybe even a majority -- are actually teaching regular classes. In either case, they would not be free to grade exams.
      Tenured teachers are sent to the reassignment centers [A.K.A. rubber rooms] when they are accused of a serious misdeed or accused of incompetence. [A probationary teacher would be dismissed.] In most cases, they remain in the rubber room until actual charges are preferred against them, leading to a 3020a dismissal hearing and a finding of some sort. There are, however, a number of teachers who are sent back to schools without charges ever being preferred. The obvious conclusion is that they should never have been removed, although we have yet to see a principal disciplined for an inappropriate removal. Although teachers in a reassignment center could be given a work assignment, the DoE probably thinks this would undermine their claims of incompetence.

      Leo Casey
      Vice President, Academic High Schools
      United Federation of Teachers
      52 Broadway, 14th Floor
      New York, New York 10004
      212-598-6869



      -----Original Message-----
      From: Deborah Meier [ mailto:deborah.meier@...]
      Sent: Fri 1/1/2010 6:30 PM
      To: lrn1212@...; Leo Casey
      Subject: Re: [nyceducationnews] Using ATRs and "Disciplinary Center" Teachers to Grade State Tests
      Thanks for the clarification.  The way both are treated are awful reminders
      of what it means to be a NYC teacher these days and makes it easy to
      understand why they ATRs have been set-up to resist change since they --
      especially senior teachers - are likely to find it hard and discouraging to
      go on a job search.  And will the next school also soon be closed?  How may
      of the ATRs are now in schools being proposed for closure.
      As for the "rubber room"--who coined that term?  Ugly isn't it?  What is it
      in the contrazct between teachers and management that takes 7 years to
      settle?
      Deb
      On Fri, Jan 1, 2010 at 5:45 PM, <lrn1212@...> wrote:
      >  ATR's are different than the teachers in the "Reassigment Centers"
      > (rubber rooms).  ATR's (Absent Teacher Reserves) are teachers who have been
      > excessed or lost their jobs because their schools have been closed.  Lisa
      >
      >
      >  -----Original Message-----
      > From: Deborah Meier <deborah.meier@... >
      > To: nyceducationnews@yahoogroups.com
      > Cc: Leo Casey <lcasey@...>
      > Sent: Fri, Jan 1, 2010 4:38 pm
      > Subject: Re: [nyceducationnews] Using ATRs and "Disciplinary Center"
      > Teachers to Grade State Tests
      >
      >
      >  Thanks for reminding us that the ATR teachers are not in fact guilty of
      > anything until charged, "tried" and found so.  They could be you or me.
      > But, indeed, I think the idea of their being given decent choices of useful
      > work to do would be a good idea.  Better yet would be to remember thay
      > constitutional requirement for appropriately speedy justice.   In the
      > meantime we need to take every opportunity possible to remind others that no
      > one is as yet gulty of anything--even incompetence.  What is sure is that
      > they annoyed (properly or improperly) their boss, and that they are probably
      > sufficiently senior so that cheaper teazchers can fill their plaes.  What
      > data do we hae on theor status?
      >
      > Deb
      >
      >  On Fri, Jan 1, 2010 at 2:16 PM, <monica_ayuso@... > wrote:
      >
      >>
      >>   The budget cuts this year warrants another review of this policy. Did
      >> any CEC include this issue in their Annual Report 2009?
      >> Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T
      >> ------------------------------
      >>  *From: * "Leonie Haimson" <leonie@...>
      >>  *Date: *Fri, 1 Jan 2010 11:56:12 -0500
      >>  *To: *< nyceducationnews@yahoogroups.com>
      >> *Subject: *RE: [nyceducationnews] Using ATRs and "Disciplinary Center"
      >> Teachers to Grade State Tests
      >>
      >>
      >>    Thanks for the kind words Mel; of course the DOE could and would
      >> assign the approximately 1,000 teachers on ATR to scoring exams, if they
      >> really cared about our kids.
      >>
      >> Last year when Patrick asked them why they didn't use the ATR teachers for
      >> this task, the accountability office responded that they wanted the highest
      >> quality teachers to score exams - in one fell swoop, slandering the ATR
      >> teachers who are on absent reserve through no fault of their own, and at the
      >> same time, revealing how the DOE considers scoring tests more important than
      >> allowing teachers to stay in the classroom to teach our kids.
      >>
      >> Perhaps Patrick can share with us the email from the Accountability office
      >> from last year.
      >>
      >> Happy New Year to all and let's hope for a far better one than 2009.
      >>
      >>  Leonie Haimson
      >> Executive Director
      >> Class Size Matters
      >> 124 Waverly Pl.
      >> New York, NY 10011
      >> 212-674-7320
      >> classsizematters@ <classsizematters@m>gmail.com
      >> www.classsizematters.org
      >> http://nycpublicschoolparents.blogspot.com/
      >> http://www.huffingtonpost.com/leonie-haimson
      >>  *Make a tax-deductible contribution< http://www.nycharities.org/donate/c_donate.asp?CharityCode=1757>to Class Size Matters now!
      >> *
      >> *Subscribe to Class Size Matters news by emailing *
      >> classsizematters-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
      >> *Subscribe to the NYC education news by emailing *
      >> nyceducationnews-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
      >>
      >>  ------------------------------
      >>  *From:* nyceducationnews@yahoogroups.com [mailto:
      >> nyceducationnews@yahoogroups.com] *On Behalf Of *melmeer1@...
      >> *Sent:* Friday, January 01, 2010 10:30 AM
      >> *To:* nyceducationnews@yahoogroups.com
      >> *Subject:* [nyceducationnews] Using ATRs and "Disciplinary Center"
      >> Teachers to Grade State Tests
      >>
      >>
      >>   Happy New Year to everyone on this listserve and especially to Leonie
      >>   who makes it all possible. The listserv and Leonie--two fabulous
      >> resources!
      >>
      >> There is an extended email discussion in NE Queens regarding taking
      >> teachers out of the classroom so that they may grade state ELA and math
      >> tests. An effort is being mounted here to seek help from local elected
      >> officials to oppose the DOE on this issue. It will come before our
      >> Community Board (Queens 11) on Monday evening and proceed from there to
      >> other local CBs and CDECs. Among things being discussed is if teachers
      >> on full salary in "disciplinary centers" (or rubber rooms) can be
      >> assigned to do the grading.
      >>
      >> Apparently Joel Klein remarked that the UFT contract would prohibit
      >> that. But I know that just because Klein says something, that doesn't
      >> necessarily mean that it is so.
      >>
      >> I reviewed the UFT contract (which is on line), especially its Article
      >> 21, Due Process and Review Procedures. I can find in it no prohibition
      >> against using teachers suspended with pay for this purpose. It may be
      >> that there is a judicial decision I don't know about that mandates this
      >> prohibition. I would appreciate any information from a knowledgeable
      >> source. It seems almost criminal to take teachers out of the classrooms
      >> and NOT use these teachers for this or a similar purpose.
      >>
      >> At one point in a similar discussion someone made an analogy to a police
      >> officer placed on some sort of suspension with pay because of an alleged
      >> misconduct. Generally such an officer, though relieved of his normal
      >> responsibility, is given a desk job pending the outcome of his
      >> disciplinary process.
      >>
      >> Similarly for ATRs.
      >>
      >> Mel Meer
      >>
      >
      >
      >
      > --
      > Deborah Meier
      > deborah.meier@...
      > Visit my website: http://www.deborahmeier.com
      >
      > Also visit Meier and Ravitch on  Ed Week Blog at http:/
      > blogs.edweek.org/edweek/Bridging-Differences/
      >


      --
      Deborah Meier
      deborah.meier@...
      Visit my website: http://www.deborahmeier.com
      Also visit Meier and Ravitch on  Ed Week Blog at http:/
      blogs.edweek.org/edweek/Bridging-Differences/


      *******************************************************************************
      The views, opinions, and judgments expressed in this message are solely those of the author. The message contents have not been reviewed or approved by the UFT.
      *******************************************************************************




      --
      Deborah Meier
      deborah.meier@...
      Visit my website: http://www.deborahmeier.com

      Also visit Meier and Ravitch on  Ed Week Blog at http:/ blogs.edweek.org/edweek/Bridging-Differences/




      --
      Deborah Meier
      deborah.meier@...
      Visit my website: http://www.deborahmeier.com

      Also visit Meier and Ravitch on  Ed Week Blog at http:/ blogs.edweek.org/edweek/Bridging-Differences/
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