Education

NYT Education Writer: Putting 1% of Public School Teachers in Rubber Rooms Is "Understandable"

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Unlike Steven Brill!

New York Times education writer Michael Winerip has a piece up today criticizing the way that Steven Brill treats public school teachers in his new book Class Warfare: Inside the Fight to Fix America's Schools. Along the way Winerip inadvertently reveals how New York City can continue tolerating its intolerable "rubber rooms" for teachers not good enough to teach but not bad enough to fire:

Until this project, Mr. Brill, 61, had rarely written about education. Nor was he well acquainted with public schools — he graduated from Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts and sent his three children to private schools.

The book grew from his New Yorker article two years ago about rubber rooms, where the city's most dysfunctional teachers spent idle days, collecting salaries while waiting months or years for their cases to be resolved. "I see a guy asleep with his head on a desk and alarm clock," Mr. Brill recalled in an interview. "I see another guy, if he were in a room with my daughter, I'd call the police."

There were 744 teachers in rubber rooms at the time. For some, that is understandable in a system of 77,000 teachers; to Mr. Brill, it was a prime example of a union more interested in protecting its members than in educating children.

Mr. Brill, a writer ("Teamsters," 1978), lawyer (Yale '75) and entrepreneur (founder of Court TV and the American Lawyer publication), knows that every story needs a villain or an evil force. In "Class Warfare," the problem is not the poverty the children experience, the violence they see in their homes and neighborhoods or the lack of vocabulary that the sons and daughters of adults who did not finish high school often take with them to kindergarten.

The villains of Mr. Brill's story are bad teachers coddled by unions.

Emphasis mine, because of wow. Reason on rubber rooms here.

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  1. so reason would wave due process for members of TEH [UNIONZ] ?

    1. Its not a due process issue.

      Its a contract issue.

      There’s a difference.

      1. Leave him alone. He’s just saying what MNG told him to say.

      2. its due process if the NYC school board or admin, as govt agents, summarily dismisses.

        1. Nope. Still not due process, even if a government is doing the firing.

    2. How many years should this due process take, stOOpid?

  2. …and govt employees

  3. The villains of Mr. Brill’s story are bad teachers coddled by unions.

    They should be your villains too, dipshit.

  4. 744 isn’t enough. Any major corporation will remove several percent a year in under-performing employees.

    1. We don’t have “several percent” who “under-perform”, and even if we did, we’re not evil like TEH CORPORASHUNZ!

  5. Fire nonperforming employees, instead of warehousing them?

    INCONCEIVABLE!

  6. Take off you hosers!

    1. Steamroller!!!

  7. Until this project, Mr. Brill, 61, had rarely written about education. Nor was he well acquainted with public schools ? he graduated from Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts and sent his three children to private schools.

    Galloping Jeezis on a trampoline.

    SHUT THE FUCK UP, MICHAEL WINERIP!

    1. According to Mr. Winerip, the president is also unqualified to speak about American public schools since neither he nor his children have attended one.

      1. I’m willing to bet MATT DAMON’s kids don’t go to public school either.

        1. Hey! It’s for our own good!

    2. it must not have occurred to Winerip that perhaps Brill sent his kids to private school because he WAS acquainted with the public system and wanted no part of it.

  8. Matt:

    Not to mention the fact that the point of the Rubber Room piece was that this was emblematic of a larger problem of accountability. By the way you can find my comment on Mr. Winerip’s piece on Reuters http://blogs.reuters.com/great…..-winerip/]

      1. This made my day…SF *fixed* a link!

    1. Thanks for dropping by.

      1. “”the near-venom of his piece today, speaks for itself.“”

        Yeah, there were a number of low-blow, rhetorical gimmicks.

        One I liked:

        And that is what so scares those of us who see traditional public schools as vital to democracy:…

        Read = Brill does not care about Democracy. Or teh children.

  9. … he graduated from Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts and sent his three children to private schools …. Mr. Brill, a writer (“Teamsters,” 1978), lawyer (Yale ’75) and entrepreneur ….. With his legal training and business background….

    …The book is called “Class Warfare.”

    The article ends (after the drawn-out insinuation that Brill is clearly an ‘anti-democracy’, private-school (rich!), pro-capitalist dirtbag with rich friends) with THIS =

    “”The book ultimately concludes that only the union can supply quality veteran teachers on the scale needed.””

    It reads like a smug, “see?? Even these deluded ‘reformers’ ultimately agree with me? He’s still a shit, though””

    He spends 90% of the article trying to debunk and discredit the guy… then says, “and EVEN HE like the unions now!! HA HA!!”

    I’m not sure I get his point at all, other than we should all agree that Brill is kind of a cocksucker.

    FWIW, Winerip went to Harvard!! ELITIST!

    I may have misread the piece, but it strikes me that his key message is, “these reformers suck”

    …but has no real argument as to why its wrong to point the finger at teachers and their poor incentives,… or what any version of ‘better’ reform should look like…

    If you’re going to defend the Status Quo, at least pretend it *doesnt suck*. Most of the ‘defenders of teachers’ simply try and shoot down the critics (“Charter schools aren’t *always* better!!”) but never present any possible ‘solutions’ to the abysmal shittyness of NYC’s public school system. Invariably they resort to saying there’s nothing you can do…’teaching poor people *is hard*! Its not that we’re shitty teachers…its that *they’re poor*! Which is your fault, rich fucker!!”

    Clearly public schools can’t be fixed until we’ve implemented a widespread social-justice program to make teacher’s jobs easier.

    Perhaps thats something of a interpretation of the old Al Smith saying, “The cure for democracy’s flaws is more democracy!!”

    “Democracy” in this case meaning, “giant bureacracies that no longer provide any value to the public that pays for them, and are totally unresponsive to their needs or concerns…

  10. A great companion read:
    http://mjperry.blogspot.com/20…..s-and.html

    1. Summary: education students get inflated grades from education “professors” and the culture of low standards self-perpetuates…

  11. “”The book ultimately concludes that only the union can supply quality veteran teachers on the scale needed.””

    Whaaaaaa?

    If not for the weaselly qualifier :veteran” that statement would be unmitigated bullshit.

  12. Nor was he well acquainted with public schools ? he graduated from Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts and sent his three children to private schools.

    That’s some serious bullshit. Brill went to public school through middle school, then got a scholarship to go to a private high school. If he valued that private school experience, sending his kids to a private school is consistent with his opinion, and says nothing about how informed he is about schools.

    And in a real market, the opinions of the consumers of services, not just the producers, should matter.

    If a substantial part of the problem was poverty and not bad teachers

    Yo, the US consistently underperforms poorer nations.

  13. For some, that is understandable in a system of 77,000 teachers

    See that bold? Textbook weasel words. But then again, I suppose weaseling out of things is what separates us from the animals. (Except the weasel.)

    1. Speaking of obsessed weirdos…

    2. Regulation is the best friend of an honest businessman.

      I stopped around here. Way too stupid.

  14. In “Class Warfare,” the problem is not the poverty the children experience, the violence they see in their homes and neighborhoods or the lack of vocabulary that the sons and daughters of adults who did not finish high school often take with them to kindergarten.

    And just HOW is a intransigent bureaucratic system that won’t dismiss the incompetent supposed to be the best way to deal with this?

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