To the People

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or TO THE PEOPLE.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

"Accountability Bullshit"

There is a great article in New Yorker about how teacher's unions effectively control the city's school system and have made firing any teacher - no matter how incompetent - impossible.

It focuses on so-called "Rubber Rooms", places where the NYC school system houses the teachers (still getting full pay BTW) it is trying to fire until their cases can be heard:
The [teachers] union’s Web site has a section that features stories highlighting the injustice of the Rubber Rooms. One, which begins “Bravo!,” is about a woman I’ll call Patricia Adams, whose return to her classroom, at a high school in Manhattan, last year is reported as a vindication. The account quotes a speech that Adams made to union delegates; according to the Web site, she received a standing ovation as she declared, “My case should never have been brought to a hearing.” The Web site account continues, “Though she believes she was the victim of an effort to move senior teachers out of the system, the due process tenure system worked in her case.”

On November 23, 2005, according to a report prepared by the Education Department’s Special Commissioner of Investigation, Adams was found “in an unconscious state” in her classroom. “There were 34 students present in [Adams’s] classroom,” the report said. When the principal “attempted to awaken [Adams], he was unable to.” When a teacher “stood next to [Adams], he detected a smell of alcohol emanating from her.”

Adams’s return to teaching, more than two years later, had come about because she and the Department of Education had signed a sealed agreement whereby she would teach for one more semester, then be assigned to non-teaching duties in a school office, if she hadn’t found a teaching position elsewhere. The agreement also required that she “submit to random alcohol testing” and be fired if she again tested positive. In February, 2009, Adams passed out in the office where she had to report every day. A drug-and-alcohol-testing-services technician called to the scene wrote in his report that she was unable even to “blow into breathalyzer,” and that her water bottle contained alcohol. As the stipulation required, she was fired.
It gets even better than that. The author contacted the teacher in question. She said that she sabotaged her own career and the article was a pack of lies put together by the union against her own wishes.

Read the whole thing, especially the bit featuring the teacher who scorns the city's recent efforts at firing bad educators as "accountability bullshit".

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