A snail’s pace in the rubber room

by Walter Olson on February 24, 2010

After announcing a big campaign to oust bad teachers, New York City has succeeded in firing only three in two years; ten others “settled their cases by resigning or retiring”. There are 55,000 tenured teachers in the city system. [Jennifer Medina, New York Times; Matt Welch, Reason "Hit and Run"] More: New York Times “Room for Debate”.


1 SmartDude 02.24.10 at 1:54 pm

Rubber Rooms are a poster child for school vouchers.

2 sch 02.24.10 at 2:14 pm

Government employee unions are PITA between elections but make up for it at election time. Amazing how little it takes to coopt a government.
This is the future for the union movement.

3 Bob Lipton 02.24.10 at 2:31 pm

thirteen bad teachers out of 55,000?


4 Blackfoot 02.24.10 at 6:11 pm

@Bob Lipton

I think that is 13 that fall to the level of the administration being willing to take the pain to rubberize them.

5 Jack Olson 02.25.10 at 8:24 am

Bob Lipton, about one out of every 2,000 American lawyers is disbarred each year. Only one out of 10 disbarments is permanent since most states permitted disbarred lawyers to get their licenses back. What’s remarkable about New York City’s microscopic rate of dismissal for school teachers is that there is at least one occupation whose practitioners have less job jeopardy than lawyers. If it is true, as most lawyers claim, that their profession’s odious reputation is the fault of a small minority which besmirches the whole profession, then the solution would seem to be to kick that small minority out. If you don’t want to stink, shoot all the skunks. Unfortunately, it seems that most lawyers would rather stink because shooting the skunks takes too much effort.

6 Jeff Gordon 03.01.10 at 2:20 pm

Note to Bob Lipton:
55000 teachers if paid by merit would all be fired.
Parents prefer accuracy ( 2+2=4) rather than self esteem training.
(2 + 2 = 8 but you tried so hard Johnny so it is OK)
Just give us vouchers and all the class rooms will be rubber rooms.
No students

7 William Nuesslein 03.02.10 at 6:34 am

Jeff Gordon,
Where would the schools, and more particularly, the teachers, come from for your voucher system?
The quality of a school is determined by the quality of its students.

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