New Mission

New Mission

My idea is to explore how other countries around the world are dealing with education and special education issues. I’d like to see different successful schools, wherever they may be, up close. I’d like to sit down with directors and administrators. I’d like to speak with government officials who keep a pulse on the education affairs of their communities. I want to learn more about education around the globe through speaking with locals, seeing the schools, and shaking hands with the people responsible for implementing the systems. If you know of any outstanding (public or private) special needs schools in other parts of the world, I’d love to hear about them. If you know any education experts from around the world, I’d love to be introduced to them. Please do not hesitate to share your thoughts or ideas. Read more about my mission.

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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Rubber Rooms

The impetus for this post is the article on the front page of today's New York Times suggesting that NYC's "Rubber Rooms" are still alive and kicking.  Cathie Black is going to have her hands full with issues like dealing with the teachers unions, deciding what to do with failing schools, addressing why special education services are being cut as the number of students needing them continues to rise...but one of the foremost issues that she is going to have to deal with is, How in the world can you justify the continued pay of teachers who are "in limbo" as the New York Times says, or prohibited from teaching because there are charges pending against them.  President Obama is looking every which way to save money and reconcile the budget deficit as is evident in his recent announcement to freeze the pay of federal employees.  NYC needs to take a look at itself and if we're spending $30 Million a year in salaries to teachers who are not teaching, maybe NYC can save a few bucks there.  How did this weird arrangement even come about?  Because of the existing contract between NYC and the teachers union which Back is going to have to fix.  Maybe her private sector experience will give her the objective perspective do that.  What if the contract said instead that no teachers who have charges pending against them will get paid during that time but any teacher who is cleared of the charges and reinstated to a teaching position will receive backpay?  Anyway, today's article suggests that Bloomberg may have eliminated the rubber rooms themselves but not the essence of the rubber room problem and this is a ridiculous situation that needs to be corrected fast.