With the recent agreement the city made with the public school principals' union in the news for it's unusual additions (like a $25,000 incentive for principals to head schools in difficult areas), we suggest you also read the Village Voice article about teachers in "rubber rooms" for the underbelly of the public school dealings. The "rubber rooms" are where teachers who are in the middle of disputes, whether they've been rightly or unfairly removed from teaching duties.

One teacher, Georgia Argyis, who was asked to sign a document that accused her to pulling a kindergartener's arm - and then Argyis yelled at the principal and made remarks about her weight, said that being the rubber room was "like being a vegetable."

Rubber room hours match that of a typical school day—Argyris would sign in at 8:30 a.m. and be released at 3:20 in the afternoon, with a 50-minute lunch break. Like something out of a dystopian fairy tale, however, this school had no children, just a few cafeteria workers, social workers, and custodians who shared the same lot...

Because teachers in rubber rooms are awaiting their cases to be heard, they aren't technically being punished. But they are restricted from numerous activities—they can't use MP3 players, telephones, or laptop computers. (Most flout those rules, however, and use various devices openly.)...

To keep occupied, teachers read, play games like Scrabble or chess, or work on their screenplays. Art teachers work on paintings. Masters degrees get completed. Last year at the Seventh Avenue rubber room, a group of teachers taught each other to knit. Exercise is a popular activity.

Another teacher told the Voice, "It's high school on steroids. Or maybe a mixture between a minimum security prison and a senior home." And the teachers are getting paid all during this time.

And last fall, John Stossel had an "epic" explanation of the bureaucracy that occurs when trying to fire a teacher. See the two page PDF, which explains that the teacher has to sign a document, it doesn't necessarily mean the teacher agrees he/she did anything wrong, it seems more like an acknowledgment the teacher knows what's going on.