Rubber Room on “This American Life”

Yesterday, I heard a pretty interesting story on the public radio show “This American Life.” The overall theme of the show was called “Human Resources,” and it will be available at this link (I think?) starting on Monday. The lead story was “The Rubber Room.”

The rubber room is essentially a holding facility for teachers in the New York City school system who have been suspended for something and are awaiting some kind of hearing and/or reassignment. Basically, these people have to show up to this place and do nothing (well, they can play cards, sleep, chat, etc.) for seven hours a day and get paid for it. On face-value, this might seem like some kind of scam. But as the story suggests, it is far from a happy-go-lucky kind of arrangement. Interesting stuff.

They are trying to make a documentary movie about this, and there’s a web site called where you can view a trailer, learn more about the whole set-up, etc.

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