The Great Migration: Educators Leaving the Profession & the Impact it has on Students

Alternative Entrepreneurship Education Choices. Protohack.org

With the pandemic forcing schools online over the past two years, an already dwindling education workforce is seeing a dramatic increase in teachers leaving the profession. Top reasons for this mass exodus include burnout and lack of appropriate compensation, as well as fears related to contracting covid in an in-person setting particularly for those teachers who are in high-risk categories. This is exacerbated by the fact that many teachers are no longer able to cultivate meaningful relationships with their students over this new online format.

The National Education Association poll conducted in January 2022, reported that 90% of its members say that feeling burned out is a serious problem; 86% say they have seen more educators leaving the profession or retiring early since the start of the pandemic; and 80% report that unfilled job openings have led to more work obligations for those left. These rates are even higher among Black and Hispanic/Latino educators.[1] Similar research from the RAND Corporation 2021 State of the U.S. Teacher Survey found nearly one in four teachers said that they were likely to leave their jobs by the end of the 2020–2021 school year, compared with one in six teachers who were likely to leave, on average, prior to the pandemic. [2] In particular, Black or African American teachers were more likely to leave.[3]

 

The result of teachers leaving their positions for new and more prosperous positions outside of the field is devastating for students. This is particularly true for students of color and those with disabilities. Studies show educators leaving the profession has a direct correlation to a decline in students’ success. “Research shows that high teacher turnover rates in schools negatively impact student achievement for all students in a school, not just those in a new teacher’s classroom.”[4] Further, “these rates are highest in schools serving low-income and students and students of color.”[5]

 

Class sizes are ballooning as remaining teachers are forced to consolidate classes. Students’ schedules are being changed to accommodate for this lack of educators. Some students are forced into classes that they may have no interest in or are being switched mid-school year into an entirely new class with new faces and new material.

 

Further complicating matters is the fact that the pool of applicants to fill these vacant positions is scarce, and those who are available may be grossly underqualified.

 

So, what gives? The National Education Association (NEA) says money should be top of mind. NEA supports raising salaries and hiring more people.[6] Specifically, they are pushing that American Rescue Plan money should be used to increase pay and establish new positions.[7] Their message is clear: if we don’t act now, we may be doing irreparable harm.

[1] https://www.nea.org/about-nea/media-center/press-releases/nea-survey-massive-staff-shortages-schools-leading-educator

[2] https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RRA1108-1.html.

[3] https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RRA1108-1.html.

[4] https://learningpolicyinstitute.org/blog/why-addressing-teacher-turnover-matters#:~:text=High%20turnover%20undermines%20student%20achievement&text=Research%20shows%20that%20high%20teacher,students%20and%20students%20of%20color

[5] https://learningpolicyinstitute.org/blog/why-addressing-teacher-turnover-matters#:~:text=High%20turnover%20undermines%20student%20achievement&text=Research%20shows%20that%20high%20teacher,students%20and%20students%20of%20color

[6] https://www.npr.org/2022/02/01/1076943883/teachers-quitting-burnout.

[7] https://www.npr.org/2022/02/01/1076943883/teachers-quitting-burnout.

Teaching Intro to Juvenile Law in Street Law

 

Being a Street Law instructor involves teaching teenage youth. This is a group of people whose laws if charged as a juvenile is separate from adult law. Many may not know, where some may. Regardless of the importance of teaching the youth about the processes and procedures of their “separate” laws, typically based on policy or precedent, can be important to developing their advocacy skills.

An important aspect to teach the students in Street Law is about representation by a lawyer for a juvenile defender. First and foremost, if ever questioned by a police officer when being detained for a possible crime or suspect to one ask for representation. Typically, when telling the students about asking for a lawyer in the street law course many students are curious to know when to know to ask for a lawyer when being questioned by an officer. The response to this, is the person who is being questioned needs to ask the officer, “am I free to leave?” If the officer responds no, then that is when you may ask for a lawyer.

This typically leads to Miranda Warnings and students’ rights at school. To be able to teach Miranda is very important in knowing one’s rights when being questioned by law enforcement. When teaching the students about Miranda Warnings, usually the lesson will involve the difference between casual conversation, reasonable suspicion, and probable cause. There are many activities done with the students during this lesson to understand the actions that lead to custody and know when Miranda Warnings should be read to them.

When discussing how to get representation, an important policy to bring up with the students from Texas is the Fair Defense Act which “requires each county’s juvenile board to adopt a plan for the appointment of counsel to youth whose families are unable to afford counsel and sets out basic guidelines for the appointment process.” To know that there is a strong possibility of help when coming from a low-income or socioeconomic background can be reassuring with getting representation.

Another important aspect of juvenile defense that can be taught in Street Law is about representation when it comes to mental health disorders. The importance has to do with the rehabilitation of the juvenile towards their actions if they are the culprit of their alleged crime. It is important that the juvenile defense lawyer gets this information and if the juvenile defender fails to ask, it is important for the juvenile to tell the lawyer. This may be a step that is possibly forgotten from time to time and is imperative to help the charged juvenile. When there is a possibility that the charged juvenile has a mental health disorder, once it is told to the lawyer then it may be important to get an evaluation. The outcome of this evaluation will help the court make a better decision towards the charged juveniles’ well-being and the juvenile’s rehabilitation efforts if convicted of the crime.

Juvenile Law is very broad and can be applicable in many situations for teenagers and youth. For them to understand their basic constitutional rights can help in many different situations. Teaching this lesson will empower youth to advocate for themselves in many situations.

Weekly Roundup

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is linked to delayed brain development, The Washington Post

For the first time, scientists can point to substantial empirical evidence that people with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder have brain structures that differ from those of people without ADHD. The common disorder, they conclude, should be considered a problem of delayed brain maturation and not, as it is often portrayed, a problem of motivation or parenting. Read more.

Depression Strikes Today’s Teen Girls Especially Hard, NPR

It’s tough to be a teenager. Hormones kick in, peer pressures escalate and academic expectations loom large. Kids become more aware of their environment in the teen years — down the block and online. The whole mix of changes can increase stress, anxiety and the risk of depression among all teens, research has long shown.

But a recent study published in the journal Pediatrics suggests many more teenage girls in the U.S. may be experiencing major depressive episodes at this age than boys. And the numbers of teens affected took a particularly big jump after 2011, the scientists note, suggesting that the increasing dependence on social media by this age group may be exacerbating the problem. Read more.

School district chiefs: Proposed Medicaid changes would hurt poor children and students with disabilities, The Washington Post

A new survey of school district leaders across the country finds that they are deeply worried that Republican proposals to refinance Medicaid, if they become law, would hurt students who live in poverty and those with disabilities and in special education. Read more.

Student Discipline in Schools: Part of the Problem or the Solution?, Campus Safety

More and more school districts and local officials around the country are considering revising their student disciplinary policies.

The efforts reflect a change in the approach to fostering a positive school climate that has gained support as additional research has come out on the impact on certain punishments on children.

An increasing number of organizations have begun supporting alternatives to long-used methods of student punishment like expulsion, suspension, restraint and seclusion.

Most notably, the Department of Education has begun actively promoting school environments that are safe, supportive and conductive to learning. Read more.

Study: Listening to youths could improve justice system, TribLive

Allegheny County could improve its juvenile justice system — along with the lives of the region’s poorest and most vulnerable children — by doing more to listen to juvenile offenders, identify disruptions in their home lives and incorporate their input into policymaking, a report published Monday found.

The Pittsburgh Foundation announced the completion of an eight-month study that involved partnering with community-based nonprofits to interview 53 youths and young adults with former or active cases in the county’s juvenile justice system. Foundation officials expect the 31-page report’s findings to spur grantmaking opportunities and community partnerships. Read more.

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