News – The sandstorm: the exodus from education

The reopening of schools is fast approaching and a large number of parents have chosen not to attend public schools. Over the past two school years, K-12 enrollment has fallen nearly 3%, or about 1.3 million students nationwide, according to a recent study by the American Enterprise Institute. . Children who had gone to closed schools during the Covid panic were much less likely to return to a traditional public school (TPS).

School districts in major cities have experienced mass exoduses. In New York, there were more than one million students enrolled in the 2019-20 school year, but the city projects that only 760,439 children will be in attendance by the end of 2022-23.

Chicago students also leave the plantation. There were around 400,000 participants in 2010. This number has fallen to around 330,000 in March 2021, with much larger losses expected when updated registration figures are released. Additionally, of Chicago’s 478 TPS, nearly a third are less than half full. Additionally, the 20 most abandoned schools in Windy City are only 5% to 25% full.

Los Angeles also bleeds children. Enrollment in district schools peaked in 2002‐03 at 747,000. But 19 years later, that number has dropped to 430,000 students. The 2020-2021 school year was particularly shocking as attendance fell by more than 27,000 students, a drop of nearly 6%, a steeper drop than in any recent year. What is even more shocking is that, as reported by the Los Angeles Times, nearly half of Los Angeles Unified students — more than 200,000 children — have been chronically absent this school year, meaning they’ve missed at least 9% of the school year.

While the hysterical TPS response to Covid is probably the single biggest cause of plummeting numbers in major cities, other reasons include a lower birth rate, families moving to more tax-friendly states , too much instruction on sex, gender and critical race theory, etc. .

As children give up on TPS, do teachers say goodbye too? According to recent reports, they are – or are about to be – en masse. In February 2022, the National Education Association released the results of a survey which found that “55% of educators plan to leave the profession sooner than they expected”. More recently, the Rand Corp. reported that about a third of teachers and principals said they were likely to leave their current job.

Mainstream media generally embraced the impending shortage. Earlier this month, a Washington Post title read, “I’ve never seen it so bad: America faces a catastrophic teacher shortage.” While claiming we’re on the brink of an apocalypse, the author is at least honest enough to admit that “no national database is precisely tracking the problem.”

The scarcity scenario is however highly unlikely. As I wrote recently, teacher shortage hysteria has been with us since 1920. Moreover, “multiple studies of teacher turnover have found no evidence of unusually large attrition,” according to one new report from the Rand Corp. Yes, asking teachers about what they plan to do versus what they actually do yields very different results. The Rand report also explains: “In short, we believe it is the increase in the number of staff they are looking to employ rather than an exodus from teaching that is straining the teacher labor market. More than three-quarters of district leaders surveyed said they had increased their substitute and/or regular teaching staff above pre-pandemic levels in the spring of 2022.”

In fact, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the quit rate for teachers is about half that of private sector workers. Mike Antonucci also provides an important clarification. Included in the “Quits” column are those who left their current job to accept another job. “So if a teacher leaves District A for a better paying job in District B, she quits and is counted in the statistics. If we look at quits without looking at hires, we only get half the picture.

So while the predicted teacher shortage is unlikely to occur, student disappearances are a reality. As school boards across the country desperately try to find a way to stem the bleeding, the Los Angeles Unified School District has a plan. He concocted a three-pronged strategy to deal with his chronic absenteeism. The district will tell its teachers to “pay close attention to student mental health” while “administrators will focus on building strong relationships with parents.” It’s unclear how much good these actions will do, but they’re not unreasonable. The third element, however, is counterproductive…to put it mildly. The district says “schools will move from punitive to restorative practices.”

Of all the well-meaning but harmful fads that have become part of the script in our public schools, “restorative justice” and other similar non-consequences for deliberate defiance and worse, are probably the most destructive. Restorative justice makes life miserable for well-behaved students and teachers. It turns teachers into therapists and emphasizes ‘the integrity of victim and aggressor’ and involves ‘open discussion of feelings’. Unsurprisingly, the teachers’ unions – with their radical agenda at the forefront – are in favor of it, saying absurdly: “Building real relationships with students must be the top priority”.

Like so many progressive ideas, restorative justice is not evidence-based. As Max Eden reported in 2019, the tally for academic studies of the effects of restorative justice and similar forms of disciplinary reform on school districts is three negatives (Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, Philadelphia) and one nil/positive. (Chicago). Eden adds, “In terms of student surveys, my tally has four negatives (NYC, Los Angeles, Washoe County, Seattle) and one negative/positive (Chicago). As for local teacher surveys, I saw eleven negative (Oklahoma City, Baton Rouge, Portland, Jackson, Denver, Syracuse, Santa Ana, Hillsborough, Madison, Charleston, Buffalo) and one positive (Pittsburgh) . (In the latter case, teachers reported improved school safety and classroom management ability, but students had a different view. deteriorated and students in the classroom were less respectful and supportive of each other; in the meantime, they reported bullying and more instruction time wasted due to the disruptions. And although restorative justice is presented as a way to combat the ‘school-to-prison pipeline’, it had no impact on student arrests.”

So, in the wake of the education establishment run by a teachers’ union forcing schools to close unnecessarily during Covid, growing dissatisfaction with highly inappropriate curricula, and a growing restorative justice movement as a means of Stemming a frightening increase in student violence, children are fleeing the system.

It should be noted that, without the burden of mismanagement of the TPS, charter schools, private schools and home schooling are thriving. Is anyone surprised?

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