This week, we talk about the health of American educators, why Russian private military companies thrive in Ukraine, changes to drug policy, getting ready for AI conspiracies, what the medical community thinks about providing health care for transgender veterans, and possible gaps in U.S. policy there.
How Are America’s Teachers Doing?
Stress levels at work have reverted to pre-pandemic levels for teachers. Although this may be encouraging news, teachers continue to report lower levels of well-being than the majority of working adults.
- Following are some recent findings from our 2023 State of the American Teacher Survey:
- By the end of the 2022–2023 academic year, 23% of teachers predicted that they would quit their jobs. Their intention to quit was primarily motivated by the job’s stress and disappointment, as well as by money and hours worked.
- Compared to white instructors, black teachers reported much greater rates of burnout. According to Elizabeth Steiner, a co-author of the study, the survey results point to a “pattern that plays out in real life. Compared to white instructors, black teachers do turnover and quit their positions more frequently.
- Female teachers were less likely than male teachers to report feeling resilient to stressful circumstances, and they reported much greater rates of frequent job-related stress and burnout.
- In 2023, 75% of educators said they had access to at least one sort of support for their physical or mental health. Only slightly more than half of the teachers, however, felt that this assistance was sufficient.
Ukraine Is a Breeding Ground for Russian PMCs
The Wagner Group, the largest private military corporation in Russia, has emerged from the shadows as a result of the conflict in Ukraine. Wagner isn’t alone, though. The battle has also prompted the growth of existing private military firms and the establishment of new ones. This “explosion of what are essentially private armies” could have disastrous effects, according to RAND researchers. In the end, the conflict in Ukraine might serve as a starting point for killing caused by Russian PMCs elsewhere in the world.
State and Local Policy Is Changing for Psychedelics. What Will the Feds Do?
The use of psychedelics including psilocybin, MDMA, and LSD as remedies for mental health issues is gaining popularity. This has caused some states and communities to amend their rules, a change similar to what happened with medical marijuana decades ago. According to RAND analysts, the changes are occurring considerably more quickly this time. Additionally, as more states and municipalities liberalize their policies on the sale and use of psychedelics, pressure on federal authorities to tackle difficult ethical issues will increase.