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Literature Review of Organizational Change Issues

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Assignment 1: Literature Review of Organizational Change Issues

Three Leadership Issues to be Addressed in the Next Five Years

Educational leaders within correctional institutions are faced with just as many or more challenges than public education. Educational leaders within prisons will face various challenges while meeting youth offender’s educational needs.  Certified trained staff, funding for programs, technology and public policy in correctional education are issues that leaders may have to address within the next five years.  According to Snyder & Hoffman, (2003), there have been major shifts in policy at the national level for education; however, the particulars can vary from state to state.  

The Importance of these Issues at Trenton Correctional Institution

        As a result of a shortage across various states for certified teachers at Trenton Correctional Institution are facing issues of finding certified trained staff that are willing to work within the correction department.   While shortage is not just a issue for correctional facilities, it is problem within many school districts.  However, according to Snyder & Hoffman, (2003), instructing prisoners requires teachers that are one-third entertainer, one-third philosopher, and one-third WWF pro-wrestler. Teachers have to be trained to understand that teaching within a correctional institution can be different than teaching in a classroom because they should build a rapport that must remain within the curriculum. Staff must be trained that they should not be personal with inmates and that they are to ensure that all learners are able to complete the education program.

In addition, considering America’s prisons are overcrowded, budgets are strained, and it’s proven that prison education reduces recidivism, funding should be priority. Yet, it isn’t. A study conducted by the non-profit RAND Corporation (Irving, 2014), on behalf of the federal Bureau of Justice Assistance found that states reduced funding for prison education programs by an average of 6% between fiscal years 2009 and 2012.  My organization funding has been cut well over 10% within the last year and it has been a challenge ensuring that educational requirements are being met with the correct amount of staff to inmate ratio.  

Moreover, one of the major concerns within the institution right now is ensuring the curriculum is following the same standards as required by the state.  According to Johnson (2011), recent changes to GED testing will pose another threat to prison education programs.  As a result of the state realigning to Common Core State Standards and computer-based exams have had a major impact on training staff, curriculum resources for staff as well as switching to computer-based exams within the learner’s correctional facility.  According to Johnson (2011),   educators will need to be prepared to teach the [new standards] and prepare students for a more rigorous GED test that will require students to demonstrate high-level thinking skills and exhibit deeper levels of knowledge in four subject areas.”  Yet, the most difficult challenge within the next five years is the limited technology resources within our prison because the state is working to freeze and limit the use of technology due to inmates breaking the law to utilize it.

Focus Issue

 One of the major issues is ensuring that staff is being trained and aware of the standards for the state.  As a result of budget cuts, staff members are not always able to attend professional developments that will train them on breaking the standards down and what students need to know in order to pass test for their GED.  Therefore, as an educational leader, it is imperative that teachers understand the curriculum in which they are required to teach as well as ensure that they have the resources necessary to teach.  Growing evidence suggests that this kind of professional development not only makes teachers feel better about their practice, but it also reaps learning gains for students, especially in the kinds of more challenging learning that new standards demand (Darling-Hammond 1997). 

Opposing or Contrasting Positions about the Issue

Many naysayers believe that inmates should not have an opportunity to an education.  According to Keller (2014), it should be do the crime, do the time, not do the crime, earn an education.  In other words, education is a privilege, and if you commit a crime, that entitlement is revoked; despite the fact that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights clearly states that, “Everyone has a right to education” (Article 26).  Moreover, individuals that oppose believe that prisoners that receive some type of education credentials will become smarter criminals.

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