Looking Back On A Year Of Mass Homeschooling

Kerry McDonald:

In March, I published an article here about the world’s homeschooling moment, noting that hundreds of millions of students worldwide were suddenly displaced from their classrooms and learning at home due to the Covid-19 response. At its peak, that number reached nearly 1.3 billion children learning at home, with varying degrees of remote connection to their school or district. 

Those of us who homeschooled our kids prior to the school shutdowns were quick to point out that pandemic homeschooling was nothing like the real thing, forcibly separated as we all were from the people, places and things of our communities. It was hard on everyone. Despite this inauspicious introduction to homeschooling, millions of parents and students decided that it was an education model worth seriously considering in 2020. They left traditional schooling in droves this year, disrupting conventional education and triggering learning innovations that will long outlast the pandemic.

One of the earliest signals that 2020 would be a year of mass homeschooling appeared in an April survey of parents conducted by EdChoice. It asked a variety of questions about how families were coping with school shutdowns and revealed that more than half of the respondents had a more favorable view of homeschooling as a result of the school closures. I remember thinking at the time that if families thought homeschooling was tolerable during the springtime tumult and isolation, then they would find it far more fulfilling under ordinary circumstances when they could actually gather with others, visit libraries and museums, attend classes and so on. 

Related: Catholic schools will sue Dane County Madison Public Health to open as scheduled

Notes and links on Dane County Madison Public Health. (> 140 employees).

Molly Beck and Madeline Heim:

which pushed Dane County this week not to calculate its percentage of positive tests — a data point the public uses to determine how intense infection is in an area.   

While positive test results are being processed and their number reported quickly, negative test results are taking days in some cases to be analyzed before they are reported to the state. 


The department said it was between eight and 10 days behind in updating that metric on the dashboard, and as a result it appeared to show a higher positive percentage of tests and a lower number of total tests per day.

The department said this delay is due to the fact data analysts must input each of the hundreds of tests per day manually, and in order to continue accurate and timely contact tracing efforts, they prioritized inputting positive tests.

“Positive tests are always immediately verified and processed, and delays in processing negative tests in our data system does not affect notification of test results,” the department said in a news release. “The only effect this backlog has had is on our percent positivity rate and daily test counts.”

Staff have not verified the approximately 17,000 tests, which includes steps such as matching test results to patients to avoid duplicating numbers and verifying the person who was tested resides in Dane County.

All 77 false-positive COVID-19 tests come back negative upon reruns.

Madison private school raises $70,000 for lawsuit against public health order. – WKOW-TV. Commentary.

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Assembly against private school forced closure.

Wisconsin Catholic schools will challenge local COVID-19 closing order. More.

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

My Question to Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers on Teacher Mulligans and our Disastrous Reading Results

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

Booked, but can’t read (Madison): functional literacy, National citizenship and the new face of Dred Scott in the age of mass incarceration

Unions, political affiliation more predictive of virtual learning decision than COVID cases. The report.

Run for Office: Dane County Executive is on the Spring, 2021 ballot.