San Francisco sues its own school district, board over reopening: ‘They have earned an F’

Heather Knight:

The fight over reopening San Francisco’s public schools will take a dramatic, heated turn on Wednesday as the city becomes the first in the state — and possibly the entire country — to sue its own school district to force classroom doors open.

City Attorney Dennis Herrera, with the blessing of Mayor London Breed, plans to sue the San Francisco Board of Education and the San Francisco Unified School District for violating a state law compelling districts to adopt a clear plan during the COVID-19 pandemic describing actions they “will take to offer classroom-based instruction whenever possible.”

The law says such a plan must be in place particularly for students who’ve experienced “significant learning loss due to school closures.” But not a single student in the San Francisco public schools — including students with severe disabilities, homeless students and those learning English — has seen the inside of their classroom in nearly 11 months, and district data shows learning loss has hit students of color and low-income students particularly hard.

Even with that glaring inequity, the district’s plan for welcoming any of its 52,000 students back remains full of “ambiguous, empty rhetoric,” Herrera said.

San Francisco is among a handful of large cities — including New York, Chicago and Washington D.C. — where mayors and districts have been fighting with teachers unions over reopening. But whether this novel approach will work isn’t clear.

School Board President Gabriela López said Wednesday that she doesn’t believe the lawsuit will get students in classrooms more quickly.

“I think filing a lawsuit will most likely slow us down,” she said. “I don’t see how this is helpful right now when we are making progress and the county has failed to provide the necessary support with the testing and vaccines we need.”

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.