K-12 Governance, Politics and Government School Teacher Unions

Jonathan Easley and Amie Parnes:

The mixed messaging underscores the tricky politics Biden faces as elected officials clash with teachers unions in Democratic strongholds over how quickly to reopen classrooms.                                                                                                 

Some public health experts are chiding the White House for downplaying analysis from CDC leaders, warning that the apparent tension could undermine the agency’s authority at a pivotal moment for the virus.

“I don’t know if there is a split, but it was alarming last week when the White House implied that the CDC director was speaking in her personal capacity, because when it comes to safety and what is required to reduce or mitigate the spread, that’s a CDC question that should only be answered by the CDC,” said Jennifer Nuzzo, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.

“I found that worrisome because we have to affirm and assert CDC’s expertise here. It’s a particularly tricky issue and it’s important to be clear that there is no political interference and that there is no agency more qualified to weigh in on this than the CDC,” she added. 

The Biden administration has made it a point of pride to have science drive their pandemic response after the Trump administration sought to downplay the virus and clashed with its own health experts.

The White House position is that they’re waiting for official CDC guidance on school reopenings, rather than relying on CDC studies or remarks from agency leaders about what the science says.

A White House aide said “there is zero daylight between the CDC and WH on reopening” and that as soon as CDC guidance is released, the White House will “lift it up.” Walensky says the CDC guidance on school reopenings should be out in the next few days.

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.