Wisconsin school closures to cost children $7B over lifetime: Study

Benjamin Yount:

The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty is releasing a new study that puts the cost for keeping schools closed last spring at over $7 billion. 

Will Flanders, research director at WILL, said the number comes from study after study that shows less time in the classroom as well as a widening achievement gap hurts students in the long run. 

“There are solid studies conducted over a number of years on how much lifetime earning decline from missing a year of school,” Flanders explained. “These have primarily been based on dropouts before COVID, obviously, but they are applicable here. We applied those numbers to the percentage of curriculum that each district says they missed during the spring semester.”

And that’s just from last spring. 

Flanders says many schools in Wisconsin, including the largest district in Milwaukee, Madison, Racine and Kenosha kept kids learning from home for most of this year as well. Many of those kids continue to learn from home. 

“This study takes a very conservative approach by accepting the notion that kids are learning at home,” Flanders said. “While we think that such learning is likely to be far more limited than in the traditional environment, we’re only using the percentage of curriculum that school districts admit to having missed out on. The learning loss is actually likely to be far more dramatic than what has been reported here.”

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.