What is the point of schools?

Lucy Kellaway:

Next week it will all be over. 

Nine million children in England will put on their uniforms, which most of them have not worn since December, and head back to school. Nine million mothers or fathers will heave a sigh of relief at no longer having their Zoom calls interrupted by having to chivvy their children or trying to home-school them about ionic bonds or subordinate conjunctions. Nearly 500,000 teachers will close the laptops on which they have been communicating with students on Zoom, Loom, Teams and Satchel One, and prepare to meet them again in the flesh.

Yet in a way it’s not over. Coronavirus has disrupted education, literally so, by stopping it in its tracks for two extended periods. That break has given all of us — teachers, parents, policymakers — space to wonder if getting back to normal should really be the goal — or whether there’s some improved version of normality that we should be aiming for instead. 

Neither is it over for the children themselves, who have missed a total of 20 weeks’ education — more than half a full school year. Covid-19 has left scars that the government’s promise last month of more money for tutors and summer schools is not easily going to heal.

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.