Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school District continues to resist open records requests

Chris Rickert:

Fourteen districts eventually responded with at least some of the data. The county’s two largest and most racially and socioeconomically diverse, Madison and Sun Prairie, required the newspaper to file public records requests for the data. To date, they remain unfilled.

In Madison, students could be marked present simply by exchanging messages with “the homeroom teacher and any specials teacher they are scheduled to receive instruction from that day.” In Verona, “two-way communication” with a teacher of staff had to occur at some time during the 24-hour day when the class occurred for the student to be marked present.

By contrast, the Marshall School District expected students to show up for each online class just as they had to show up for each in-person class pre-pandemic. It saw its rate of chronic absenteeism rise from 7% to 12% from the first semester of the last school year to the first semester of this one.

Seven school districts in Wisconsin, including three in Dane County — Madison, Sun Prairie and Mount Horeb — dispensed with enforcing state attendance laws altogether. The law identifies actions districts have to take when students are regularly absent without valid excuses.

Madison, the county’s largest district, did not respond to multiple requests for comment on why it sought the waiver.

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.