Madison School Board approves a substantial tax and spending hike fall 2020 referendum

Scott Girard: If approved, the district would be able to exceed the revenue limit by $6 million in 2020-21, an additional $8 million in 2021-22, another $9 million in 2022-23 and finally another $10 million in 2023-24. The referendum would allow the district to surpass the revenue limit by that total of $33 million in … Continue reading Madison School Board approves a substantial tax and spending hike fall 2020 referendum

Raises, officers both out as Madison School Board OKs 2020-21 budget — but COVID-19 may cause changes

Kelly Meyerhofer: The district said total compensation has exceeded the rate of inflation for the last seven years — something it said has helped recruit and retain the best and brightest teachers. But the board directed officials to pause a proposed 1% increase to base wages and freeze part of a salary schedule that rewards … Continue reading Raises, officers both out as Madison School Board OKs 2020-21 budget — but COVID-19 may cause changes

Madison School Board Continues Fall 2020 referendum tax and spending increase plans

Logan Wroge: Board members acknowledged the tough financial reality facing residents, but several members said the need to renovate aging school buildings and shore up the operating budget remains the same. “These are not things I think we should be putting off,” board member Ali Muldrow said during an online Operations Work Group meeting. “We … Continue reading Madison School Board Continues Fall 2020 referendum tax and spending increase plans

2020 Madison School Board Election notes and links

Scott Girard: While campaign season looks slightly different in a social distancing world, the Madison School Board races have continued this spring. The ballot for the April 7 election includes two contested races and one uncontested seat. The five candidates participated in a virtual forum hosted by Simpson Street Free Press earlier this week. Much more on … Continue reading 2020 Madison School Board Election notes and links

Commentary on a 2020 Madison School Board Candidate appearance

Logan Wroge: Three candidates for an open Madison School Board seat aligned on several issues facing the school district while offering their own solutions to other topics during a forum Tuesday. The trio seeking the board’s Seat 6 — Karen Ball, Christina Gomez Schmidt and Maia Pearson — spoke of rebuilding trust between the community … Continue reading Commentary on a 2020 Madison School Board Candidate appearance

2020 Madison Tax & Spending Increase Referendum Planning: School Board Rhetoric

Scott Girard: During a board retreat Saturday to discuss strategies for both a capital and an operating referendum in April, board members generally agreed they wanted to vote in March — before board member Kate Toews’ term is over and a new board member takes her place. Toews is not running for re-election to Seat 6 … Continue reading 2020 Madison Tax & Spending Increase Referendum Planning: School Board Rhetoric

2020 Madison school board election: Candidate “suspends campaign”

Scott Girard: When he initially filed papers to run, Strong said he considers school safety and racial disparities in discipline and achievement to be the top issues facing MMSD. “We have to make sure that our schools are safe and that they’re safe learning environments for our kids to learn and for our teachers to … Continue reading 2020 Madison school board election: Candidate “suspends campaign”

Commentary on 2020 Madison School Board Election Candidates

Scott Girard: For the past seven months, Strong has been a program associate with the National Council on Crime and Delinquency. Strong said in an interview Thursday he considers school safety and racial disparities in discipline and achievement to be the top issues facing MMSD. “We have to make sure that our schools are safe … Continue reading Commentary on 2020 Madison School Board Election Candidates

Maia Pearson becomes first newcomer to announce 2020 Madison School Board campaign

Scott Girard: The Madison School Board seat left open by incumbent Kate Toews choosing not to run for re-election has a candidate. Maia Pearson, a Madison native who has three children in Madison schools, will run for Seat 6. She filed her declaration of candidacy and campaign registration statement with the city clerk Monday and … Continue reading Maia Pearson becomes first newcomer to announce 2020 Madison School Board campaign

Commentary on Incumbent school board member election losses (unopposed in Madison…)

Samantha West, Alec Johnson and Rory Linnane: Tricia Zunker said she knows school board presidents sometimes have a target on their backs. It’s part of the job, she said. But as Zunker led the Wausau School District board over the past year, she said, “People were so cruel, you’d think I personally brought the pandemic … Continue reading Commentary on Incumbent school board member election losses (unopposed in Madison…)

An Interview with Outgoing Madison School Board Member (and President) Gloria Reyes

David Dahmer: As president, Reyes has been the face and often the spokesperson of the Madison School Board during some very trying and challenging times including the COVID-19 pandemic and the canceling of in-person classes, the hiring of new MMSD superintendent twice (Dr. Matthew Gutierrez rescinded his acceptance of the job before MMSD started over … Continue reading An Interview with Outgoing Madison School Board Member (and President) Gloria Reyes

Deja Vu: Taxpayer supported Madison high schools moving toward eliminating standalone honors courses for ninth, 10th grades

Scott Girard: Madison Metropolitan School District high schools plan to move away from “standalone honors” courses for freshmen and sophomores in the next few years, with an Earned Honors system expected to replace them. The goal, MMSD leaders told the School Board Monday, is to bring rigor to all classrooms for all students and give … Continue reading Deja Vu: Taxpayer supported Madison high schools moving toward eliminating standalone honors courses for ninth, 10th grades

Bills Increase Access to Wisconsin Open Enrollment, Expanding Public School Choice

Jessica Holmberg: Gov. Evers recently signed two bills that increase public school choice in Wisconsin. SB 109 and SB 110 specifically aim to remove barriers to accessing Wisconsin’s largest school choice option, the Open Enrollment Program, by expanding access to virtual schools. The program allows over 65,000 students to access a public school district outside their own without living … Continue reading Bills Increase Access to Wisconsin Open Enrollment, Expanding Public School Choice

“We’ve likely overestimated the protective health benefits of school closures and underestimated the costs for children.”

John Bailey: One year after nationwide public school closures, a growing body of medical research and the firsthand experiences of school systems worldwide can provide a sound basis for determining a reopening strategy. This report examines the collective findings of more than 120 studies and considers their implications for current decisions. These studies cover a … Continue reading “We’ve likely overestimated the protective health benefits of school closures and underestimated the costs for children.”

Education Secretary: It’s Too Soon to Say If Schools Can Reopen by Fall

Alex Nextel: Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said it’s “premature” to determine if schools can resume in-person instruction this fall, despite a growing body of evidence that shows students can safely return to the classroom. In a Wednesday interview with MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, Cardona said the rate of COVID-19 transmission in a community would play … Continue reading Education Secretary: It’s Too Soon to Say If Schools Can Reopen by Fall

Report: 30% of Milwaukee public high schoolers failed last fall

Benjamin Yount: There are new numbers to go along with claims that online classes are leaving school kids in Wisconsin behind. Milwaukee Public Schools on Wednesday said just over 30% of high school students failed the fall semester. Data from Milwaukee schools showed 30.3% of MPS high schoolers failed last fall, compared to 18.8% in … Continue reading Report: 30% of Milwaukee public high schoolers failed last fall

Oakland teachers refuse to return to school, despite getting COVID vaccine priority

Caitlin McFall: But due to a lack of teachers willing to come back before April 14, high needs pupils, including homeless, foster and special needs students, will not be able to get into classrooms ahead of time, the newspaper reported. “At this time, we simply do not have enough staff who opted in for in-person … Continue reading Oakland teachers refuse to return to school, despite getting COVID vaccine priority

Commentary on renaming a Madison High School

Scott Girard: “Madison was a person that benefited off of the exploitation of Black bodies, and those who embarked in such acts of racism should have no influence in today’s culture,” Berry wrote. “Expecting Black students to attend a school named after a slave owner is anti-Black.” [Glendale Elementary will be renamed for Virginia Henderson] … Continue reading Commentary on renaming a Madison High School

Nearly half of schools are open full-time, survey finds

Laura Meckler: The first federal data on education during the pandemic finds nearly half of public schools were open for full-time, face-to-face classes, with White children far more likely than Black, Hispanic or Asian American students to be attending in person. The data suggests the nation is both close to a goal set by President … Continue reading Nearly half of schools are open full-time, survey finds

Milwaukee Teachers union: ‘Very irresponsible’ if school board approves in-person plan

Matt Smith: Milwaukee Public School teachers would return to the classroom next week ahead of a phased-in return of students learning in April under a plan that will go before the school board Tuesday evening. The plan calls for in-person instruction four days a week, with Wednesdays set aside for cleaning when students would remain … Continue reading Milwaukee Teachers union: ‘Very irresponsible’ if school board approves in-person plan

One City Schools expands – in Monona (Governor Evers’ proposed budget would once again abort this school, by eliminating the UW charter office)

Logan Wroge: With a $14 million donation from American Girl founder and philanthropist Pleasant Rowland, One City Schools announced plans on Tuesday to purchase an office building in Monona that will become a new home for the fast-growing independent charter school. One City will use the donation to buy a 157,000-square-foot office building on the … Continue reading One City Schools expands – in Monona (Governor Evers’ proposed budget would once again abort this school, by eliminating the UW charter office)

Redefining Racism in Madison Schools

Maciver News: Everything you thought you knew about education is being redefined as racist in Madison Schools. During this workshop last week, Madison schools teamed up with UW-Madison to root out anything they consider to be “white, western thought” and talk about how they’re replacing it. 2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School … Continue reading Redefining Racism in Madison Schools

Commentary on the taxpayer supported Madison School District’s hiring and layoff practices

Scott Girard: The Madison School Board is expected to vote Monday on a controversial proposal that would minimize the importance of seniority in layoff and reassignment decisions. Madison Metropolitan School District administrators have pushed for the change, which would prioritize culturally responsive practices and student learning outcomes instead of the experience-based system in place now. They see it … Continue reading Commentary on the taxpayer supported Madison School District’s hiring and layoff practices

As U.S. schools shuttered, student mental health cratered, Reuters survey finds

Benjamin Lesser, MB Pell and Kristina Cooke: A few weeks after San Francisco’s school district moved to remote learning last year in hopes of halting the spread of the coronavirus, Kate Sullivan Morgan noticed her 11-year-old son was barely eating. He would spend days in bed staring at the ceiling. The mother formed a pod … Continue reading As U.S. schools shuttered, student mental health cratered, Reuters survey finds

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

Wisconsin Superintendent candidate Jill Underly accused of ‘hypocrisy’ for sending her children to private school

Daniel Bice: No one has been a bigger promoter of public schools during the race for state school superintendent than Jill Underly.  That was, no doubt, a large part of the reason that Underly, the Pecatonica school superintendent, has won the endorsement of state and local teachers unions. But back when it was her decision to … Continue reading Wisconsin Superintendent candidate Jill Underly accused of ‘hypocrisy’ for sending her children to private school

Get Woke Or Get Laid Off: Madison’s taxpayer supported schools

Bill Osmulski: The Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) is planning to make sweeping changes to how it handles teacher layoffs, and wokeness could become the biggest factor in who stays and who goes. All teachers would be scored in five weighted categories, according to the school board’s current draft proposal. Most of the weight would … Continue reading Get Woke Or Get Laid Off: Madison’s taxpayer supported schools

Commentary on school spending and outcomes

Kirabo Jackson & Claire Mackevicius: We use estimates across all known “credibly causal” studies to examine the distributions of the causal effects of public K12 school spending on test scores and educational attainment in the United States. Under reasonable assumptions, for each of the 31 included studies, we compute the same parameter estimate. Method of … Continue reading Commentary on school spending and outcomes

We asked Wisconsin high schools how many students failed a class during first semester. It’s not pretty. Madison?

Samantha West: In one Wisconsin school district, two in five high school students failed a class during first semester. In another, the fall failure rate was four times what it had been in recent years. Almost all of the 60 school districts responding to a USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin survey reported that more high school students failed … Continue reading We asked Wisconsin high schools how many students failed a class during first semester. It’s not pretty. Madison?

Massachusetts school officials eye summer school

John Hilliard: After a year turned upside down by COVID-19, some Massachusetts school districts are looking ahead to summer and how they can use the traditional time off as a chance to expand educational opportunities interrupted during the pandemic. School officials in Framingham, Chelsea, and Fall River said they hope to offer families and staff … Continue reading Massachusetts school officials eye summer school

Wisconsin’s open and closed taxpayer supported K-12 Schools; on the April 6 Ballot

Wispolitics: State superintendent candidate Deb Kerr called for all K-12 schools to reopen for in-person instruction, claiming “the science is clear” such a move is kids’ best interest. Meanwhile, Kerr’s opponent Jill Underly slammed her for lying about the science behind reopening schools. At a Saturday news conference on the Capitol steps, Kerr warned the … Continue reading Wisconsin’s open and closed taxpayer supported K-12 Schools; on the April 6 Ballot

Commentary on taxpayer supported k-12 School Districts’ continuing in person education experiences

Elizabeth Beyer: Unity School District in northwestern Wisconsin made the decision to remain open and continue with extracurricular activities at the beginning of the year in concert with a number of other districts in rural Polk County. “Certainly, things look different,” Robinson said. “There’s been a lot of streaming events because we have to limit … Continue reading Commentary on taxpayer supported k-12 School Districts’ continuing in person education experiences

Commentary on Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school remote and in person perspectives

Elizabeth Beyer: Mark Wirtz, a third-grade teacher at Hawthorne Elementary, said he was a bit frightened to return to the classroom. “I’m really concerned about fellow staff members, really glad we are getting vaccinated, but I’m concerned about how my fellow staff members are feeling,” he said before being whisked away for his injection. “I … Continue reading Commentary on Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school remote and in person perspectives

Parents are abandoning troubled NYC public schools for private education

Doree Lowak: “But, unfortunately, teachers who opted [to work remotely] still aren’t coming in, so kids go in to learn on Zoom while wearing a mask,” she said, referring to the teachers who received permission in September to be remote for the whole year. “They could have a math teacher ‘watching’ the class while the … Continue reading Parents are abandoning troubled NYC public schools for private education

“Any benefits to closing schools are far outweighed by the grave risks to children from remote-only schooling — risks that intensify the longer it continues.”

John Bailey: One year after nationwide public school closures, a growing body of medical research and the firsthand experiences of school systems worldwide can provide a sound basis for determining a reopening strategy. This report examines the collective findings of more than 120 studies and considers their implications for current decisions. These studies cover a … Continue reading “Any benefits to closing schools are far outweighed by the grave risks to children from remote-only schooling — risks that intensify the longer it continues.”

K-12 Tax & Spending Climate: Redistributed Federal taxpayer funds and Wisconsin Schools

Kyle Koenen & Libby Sobic: The state has already received $2.0 billion in stimulus funding under the federal CARES Act and is expected to receive billions more in the latest round of stimulus. While the Department of Administration has developed a dashboard displaying CARES Act funding allocations, this tool fails to keep the public adequately … Continue reading K-12 Tax & Spending Climate: Redistributed Federal taxpayer funds and Wisconsin Schools

Mass. middle schools will be required to reopen full time on April 28, state school officials announce

Felicia Gans: In the latest push to get Massachusetts students back into classrooms full time this year, state education officials announced Tuesday that middle schools will be required to reopen full time on April 28. The forced return to in-person classes comes just days after state Education Commissioner Jeffrey Riley was given the authority to … Continue reading Mass. middle schools will be required to reopen full time on April 28, state school officials announce

Commentary on proposed Taxpayer Supported Madison School District Layoff Policies

Scott Girard: A slate of controversial proposed changes to teacher layoff rules in the Madison Metropolitan School District was back in front of the School Board Monday night. District administration has proposed making seniority just 10% of the decision of who to lay off, a significant change from the current system that relies entirely on seniority. The … Continue reading Commentary on proposed Taxpayer Supported Madison School District Layoff Policies

Milwaukee’s taxpayer supported schools Should Offer In-Person Classes Or else the Legislature should expand school choice.

Shannon Whitworth: Let us not forget that prior to the pandemic panic, Wisconsin already had the largest achievement gapbetween white and Black children in the nation. This gap will only get worse as schools across the state continue with in-person instruction while MPS students struggle to connect virtually, and in many ways educate themselves. Inner-city students … Continue reading Milwaukee’s taxpayer supported schools Should Offer In-Person Classes Or else the Legislature should expand school choice.

Mass. education commissioner wins authority to force school districts to bring students back to classrooms full-time

James Vaznis and Felicia Gans: The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted on Friday to give Education Commissioner Jeffrey Riley the power to force districts to bring students back to the classrooms full-time, a move that aims to put student learning and wellbeing back on track after a year of epic disruptions. The … Continue reading Mass. education commissioner wins authority to force school districts to bring students back to classrooms full-time

Political pressure to reopen schools is growing more intense

Charles Lipson: This week, Matt Meyer did what many parents long to do. He dropped off his kid at school. That’s unusual in Berkeley, California, where he lives, because the schools there have been closed for a year, and the teachers’ union adamantly opposes their reopening. Parents like Mr. Meyer who can afford private schools, … Continue reading Political pressure to reopen schools is growing more intense

Commentary on a review of Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 schools COVID-19 precautions

Emily Hamer: An independent review of COVID-19 mitigation measures at Madison School District buildings found that the steps taken are “more than adequate” to create a safe environment for students, staff and parents. The 176-page report was posted to the district’s website Tuesday. McKinstry, a local building company, conducted the Feb. 26 analysis of the … Continue reading Commentary on a review of Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 schools COVID-19 precautions

San Francisco Parents Work to Recall School Board Members Amid Reopening Controversy

Alejandro Lazo: Fed up with the pace of plans to reopen public schools, parent groups are mobilizing against San Francisco’s elected school board, arguing it has given priority to social justice issues over getting kids back in classrooms. Two parents have launched a formal recall effort against three members of the school board, including its … Continue reading San Francisco Parents Work to Recall School Board Members Amid Reopening Controversy

Thousands of students reported ‘missing’ from school systems nationwide amid COVID-19 pandemic

Arielle Mitropoulos: States around the country are reporting a significant decline in the number of students enrolled in public school because of the coronavirus pandemic, leaving experts and educators concerned about the trend, and its potential long-term consequences. A notable number of students seem to have simply fallen off the grid, not showing up for online or … Continue reading Thousands of students reported ‘missing’ from school systems nationwide amid COVID-19 pandemic

Washington, DC School leaders warn that not every student will be able to get an in-person slot this academic year

Perry Stein: After a month of in-person learning for about 20 percent of D.C. public school students, demand is growing for expanded access to classroom instruction for the fourth term of the academic year, which begins in late April. City officials have said that they will leave such decisions up to individual schools, but principals … Continue reading Washington, DC School leaders warn that not every student will be able to get an in-person slot this academic year

Candidates for Wisconsin state school superintendent clash on leadership, vouchers

WISN: “I am pro-kid. I do not support taking away a parent’s right to choose where their kid goes to school,” Kerr said. “The state superintendent cannot change these laws. So look at the Legislature. Does anyone really think the current legislature is going to massively roll back these policies? No. But I’m going to … Continue reading Candidates for Wisconsin state school superintendent clash on leadership, vouchers

After Leading School Closures, Berkeley Teachers’ Union President Spotted Dropping Daughter Off at In-Person Preschool

KQED: ‘Why is that safe for him and those people who work there (at the preschool), but not for all of the kids in Berkeley Unified and the teachers? The answer is: It is safe.’Jonathan Zachreson, Founder of Reopen California Schools Looking to prove a double-standard by the Berkeley Federation of Teachers union president, they … Continue reading After Leading School Closures, Berkeley Teachers’ Union President Spotted Dropping Daughter Off at In-Person Preschool

Expanding certain Taxpayer funded Madison schools

Logan Wroge: As the Madison School District prepares for an overhaul of its high schools, some parents are questioning how fair it is — and whether it’s a violation of district policy — to let the two more-affluent high schools raise potentially tens of millions in donations to bolster referendum-funded renovations. Parents, alumni, staff and … Continue reading Expanding certain Taxpayer funded Madison schools

Reported COVID-19 Incidence in Wisconsin High School Athletes During Fall 2020

Phillip Sasser, MD, MS, Timothy McGuine, PhD, LAT, Kristin Haraldsdottir, PhD, Kevin Biese, MA, LAT, Leslie Goodavish, PA, Bethany Stevens, Andrew M. Watson, MD: The purpose of this study was to describe the reported incidence of COVID-19 in Wisconsin high school athletes in September 2020, and to investigate the relationship of COVID-19 incidence with sport … Continue reading Reported COVID-19 Incidence in Wisconsin High School Athletes During Fall 2020

Effort launched to recall three S.F. school board members

Lizzie Johnson: A San Francisco family has officially launched an effort to recall three school board members, filing the paperwork with county and state election officials, with more than 1,200 city residents already saying they are ready to sign the petitions. Organizers Autumn Looijen and Siva Raj, who are parents to five children, said they … Continue reading Effort launched to recall three S.F. school board members

West Coast States’ Failure to Reopen Schools Is a Disaster

Sasha Abramsky: Up and down the West Coast, millions of children in some of the country’s largest cities have had no in-person education since last March. In Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento, Portland, Seattle, and myriad other cities, there is precious little evidence the public schools will be reopening for most kids before the summer … Continue reading West Coast States’ Failure to Reopen Schools Is a Disaster

San Francisco has the lowest coronavirus case rate of major U.S. cities. But its schools are among the last to reopen

Susie Nielsen: San Francisco’s public schools have been virtual-only for nearly a year, despite increasing pressure from parents and politicians to reopen for in-person instruction. Even the city attorney has called on the school district to “immediately” reopen elementary schools. The school district is set to vote on a plan Tuesday that would allow schools … Continue reading San Francisco has the lowest coronavirus case rate of major U.S. cities. But its schools are among the last to reopen

Biden Says He’s Pro-Science. Why Is His Schools Plan Based on Fear?

Timothy Carney: Will Mr. Biden listen to the science when it says, “Reopen schools”? Last spring it was reasonable and responsible to close schools, because of what we knew and what we didn’t know. We knew that other viruses, such as the norovirus and influenza, thrived in schools. We didn’t know how similar the coronavirus … Continue reading Biden Says He’s Pro-Science. Why Is His Schools Plan Based on Fear?

Failing grades. Rising depression. Bay Area children are suffering from shuttered schools

Jill Tucker: Viola Buitoni tried to help her son as he grew increasingly detached, the high school junior’s anger flaring, tears flowing as she begged him to do his schoolwork. Before the pandemic, her son was thriving at San Francisco’s Ruth Asawa School of the Arts, where he was in the vocal music program and … Continue reading Failing grades. Rising depression. Bay Area children are suffering from shuttered schools

The effects of school closures on SARS-CoV-2 among parents and teachers

Jonas Vlachos, Edvin Hertegård, and Helena B. Svaleryd: To reduce the transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), most countries closed schools, despite uncertainty if school closures are an effective containment measure. At the onset of the pandemic, Swedish upper-secondary schools moved to online instruction, while lower-secondary schools remained open. This allows for … Continue reading The effects of school closures on SARS-CoV-2 among parents and teachers

Los Angeles School Board to Fire 133 Police Officers in Favor of ‘Climate Coach’ Program

Evan Symon: On Tuesday, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Board of Education announced a sweeping overhaul of school security, voting to fire 133 Los Angeles School Police Department (LASPD) members in favor of school “climate coaches”. The decision to cut a third of the LASPD force will leave the school district with 211 … Continue reading Los Angeles School Board to Fire 133 Police Officers in Favor of ‘Climate Coach’ Program

L.A. Unified is officially out of excuses for keeping elementary schools closed

Los Angeles Times: Schools have been reopening across the country for months now, illustrating that students can return to classrooms with little risk if the proper precautions have been taken. This is especially true of elementary schools, as younger children have been far less likely to be sickened with COVID-19 or to infect others. Reopened … Continue reading L.A. Unified is officially out of excuses for keeping elementary schools closed

A progressive parent’s rant about the politics surrounding school reopening

Rebecca Bodenheimer, PhD: I think we’re at a crucial point in this debate on school reopening right now. Case rates are dropping quickly, the surge is over, and people are starting to get vaccinated — though way too slowly of course. The public health community, including the CDC, have reached consensus that reopening schools is … Continue reading A progressive parent’s rant about the politics surrounding school reopening

Where Schools are Open: The big education story of the week

Alexander Russo: While some districts remain shuttered, a notable number have been reopened for weeks or even months, though sometimes the kids are learning from teachers who aren’t in the building and other schools have experienced high numbers of quarantine days: 🏆 What Can We Learn From Where the Schools Stayed Open? (New York Times) 🏆 Low attendance, … Continue reading Where Schools are Open: The big education story of the week

To What Extent Does In-Person Schooling Contribute to the Spread of COVID-19? Evidence from Michigan and Washington

Dan Goldhaber, Scott A. Imberman, Katharine O. Strunk, Bryant Hopkins, Nate Brown, Erica Harbartkin & Tara Kilbride: The decision about how and when to open schools to in-person instruction has been a key question for policymakers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The instructional modality of schools has implications not only for the health and safety of … Continue reading To What Extent Does In-Person Schooling Contribute to the Spread of COVID-19? Evidence from Michigan and Washington

COVID-19 Testing in K-12 Schools Insights from Early Adopters

by Laura J. Faherty, Benjamin K. Master, Elizabeth D. Steiner, Julia H. Kaufman, Zachary Predmore, Laura Stelitano, Jennifer T. Leschitz, Brian Phillips, Heather L. Schwartz, Rebecca Wolfe: In this report, we share insights from a national scan and more than 80 interviews with early adopters of COVID-19 testing in K-12 schools as of December 2020. … Continue reading COVID-19 Testing in K-12 Schools Insights from Early Adopters

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

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 … Continue reading K-12 Governance, Politics and Government School Teacher Unions

Biden Airlifts the Goalposts on School Reopening: 1 Day a Week!

Matt Welch: “Biden vows to reopen most schools after 1st 100 days on the job,” ran the Associated Press headline on December 8. Advocates of reopening who follow the issue closely could see the potential wiggle room—it’s not the federal government’s call, the full statement was shot through with hedges and conditions, “most” just means 50 percent … Continue reading Biden Airlifts the Goalposts on School Reopening: 1 Day a Week!

$700M in additional federal taxpayer dollars sent to Wisconsin government K-12 schools

Patrick Marley: While the committee has a say in how about $69 million in federal assistance can be spent, far more — $617.5 million — will automatically flow to Wisconsin school districts regardless of whether they are holding in-person education, according to the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau. Related: Catholic schools will sue Dane County Madison Public Health to open as … Continue reading $700M in additional federal taxpayer dollars sent to Wisconsin government K-12 schools

K-12 Tax & Spending Climate: “The worst-governed state — Illinois had triple the population loss of the state with the second-highest out-migration between 2010 and 2020 — is contemplating another incentive for flight”

George Will: On Feb. 16, a joint committee of the state legislature will decide whether to turn into a legal requirement the State Board of Education’s recommendation that — until a slight rewording — would mandate that all public-school teachers “embrace and encourage progressive viewpoints and perspectives.” If the board’s policy is ratified, Illinois will … Continue reading K-12 Tax & Spending Climate: “The worst-governed state — Illinois had triple the population loss of the state with the second-highest out-migration between 2010 and 2020 — is contemplating another incentive for flight”

The cruel reality of online ‘school’ in a 12th floor flat

Conservativewoman.co.uk: Simon has anxiety issues and finds it embarrassing to have to admit on the group chat, in full view of the rest of the class, that he doesn’t understand. After half an hour, the test finishes; Simon has managed to answer four of the 20 questions. The other 16 he’s left blank.  The teacher … Continue reading The cruel reality of online ‘school’ in a 12th floor flat

Why Is Biden Trying to Punish Charter Schools for Their Success?

Greg Ashman: As yet, it remains to be seen exactly what President Biden has in store for America’s network of charter schools. Following the Democratic Party primaries, the Biden-Sanders Unity Taskforce called for accountability for charter schools and a ban on federal funding of for-profit charters—approximately 12 percent of the total. Increasing accountability does not … Continue reading Why Is Biden Trying to Punish Charter Schools for Their Success?

How San Francisco Renamed Its Schools

Isaac Chotiner: Last month, San Francisco’s Board of Education voted, 6–1, to change the names of forty-four schools, including schools named after Abraham Lincoln and George Washington. A committee formed by the board in 2018, in the wake of the white-supremacist rally in Charlottesville, had determined that any figures who “engaged in the subjugation and enslavement of human … Continue reading How San Francisco Renamed Its Schools

Philly teachers’ union says it’s ‘not safe’ to reopen schools, city to appoint mediator. Will teachers return?

Kristen A. Graham and Maddie Hanna: The Philadelphia School District and its teachers’ union on Thursday moved toward a possible showdown over plans to reopen schools next week, with teachers questioning whether it’s safe to return to buildings and Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. saying he expected them to do so. Days after criticism erupted over … Continue reading Philly teachers’ union says it’s ‘not safe’ to reopen schools, city to appoint mediator. Will teachers return?

San Francisco Schools Renamed the Arts Department Because Acronyms Are a Symptom of White Supremacy

Robby Soave: The San Francisco United School District isn’t quite finished with its renaming binge: The district’s arts department, previously titled VAPA (Visual and Performing Arts), will now be known as the SFUSD Arts Department. This change has been made in accordance with “antiracist arts instruction,” according to ABC-7 News. “It is a very simple step we … Continue reading San Francisco Schools Renamed the Arts Department Because Acronyms Are a Symptom of White Supremacy

Who is running Madison’s schools? Chicken Little?

David Blaska: What are we missing here? Madison’s public schools refuse to reopen its 52 school buildings for in-classroom teaching. They’ve been largely shuttered since last March. What teaching remains is conducted on-line, via computer. Madison is expecting four inches of snow today 02-04-21, so classes have been cancelled.  Huh?! You heard right. MMSD is canceling … Continue reading Who is running Madison’s schools? Chicken Little?

Madison’s Taxpayer Supported K-12 Schools Cancel Virtual Learning on 4 February 2020

Virtual Learning is canceled for Thursday, February 4, and all MMSD facilities will be closed Thursday due to winter weather. — Madison Schools (WI) (@MMSDschools) February 4, 2021 Here’s a story on the explanation from @MMSDschools on why today was a snow day but last week was not. This quote more or less sums it … Continue reading Madison’s Taxpayer Supported K-12 Schools Cancel Virtual Learning on 4 February 2020

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

Removing barriers to school choice would help more low-income kids learn in person

Cori Petersen: This past fall, many public schools made the decision to go virtual as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this wasn’t the case for most private schools. In fact, according to the National Association of Independent Schools, only 5% of private schools went virtual as of October. This is driving demand for … Continue reading Removing barriers to school choice would help more low-income kids learn in person

65 percent of Denver parents say kids are learning less in online school, survey finds

Tiney Ricciardi: While online education has become a necessity of the COVID-19 pandemic, a new survey found most Denver parents feel their children are learning less when seated in front of a computer versus in the classroom. The survey of 647 Denver parents with school-age kids found 65% said their students were learning less online. … Continue reading 65 percent of Denver parents say kids are learning less in online school, survey finds

Removing barriers to school choice would help more low-income kids learn in person

Cori Petersen: This past fall, many public schools made the decision to go virtual as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this wasn’t the case for most private schools. In fact, according to the National Association of Independent Schools, only 5% of private schools went virtual as of October. This is driving demand for … Continue reading Removing barriers to school choice would help more low-income kids learn in person

MacIver Newsmakers Podcast: Parents Discover 28% Of Kids Are Failing, School Board “Blindsided”

Maciver News: Thanks to the hard work of a group of parents from the School District of Waukesha, shocking statistics were discovered around students’ performance in schools with virtual education. Jan. 27, 2021 Rebecca, Stacy, and Kelly are three mothers concerned with the quality of education their children have been receiving throughout the 2020-2021 school … Continue reading MacIver Newsmakers Podcast: Parents Discover 28% Of Kids Are Failing, School Board “Blindsided”

For schoolchildren struggling to read, COVID-19 has been a wrecking ball

Sarah Carr: Kia Leger’s 10-year-old daughter received one-on-one reading tutoring two or three days a week in the Athol Royalston Regional School District, until schools went remote in mid-March. The child’s hours of reading instruction diminished dramatically in the spring, with no more one-on-one time. “She was regressing from the very get-go,” Leger says. The … Continue reading For schoolchildren struggling to read, COVID-19 has been a wrecking ball

CDC publishes Wisconsin doctor’s study showing schools can be COVID-19 safe with masks, precautions

Keith Uhlig: The findings show that schools can teach kids without worsening the pandemic rates, Falk said, and “it’s just been so bolstering. We are carrying on, but it’s not causing significant problems at all.” The study, produced by Falk and a team of colleagues, “COVID-19 Cases and Transmission in 17 K-12 Schools — Wood County, Wisconsin, … Continue reading CDC publishes Wisconsin doctor’s study showing schools can be COVID-19 safe with masks, precautions

Chicago Teachers Union votes to refuse in-person work, defy Chicago Public Schools’ reopening plan

Nader Issa: Chicago Teachers Union members have voted to defy Chicago Public Schools’ reopening plans and continue working from home Monday because of health and safety concerns. City officials had said in recent days they would view the collective refusal of in-person work as a strike, but in response to Sunday’s vote results said they … Continue reading Chicago Teachers Union votes to refuse in-person work, defy Chicago Public Schools’ reopening plan

Fewer Wisconsin high school seniors seek financial aid, raising concerns about college plans

Kelly Meyerhofer: Roughly three months into the financial aid application cycle, the number of Wisconsin high school seniors who have completed the FAFSA is down 13% from the same time last year, according to U.S. Education Department data analyzed by the National College Attainment Network (NCAN), a nonprofit trying to close equity gaps in higher education. The … Continue reading Fewer Wisconsin high school seniors seek financial aid, raising concerns about college plans

Surge of Student Suicides Pushes Las Vegas Schools to Reopen

Erica Green: The reminders of pandemic-driven suffering among students in Clark County, Nev., have come in droves. Since schools shut their doors in March, an early-warning system that monitors students’ mental health episodes has sent more than 3,100 alerts to district officials, raising alarms about suicidal thoughts, possible self-harm or cries for care. By December, … Continue reading Surge of Student Suicides Pushes Las Vegas Schools to Reopen

St. Paul school administrators eyeing pay hikes

Anthony Lonetree: The St. Paul school board is being asked Tuesday night to sign off on nearly $1.3 million in wage-and-benefit increases for many of the district’s highest-paid employees. The agreement spans the 2019-20 and 2020-21 school years and covers 25 members of Superintendent Joe Gothard’s administrative team. The group is not represented by a … Continue reading St. Paul school administrators eyeing pay hikes

Racine Teachers Union Survey Reveals Plan to Keep Schools Closed

Dan O’Donnell: “The [Racine Unified School] District seems intent on returning students too soon, but has not publicly announced a date,” an introduction to the survey reads. “We ask that you join the voices of other teachers and say ‘we are prepared to do whatever it takes to to maximize the preservation of life, health … Continue reading Racine Teachers Union Survey Reveals Plan to Keep Schools Closed