Category Archives: Uncategorized

The pandemic is speeding up the mass disappearance of men from college

Jon Marcus:

When he and his male classmates talk about going to college, said Debrin Adon, it always comes down to one thing.

“We’re more focused on money,” said Adon, 17, a senior at a public high school here. “Like, getting that paycheck, you know?” Whereas, “if I go to college, I’ve got to pay this much and take on all this debt.”

That’s among the many reasons the number of men who go to college has for years been badly trailing the number of women who go. And the Covid-19 pandemic has abruptly thrown the ratio even more off balance.

While enrollment in higher education overall fell 2.5 percent in the fall, or by more than 461,000 students compared to the fall of 2019, the decline among men was more than seven times as steep as the decline among women, according to an analysis of figures from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center.

Are Colleges Superspreaders?

Inside higher Education:

Since colleges and universities announced last summer that they would be opening their doors to students, critics have argued that doing so was irresponsible and would lead to infections and deaths in nearby communities.

New peer-reviewed analysis released today in Computer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering [Are College Campuses Superspreaders? A Data-Driven Modeling Study] suggests that, for some colleges, the link was indeed present.

Slouching Toward Post-Journalism

Martin Gurri:

Traditional newspapers never sold news; they sold an audience to advertisers. To a considerable degree, this commercial imperative determined the journalistic style, with its impersonal voice and pretense of objectivity. The aim was to herd the audience into a passive consumerist mass. Opinion, which divided readers, was treated like a volatile substance and fenced off from “factual” reporting.

The digital age exploded this business model. Advertisers fled to online platforms, never to return. For most newspapers, no alternative sources of revenue existed: as circulation plummets to the lowest numbers on record, more than 2,000 dailies have gone silent since the turn of the century. The survival of the rest remains an open question.

Led by the New York Times, a few prominent brand names moved to a model that sought to squeeze revenue from digital subscribers lured behind a paywall. This approach carried its own risks. The amount of information in the world was, for practical purposes, infinite. As supply vastly outstripped demand, the news now chased the reader, rather than the other way around. Today, nobody under 85 would look for news in a newspaper. Under such circumstances, what commodity could be offered for sale?

During the 2016 presidential campaign, the Times stumbled onto a possible answer. It entailed a wrenching pivot from a journalism of fact to a “post-journalism” of opinion—a term coined, in his book of that title, by media scholar Andrey Mir. Rather than news, the paper began to sell what was, in effect, a creed, an agenda, to a congregation of like-minded souls. Post-journalism “mixes open ideological intentions with a hidden business necessity required for the media to survive,” Mir observes. The new business model required a new style of reporting. Its language aimed to commodify polarization and threat: journalists had to “scare the audience to make it donate.” At stake was survival in the digital storm.

Evidence of hidden recording device found in East High School coach’s office, Madison district officials say

Elizabeth Beyer:

A member of the high school security staff discovered what appeared to be a smoke detector cover that was altered to house a recording device located in the coach’s office on Jan. 8. The staff member contacted the school principal, who then contacted district officials and law enforcement.

Upon further investigation, it was discovered there was evidence a camera may have been installed in the smoke detector with the approval of district staff in September 2019 in an effort to document “an employee discipline issue related to work rule violations,” according to the statement.

This use of surveillance equipment is a direct violation of district policy, Jenkins said in the statement.

“I am outraged a policy of this nature would be violated,” he said. The district has launched an investigation into the matter through a local law firm.

The request for the camera installation took place under interim Superintendent Jane Belmore, but she did not approve or know of the request, district spokesperson Tim LeMonds said.

It does not appear at this point in the investigation to be related to cases involving former East High School business and marketing teacher David M. Kruchten, who is charged with transporting seven minors to Minnesota with the intention of creating child pornography and attempting to create child pornography by using hidden cameras in 2019. Members of East High’s DECA business club found the hidden cameras in their hotel rooms.

Fixating on the R number isn’t real science

Ed Conway:

There have been many important numbers in this pandemic but one has come to tower over the rest: the reproduction rate. The R number, as everyone calls it, has been used by the government to justify imposing and lifting lockdowns. Indeed while there are many important numbers — gross domestic product, parliamentary majorities, interest rates — few can compete right now with R. Which is why it’s strange that so little is ever said about what it actually is.

I don’t mean what it represents. As most of us know, R is an estimate, a range rather than a single figure, of how many people the average person with Covid passes the virus onto. Anything above one and the spread of the disease is growing;

Civics: Democracy dies in emergencies

Joshua Sharf:

The United States begins 2021 under a continuing state of emergency.  Rather, it begins the new year under fifty-one different states of emergency, one for each state plus the District of Columbia.

In Colorado this has resulted in conflicting, inconsistent, and arbitrary rules.  Businesses are punished not for bad outcomes but for daring to defy the rules.   Having suspended the liquor licenses of a number of restaurants for daring to remain open, the Colorado Department of Revenue’s Liquor Enforcement Division sent a letter to those restaurants’ suppliers, “strongly encouraging” them not to do business with the miscreants.  Never mind that restaurants as a whole have been the scene of few outbreaks.  A national chain that has been associated with some outbreaks remains open for business.

State constitutions grant their chief executives the power to declare states of emergency, and to assume special powers to meet that emergency.  Many of those state constitutions limit the scope or duration of those powers; Colorado’s constitution does not.  If the governor chooses not to end the state of emergency, the legislature must pass a joint resolution ending it.

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. 

Channel3000:

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

An Oral History of Wikipedia, the Web’s Encyclopedia

Tom Roston:

It’s hard to imagine the internet without Wikipedia. Just like the air we breathe, the definitive digital encyclopedia is the default resource for everything and everyone — from Google’s search bar to undergrad students embarking on research papers. It has more than 6 million entries in English, it is visited hundreds of millions of times per day, and it reflects whatever the world has on its mind: Trending pages this week include Tanya Roberts (R.I.P.), the Netflix drama Bridgerton, and, oh yes, the 25th Amendment to the United States Constitution.

It was also never meant to exist — at least, not like this.

Wikipedia was launched as the ugly stepsibling of a whole other online encyclopedia, Nupedia. That site, launched in 1999, included a rigorous seven-step process for publishing articles written by volunteers. Experts would check the information before it was published online — a kind of peer-review process — which would theoretically mean every post was credible. And painstaking. And slow to publish.

“It was too hard and too intimidating,” says Jimmy Wales, Nupedia’s founder who is now, of course, better known as the founder of Wikipedia. “We realized… we need to make it easier for people.”

The Need for Ideological Diversity in American Cultural Institutions

David Bernstein:

13. Rather, I am concerned about institutional legitimacy. When you have a country divided into two tribes, and one tribe increasingly dominates most major cultural institutions, regardless of why, those institutions will gradually lose legitimacy within the other tribe.

14. Imagine instead of liberals and conservatives, the U.S. was divided between Catholics and Protestants. Each group did about equally well in elections, but the Catholics dominated the media, the arts, the universities, and so on. Would this be socially healthy, or a recipe for future civil conflict? If a demagogue–a former Catholic, no less–arose among the Protestants talking about the fake Catholic news and insisting that the Catholic establishment was going to, and eventually did plot to prevent his election, would you expect all the Protestants to believe the establishment from which they are excluded, or would a significant fraction be inclined to believe “one of their own?”

15. For the reasons stated above (and I repeat) our major cultural institutions should try to assimilate right-leaning people into their staffs and leadership. How they would do so, on what terms, and how they would overcome the objections of their own tribe are beyond the scope of this post. But the first order of business is to recognize the problem, and try to overcome it. (And, by the way, not by hiring from among the 2% or so of the population that is strongly libertarian leaning like I am, which would not do much to resolve the underlying problem.)

Political Ideology And The U.S. News Law School Rankings: Measuring The Conservative Penalty And Liberal Bonus

Michael Conklin:

U.S. News & World Report conducts overall rankings and peer rankings of law schools. This Article reports the findings of a first-of-its-kind study designed to measure whether peer rankings are affected by a law school’s ideological reputation. The extreme disparity uncovered — combined with consistent findings in studies that measure other forms of ideological bias in legal academia — make a strong case for the existence of a conservative penalty and liberal bonus in law school rankings. This Article concludes by proposing a simple solution to circumvent this particular manifestation of ideological bias.

Conclusion

This study produced strong evidence for the existence of a conservative penalty and liberal bonus in law school peer rankings. Because these rankings are the leading factor in the overall rankings, this results in a similar conservative penalty and liberal bonus there as well. This finding is consistent with other research on ideological bias in legal academia. Fortunately, there is a simple solution to the problem of ideological bias in law school rankings. Removing the peer score from the overall ranking calculation will better inform prospective law students, reduce inefficiencies in the hiring market, and contribute to greater ideological diversity in law schools and legal scholarship

“The student and his mother argue that he was coerced, under a “Critical Race Theory / Intersectionality”-based curriculum, to make statements contrary to his personal conscience and beliefs, and he was retaliated against when he objected conscientiously.”

schoolhouse rights:

On December 22, 2020 a single-mother and her son, who is a high school student at a public charter school, filed a civil rights lawsuit in the US District Court of Nevada. Schoolhouse Rights is proud to help support the plaintiffs’ landmark litigation. The student and his mother argue that he was coerced, under a “Critical Race Theory / Intersectionality”-based curriculum, to make statements contrary to his personal conscience and beliefs, and he was retaliated against when he objected conscientiously. The case states that this “coercive and intrusive behavior compelled [the plaintiff’s] protected speech and invaded his privacy, violating his constitutional rights under the First Amendment and his due process rights under the Fourteenth Amendment.” We believe this civil rights case to be the first of its kind across the nation.

Inside Education, Reading Series, Part 4 Lawsuit Deliverance.

Armand Fusco:

Today the recurring nightmare in schooling, more often than not, is the mantra, ”I’m going to sue you…Trepidation for yet another lawsuit and concern for the many wasted hours and dollars that will be spent on a frivolous lawsuit is described very personally by a superintendent in, I’m Calling My Lawyer” (James Wasser), School Administrator [magazine], AASA (The School Superintendent Association), 10/2007:

The fear of being sued has forced public school teachers and administrators to re- evaluate what they do and modify traditional curricular activities and co-curricular programs. It’s simply easier and certainly less expensive to modify or eliminate programs than to have to deal with the worry of lengthy litigation…

To minimize frivolous litigation against school districts, we have to understand what motivates people to sue in the first place. The most common motivators include one or more of these factors: failure to communicate; lack of understanding or knowledge; passion and emotions; stubbornness and pride; and greed…

Student issues often escalate into expensive lawsuits because students and parents perceive teachers and administrators as being unreachable or insensitive. As emotions rise, so do the number of lawsuits…

Rather than face the threat of time-consuming, frivolous litigation, teachers often cave to parental demands. Too often teachers find the time and expense needed to defend grading an essay paper with a D compared to a C-minus is simply not worth it…

Evaluating teacher performance is another area where administrators have become increasingly more cautious over the years. Internal challenges from staff often become more disruptive to the school environment and pose a greater threat of time and money than those from students and parents. Once we were sued for changing an administrator’s title, even though the salary and responsibilities remained the same…

The American legal system makes it easy to file a lawsuit regardless of the merit of the case. Unfortunately, public schools always will be vulnerable to legal challenges by students, parents and staff.
Lawsuits in a district usually involve issues of policies, procedures and practices dealing with staff, students, parents and include not only what was done, but sometimes even what was not done. In some cases they are justified, but often they are frivolous claims.

Part 3: Cacophony (a mishmash) of Reading Issues

Wisconsin’s Open Enrollment Program Provides Critical School Choice Option for 62,000 Students

WILL:

The News: With the approach of National School Choice Week, January 24-29, the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) provides a first of its kind look at Wisconsin’s open enrollment program, arguably Wisconsin’s largest and most popular school choice program. Wisconsin’s open enrollment program serves more than 62,000 Wisconsin students who choose to attend public schools outside of their designated attendance zone. This new study charts the history of the program, the fiscal and enrollment impacts on school districts, and recommendations for reform.

Diving Deeper: For more than 20 years, Wisconsin’s open enrollment program has provided a vital option for Wisconsin families seeking public school options beyond their designated attendance zone. WILL’s new study, Public School Choice in Wisconsin: A Work in Progress, by Jessica Holmberg and Will Flanders, details the growth and impact of Wisconsin’s open enrollment program.

• The open enrollment program is Wisconsin’s largest school choice program. More than 62,000 students across the state participated during the 2018-19 school year. This is approximately 20,000 more than the next largest choice program—private school choice (43,000). The program continues to grow between .3 and .6% each year.

• Parents make open enrollment decisions based on academics. With controls for a number of other variables, Forward Exam proficiency predicts positive open enrollment into a district.

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 and safety of of students, families and staff in our community!'”

The survey includes such loaded questions as “Can we count on you to join fellow educators in a car caravan/funeral procession on Sat. Jan. 23rd in Racine to highlight returning teachers to the building is unsafe.”

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. 

Channel3000:

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

Social-Media Algorithms Rule How We See the World. Good Luck Trying to Stop Them.

Joanna Stern:

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when we lost control of what we see, read—and even think—to the biggest social-media companies.

I put it right around 2016. That was the year Twitter and Instagram joined Facebook and YouTube in the algorithmic future. Ruled by robots programmed to keep our attention as long as possible, they promoted stuff we’d most likely tap, share or heart—and buried everything else.

Bye-bye, feeds that showed everything and everyone we followed in an unending, chronologically ordered river. Hello, high-energy feeds that popped with must-clicks.

At around the same time, Facebook—whose News Feed has been driven by algorithms since 2009—hid the setting to switch back to “Most Recent.”

Credit recovery isn’t enough: How to manage a surge of failing course grades

Betheny Gross:

In a year of educational crisis, fall report cards brought more worrisome news. Failing grades are on the rise across the country, especially for students who are learning online. The results threaten to exacerbate existing educational inequities: students with failing grades tend to have less access to advanced courses in high school, and a failing grade in even one 9th-grade course can lower a student’s chances of graduating on time.

A national scan of news reports and school district documents, combined with data from educator surveys, shows:

• Rates of failing grades have increased significantly across the country.

• Students from low-income households, students who are learning English, and students learning online are often most affected.

• Many teachers had to navigate a shift in district grading policies with limited support.

Addressing the problem won’t be easy, but school systems should be wary of quick fixes like credit recovery programs, which can further diminish students’ learning opportunities. Instead, schools must rethink student progress and dramatically increase support for those who are falling behind.

Dramatic rise in Fs can be seen across the country.

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. 

Channel3000:

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

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

Sarah Carr:

Kids in need of remedial support already were vulnerable before the pandemic. Now they’re facing educational ruin.

By Sarah Carr Globe Staff,Updated January 19, 2021, 9:32 a.m.

Over the past six months, I interviewed 15 families with struggling readers between the ages of 7 and 12 to better understand the impact of school closures on children’s ability to learn to read. The families come from a range of racial groups and income levels; some parents are unemployed or incarcerated, while others earn six-figure salaries. The families’ children attend traditional public schools, charter schools, and private schools. They live in Boston, Worcester, Athol (in Central Massachusetts, with a median household income of $50,000), and suburban communities including Arlington and Winchester (where the median household incomes are $117,000 and $160,000, respectively). Despite their different circumstances and backgrounds, all of these families desperately needed the education system to work during the pandemic so their children could master reading before starting middle school. Instead, they ran into the harsh truth that literacy is not always treated as the public good it should be.

As the one-year anniversary of mass school closures approaches, the question of how to make up for lost time becomes increasingly urgent. Loeb, of the Annenberg Institute at Brown, says many districts are overwhelmed by the logistics of reopening schools, and desperately require help shoring up their academic offerings. To help increase tutoring access, Annenberg created the National Student Support Accelerator, which will pilot tutoring projects this winter in about nine school districts across the country, including in Providence. The districts were allowed to choose the kind of tutoring that would be most useful, according to Loeb, with nearly all selecting reading support for kindergartners through third-graders, or math tutoring for older students. Annenberg’s aim is to make the tutoring available to any student who needs additional academic help. Yet for the foreseeable future, most struggling readers will only have access to what their families can pay for. Or negotiate from school districts. And wrangling services out of districts is a challenge even for a stay-at-home parent with experience battling bureaucracies, such as Medford’s Maureen Ronayne.

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. 

Channel3000:

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

Chicago Teachers To Vote Whether To Reject In-Person School And Move Toward A Potential Strike

Sarah Karp:

The Chicago Teachers Union on Wednesday evening decided to ask its 25,000 members to vote on a resolution that rejects in-person learning until they come to an agreement with the school district.

The resolution opens the door to Chicago’s second teachers strike in two years. Members can vote Thursday until Saturday evening.

This ratchets up the pressure on the school district to finalize a reopening agreement with the union even as both sides seem intent on avoiding a strike. A walkout could leave upwards of 280,000 children unable to attend even remote classes in the middle of a pandemic.

The resolution before teachers and staff will ask them, in response to a “serious unfair labor practice,” to collectively refuse to report to school buildings. Staff would offer to continue to teach remotely. A relatively small group of staff are working in buildings now and a larger group are required back on Monday to prepare for elementary school students to return on Feb. 1

Here’s where a potential strike comes in: If the school district starts locking out staff who refuse to teach in-person classes, as they already have, the resolution authorizes a strike until a deal can be reached. That means all CPS staff, including high school teachers who have not been called back yet, would not log into their virtual classroom.

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. 

Channel3000:

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

Taking Stock of America’s Public Schooling Battles

Neal McCluskey:

It is probably fair to say that Americans are highly polarized right now. Public schooling is likely a reflection of, and contributor to, that division. A reflection, because political control of schools is likely to replicate the divisions and animosities of the electorate. A cause, because public schooling requires people with diverse views and backgrounds to engage in political combat to determine whose values, views on history, and more, will be taught.

Cato’s Public Schooling Battle Mapcatalogues values and identity‐based conflicts – highly personal battlegrounds versus, say, fights over school budgets – in public schools. We started documenting such conflicts in the 2005-06 school year, but it was a few years later that we started regular, consistent collection and launched the Map. What follows is a basic summary of what the Map contains.

Note that the Map almost certainly under counts conflicts, perhaps significantly. Entries are only obtained from searches of media reports. That means the Map does not include (1) any battles that generate media reports we do not see, (2) battles that occur but receive no media coverage, and (3) people who feel aggrieved by school policies or curricula but do not challenge them in open forums. Also, the years reflect when a conflict began. Years before 2006 with very few battles contain only conflicts we discovered in later years but that originated in those years.

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 union, leaving many of the terms of its agreements to mirror those in contracts previously negotiated by the district’s bargaining units — most notably the St. Paul Federation of Educators.

Joe Nathan and Peter Hendricks, two former members of a district community budget committee, said they have concerns about the pay proposal. With the pandemic creating enrollment and budget challenges, Nathan said “this is exactly the wrong time now” for such a package.

In recent days, Nathan, who’s known as a school choice advocate and champion of effective schools, posted individual wages and benefits for 24 administrators on Facebook pages representing various city and school communities. Each administrator had a salary of $107,000 or more; 16 collected an additional $2,200 to $6,000 per year in longevity pay; and 17 had $6,000 car allowances, according to the data.

Colleges Lobby Biden to Halt Federal Probe Into Foreign Donations

Yuichiro Kakutani:

Top universities are already lobbying the incoming Biden administration to reverse a Trump-administration policy that required colleges to fully disclose foreign donations and halt investigations into alleged violations.

The American Council on Education (ACE), a lobbying group led by former Obama-administration official Ted Mitchell, is asking President-elect Joe Biden to “halt expanded reporting requirements” for contracts and foreign donations to universities. ACE represents nearly all of the major universities in the country, including top Democratic donors such as Harvard University, Stanford University, and the University of California system. The council called for federal regulators to abandon ongoing investigations into university coffers despite revelations that top universities hid billions of dollars in donations from foreign powers.

2020 Saw Unprecedented Murder Spike In Major U.S. Cities

Niall McCarthy:

In late December the Associated Press reported that 2020 was on track to become the deadliest year in U.S. history with the total number of deaths forecast to rise 15 percent compared to 2019, primarily due to the coronavirus pandemic. There were also several other smaller contributory factors, however, including higher death tolls from heart & circulatory diseases as well as from the country’s opioid crisis. The U.S. also experienced its most violent year in decades with an unprecedented rise in homicides. The Gun Violence Archive reported that more than 19,000 people died in shootings or firearm-related incidents in 2020, the highest figure in over two decades. 

New Orleans-based crime analyst Jeff Asher took a closer look at the number of murders in 57 major American cities and he found that the number of offenses grew in 51 of them. He only focused on agencies where data was available and most of them had figures through November or December of 2020. Growth in violent crime varied by city with Seattle seeing a 74 percent spike in homicides between 2019 and 2020 while Chicago and Boston saw their offenses grow 55.5 percent and 54 percent, respectively. Elsewhere, Washington D.C. and Las Vegas saw growth in their murder offences, albeit at a slower pace of less than 20 percent.

WILL Files Lawsuit Challenging Dane County Health Department’s Authority to Enact COVID Restrictions

WILL:

The News: The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) filed a lawsuit in Dane County Circuit Court, on behalf of two Dane County residents, challenging the Dane County health department’s legal authority to issue sweeping restrictions on all aspects of life in Dane County. This lawsuit is substantially similar to an original action WILL filed with the Wisconsin Supreme Court in November 2020. The Court voted not to grant WILL’s original action, 4-3, without addressing the merits of the case, but four Justices indicated the claims had substantial merit.

The Quote: WILL Deputy Counsel, Luke Berg, said, “Dane County’s health department has enacted some of the strongest restrictions in Wisconsin without any express sanction from local elected officials. This lawsuit asks the court to rein in the ability of local, unelected health officers to unilaterally issue sweeping restrictions.”

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. 

Channel3000:

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

City Council upholds denial of field lights for Edgewood High School

Logan Wroge:

The council voted 13-4 against an appeal the private Catholic high school filed last year seeking to overturn a denied permit to install four field lights — the latest chapter in a years-long saga that has pitted the school’s desire to improve the Goodman Athletic Field against neighborhood concerns about noise and light pollution.

For more than three hours, a parade of opponents and supporters of Edgewood pled their case to the City Council, with both sides presenting their arguments via slideshows and claiming the other was relying on “misinformation.”

To supporters of the Near West Side school, getting lights at the athletic field is viewed as a matter of fairness and would allow students to compete in night football and soccer games on their own campus instead of traveling around the county to play on rented fields.

Nearly half of adult Canadians struggle with literacy — and that’s bad for the economy

CBC:

Nearly half of Canada’s population has a big roadblock ahead of them when it comes to post-pandemic economic recovery — and it’s not the novel coronavirus but a fundamental set of skills for daily life.

Poor reading, writing and numeracy skills in adults make up a literacy gap in Canada with consequences for both democracy and the economy. Experts say the gap is due in part to an abundance of jobs in the past that do not require the daily use of reading comprehension and information synthesis skills.

The poverty of identity politics

Patrick Curry:

‘Identity politics’ sees injustice as rooted primarily in people’s possession of certain identities, especially racial, sex and/or gender, and sexual orientation. The resulting orthodoxy often goes by the name of ‘political correctness’. It is now virtually unassailable among many university students, political activists, the Twitterati and the relatively young, well-educated and middle-class.

This is not to say it hasn’t been criticised.[i][ii] But its adherents can make critics pay dearly, and there is no doubt that many doubters decide to keep quiet.

It seems odd to seize on those aspects of life and valorise them exclusively. It may be true that as Nietzsche said, ‘The degree and kind of a man’s sexuality’ – and a woman’s, no less – ‘reach up into the ultimate pinnacle of his spirit.’ (Not bad for a dead white male heterosexual ‘cis’ European.) But class, for example, seems to have entirely dropped out of the picture without mattering a whit less in our lives. As Adolphe Reed has pointed out, current identity politics could have no problem with 1% of the populations controlling 90% of wealth, as long as it was correctly apportioned to BAME and LGBT people and women.

Beyond that, can one’s identity really be determined entirely by an act of will? Rather than deciding and foreclosing, isn’t it better approached as an ongoing and open-ended discovery? And although one may sometimes need to affirm it, in passing from personal choice to a demand for social confirmation by a group there lurks an obvious potential authoritarianism. Others have pointed out the narrowing and hardening effects of identity politics on intellectual enquiry and moral development, but I’m not going to rehearse those problems here. Instead, I want to point out something else, together with one of its consequences.

Misinformation takes on new meaning when the government decides what counts as truth

Lynne Peskoe-Yang:

State regulators around the world have responded to the proliferation of online rumors and propaganda on social media sites with a broad variety of actions. Australia, Brazil, and Indonesia have deployed government task forces and investigations, while Belarus, Egypt, Kenya, France, and Cambodia have criminalized specific types of misinformation.

Elsewhere, the conversation is streamlined—and muddied—by more intimate relationships between state governments and social media platforms.

Chinese social media giant WeChat, owned by telecom company Tencent, has been subsidized and controlled by the national government since 2011. Like Facebook, WeChat—which did not respond to a request for comment on this story—has become a primary news source for many of its more than 1 billion active users, and the service is similarly plagued by accusations that it encourages the spread of sensationalist falsehoods.

In June, WeChat launched an in-app feature that users can search to check whether recent news stories have been debunked by WeChat’s own fact-checkers or volunteers. It also added a clever “Top Ten Rumors” page that lists fake news articles currently tearing through the messenger service.

Superficially, WeChat’s debunking program appears apolitical. Matthew Brennan, an expert on the Chinese social media landscape, points out that the stories visible under “Top Ten Rumors,” for example, almost exclusively cover consumer education topics such as health and safety, product recalls, and scams. “Some of the rumors are a bit silly,” he said, but overall the feature “provides a useful service” to people interested in the validity of the claims.

No testing, no info on what needs to be fixed

Joanne Jacobs:

Testing students’ reading and math skills this spring will be challenging. Many will be at home, some with inadequate technology and Internet access. Others are “missing” from remote education. Some groups, including teachers’ unions, want Education Secretary Miguel Cardona to waive testing for K-8 students for a second year.

Testing is essential to assess the pandemic’s “catastrophic” damage and figure out how to repair it, editorializes the Washington Post.

How can schools create plans to make up for Covid-related learning losses if those losses haven’t been measured? Wouldn’t knowing which students have been most adversely affected be helpful in directing resources for mitigation efforts? Don’t parents have a right to know whether their sons and daughters are achieving?

Cardona has supporting testing students in the spring with a focus on improving learning rather than accountability, reports the Post.

Top Contributors to the Candidates for Wisconsin School Superintendent

Wisconsin Democracy Campaign:

Seven candidates who want to be the state’s next top school chief in the upcoming spring elections collectively raised more than $200,000 last year.

The seven candidates will face off in the Feb. 16 primary. The top two finishers will vie for a four-year term as state school superintendent in the April 6 elections. The winner succeeds Carolyn Stanford Taylor, who is not running for election. Taylor was appointed state school superintendent in 2019 to fill out of the term of Tony Evers after he became governor.

Here’s a quick snapshot of the candidates and their 2020 fundraising:

Deborah Kerr, a retired Brown Deer School District superintendent, accepted $68,460 and had about $50,140 in her campaign account as of Dec. 31.

Sheila Briggs, an assistant state school superintendent, raised about $53,300 and had about $44,345 in her campaign coffers at year’s end.

Jill Underly, Pecatonica Area School District superintendent, raised about $38,330 and had about $20,525 in her campaign account as of Dec. 31.

Troy Gunderson, retired West Salem School District superintendent, raised $20,505 and had $13,240 in his campaign coffers on Dec. 31.

Shandowlyon Hendricks-Williams, director of Gov. Tony Evers’ Milwaukee office, raised about $18,320 and had about $7,840 in her campaign account at year’s end.

Joe Fenrick, a Fond du Lac High School science teacher, raised about $8,600 and had about $8,575 in his campaign account on Dec. 31.

Steve Krull, principal of the Garland Elementary School in Milwaukee, raised about $3,460 and had about $2,450 in his campaign account as of Dec. 31.

Here are the contributors who gave $1,000 or more to the candidates in 2020, according to a preliminary review of their campaign finance reports. The employers of these contributors were identified by the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign because state law no longer requires candidates to identify the employers of their large donors:

Kerr

Ted Kellner, of Mequon, retired founder of Fiduciary Management, and his wife, Mary, $5,000,

Gary and Janet Henseler, of Racine, owners of Accounting & Business Services, Inc., $5,000,

Michael Perrone, of Antioch, Ill., president of The Deli Source, and his wife, Karen, $5,000,

Cristal Bemont, of Redwood City, Calif., chief executive officer of Talend, about $1,900,

Patrick English, of Wauwatosa, chairman of Fiduciary Management, about $1,400,

Michael Kass, Brown Deer police chief, $1,000,

Kathy Wilson, an optometrist in Ringwood, Ill., $1,000,

The campaign committee of GOP State Sen. Alberta Darling, of River Hills, $1,000,

In addition to the contributions, Kerr loaned her campaign $21,000.

Briggs

Lillian Lowery, of Yardley, Penn., $1,000,

Katie Rainey, of Madison, a Department of Public Instruction director, $1,000,

Pamela Arp, of DeForest, retired, $1,000,

James Dahlberg, of Madison, University of Wisconsin emeritus professor of biochemistry, $1,000,

Anupam Mishra, Hillsborough, Calif., a director at Aspire Public Schools, $1,000,

Bonnie Dykman, of Monona, retired Madison public school teacher, $1,000.

In addition to the contributions, Briggs made about $3,000 in in-kind contributions and loans to her campaign.

Underly

Jill Gaskell, of Blanchardville, a Pecatonica school board member, $1,200,

Charles Semko, of Munster, Ind., $1,000,

Jeff Semko, a Crown Point, Ind. attorney, $1,000,

Kaye Gilbertson, of Barneveld, owner of J&R Underground, $1,000.

In addition to the contributions, Underly made loans and in-kind contributions to her campaign totaling about $11,200.

Gunderson

Del Gunderson, of Colfax, a retired accountant, $5,000,

Jill Gunderson, of West Salem, a retired teacher, $4,000,

Trevor Gunderson, a St. Paul, Minn. attorney, $1,500,

Cheryl Gunderson, a Minneapolis, Minn. paralegal, $1,000,

William Hubbard, of Monroe, a retired teacher, $1,000.

In addition to the contributions, Troy Gunderson made $2,480 in in-kind contributions to his campaign.

Hendricks-Williams

Doris Reaves, of Milwaukee, retired, $1,000.

In addition to the contribution, Hendricks-Williams contributed $10,000 to her campaign.

Fenrick

Fenrick made loans and contributions to his campaign totaling about $7,600.

Krull

Pamela Gustafson, Milwaukee public school teacher, $1,000.

More, here.

My Question to Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers on Teacher Mulligans and our Disastrous Reading Results

The First Amendment doesn’t come with an exception for “disinformation.”

Robby Soave:

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D–N.Y.) told her social media followers earlier this week that Democrats in Congress might respond to the Capitol riot with some sort of “media literacy” initiative.

The phrase media literacy ordinarily implies helping individuals make sense of the media landscape, but AOC seems to have more in mind than that: She suggested “we’re going to have to figure out how we rein in our media environment so that you can’t just spew disinformation and misinformation.”

AOC suggests adding “media literacy” as a mandate for a congressional “truth and reconciliation” committee pic.twitter.com/sv7UXMwvaO

— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) January 13, 2021

It’s true that both traditional media and social media sometimes spread “disinformation and misinformation.” But the federal government has no formal role to play in suppressing its spread. The First Amendment explicitly bars Congress from infringing on freedom of the press or freedom of speech, and the Supreme Court has recognized no exceptions for disinformation. If the government could ban disinformation, after all, it could use that as a cover for banning speech that is not actually false but merely critical of the government, or of specific politicians. Recall that Democrats swiftly denounced The New York Post‘s report on Hunter Biden’s foreign connections as “disinformation,” even though many underlying aspects of the story have since been confirmed.

Texas A&M profs face ‘sanctions’ after Campus Reform exposes their disturbing comments

McKenna Dallmeyer:

Two professors at Texas A&M University are facing sanctions after “serious misconduct” was revealed following a report by Campus Reform.

Following an investigation into two Texas A&M University professors’ conduct and classroom behavior, launched just days after Campus Reform’s reporting, one professor has reportedly been fired and another disciplined, according to The Eagle.

Campus Reform reported on the social media posts and classroom behavior of anthropology professor Filipe Castro. Castro celebrated the news of Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) contracting COVID-19 and hoped that President Donald Trump and Vice President Pence would contract the virus too, in addition to calling Trump a “fat klansman.”

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

Sarah Carr:

Yet Daniel’s progress came to an abrupt halt after Medford schools closed down in mid-March in response to the spread of COVID-19. The tutoring came to an end. The intensive, small group classes in reading disappeared, as did all meaningful instruction, from what Ronayne could tell. Daniel, who is being referred to by his middle name to protect his privacy, did meet online with his teacher and classmates about twice a week starting in April, his mother says. But it was always an informal meeting focused on weekend activities and other non-academic concerns — gatherings that, Ronayne says, Daniel’s teacher referred to as “circle time.”

When Ronayne complained about the absence of any reading instruction, school staff referred her to a class website with some generic exercises — a worksheet introducing multi-syllable words, for instance. Medford Public Schools’ director of pupil services, Joan Bowen, acknowledges that Medford, along with districts across Massachusetts, initially used many independent learning activities because “we thought it was a short-term closure.” Bowen says state guidelines initially asked schools not to teach new material, and the district’s online learning instruction became more rigorous over the course of the spring.

Ronayne says teaching did ramp up, except for what her son needed: real-time reading instruction. By May, Medford school officials say, they had created detailed remote learning plans for every student who receives special education services. “They were very specific to the individual student,” Bowen says. The school district, however, does not comment on individual students.

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. 

Channel3000:

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

Montclair Families, “Devastated” By Remote Instruction, Demand To Be Treated As “Equal Shareholders”

New Jersey Left Behind:

This is a petition circulating among Montclair parents who oppose the district’s decision to begin the school year remotely, despite 70% of parents voting for an “in-person hybrid model.” At the bottom of the petition, signatories ask that district personnel, not MEA (Montclair Education Association, the teachers union) fulfill requests under the Open Records Act “in order to ensur[e] transparency.” This request suggests a concern that MEA may be less than forthright in supplying public records on negotiations between union leaders and district leaders re: school reopenings.

Many families across our district are deeply frustrated, even devastated, that Montclair Public Schools (MPS) began the 2020-21 school year remotely. According to the district survey sent out to evaluate the virtual model, more than half of responding parents had no confidence that remote learning had a positive effect on their childs’ education. Furthermore, the top three biggest obstacles cited for remote learning were: missing friends (78%) missing teachers (60%) and disengagement with remote learning (58%). The current remote model fails to address any of these concerns.

The fact that ventilation systems need repair does not mean we should wait to start in-person schooling. A total of 434 districts in New Jersey are hybrid as of September 2. Public schools in neighboring towns are already providing or pivoting back to in-person learning using creative alternatives (e.g. Glen Ridge, Cedar Grove). We have shared with Dr. Ponds the 29-page district-wide proposal that provides detailed school maps, equipment lists and budgets (available on our website).

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. 

Channel3000:

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

When corporations decide what speech is free

Peter Bale:

We’ve grown used to corporate responsibility extending to social and environmental issues but there may be risks to us all when that gets stretched to free speech and who can have a platform on otherwise blind global services.

Amazon’s decision to expel the communications service Parler from its Amazon Web Services cloud platform is a step further than Twitter permanently suspending Donald Trump from its service over his incitement of the mob that broke into the US Capitol last week.

Apple and Google have joined in, removing or threatening to remove Parler from their app stores unless it controls threats and incitement in conversations it hosts. By doing so, they are effectively nullifying the fast-growing network promoted to those on the right who believe their free speech rights are threatened by Twitter and Facebook.

“This episode is…a reminder of the immense power that the social media platforms have as gatekeepers of public discourse. That power should trouble you even if you agree with the platforms’ decisions as to Trump,” Jameel Jaffer, director of the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University said on Twitter @jameeljaffer.

Tech Companies Are Profiling Us From Before Birth

Veronica Barassi:

Tracking the health of the unborn and women is certainly not new, yet with the use of pregnancy apps, this surveillance and tracking has reached a new level. These apps are enabling a situation whereby corporations have access to a grab bag of personal data on the unborn, including not only health markers like weight and heart rate, but also cultural background, the parents’ thoughts, family ties, and family medical history, to name a few.

Once a baby is born, parents might use baby trackers or wearables to manage the baby’s routine and record sleep times, feeds, and bowel movements. Again, documenting these behaviors is not new. Families of newborns have historically jotted this information in journals. When my first daughter was born, my mother showed me the journal that she kept of me as a newborn. Written in black ink on yellow pages and in my mother’s familiar handwriting, there was a list of feeding times, naps, and diaper changes. She kept the journal in a drawer of her study and no one outside our family had access to it. Consequently, even if the tracking of the baby, like the tracking of the unborn, has always existed, baby apps — with their charts, reports, and interactive elements — have greatly transformed this historical practice and given it a new datacentric dimension.

I remember being especially fascinated by one user who wrote how upset she was about losing her “kick count data” and ended her comment with an angry, “Shame on you!”

As one respondent — the mother of a 13-year-old and a 6-month-old baby — told me when I was conducting research for Child | Data | Citizen, a three-year-long research project that explores the datafication of childhood in the era of big data and artificial intelligence, data tracking was key to the “running of her family life,” and she was particularly grateful for a baby-tracking app. “I love data when it comes to work,” Katie told me. “I love data when it comes to everything, because it gives you information and you can plan. I also use self-tracking apps for fitness for the same reasons.”

Civics & first amendment: Teaching about Trump: UW-Madison professor whose syllabus drew backlash speaks out

Kelly Meyerhofer:

Ken Mayer watched on TV earlier this month as a violent mob of Donald Trump supporters stormed the Capitol, killing a police officer, pillaging the hallowed halls of democracy and delaying the process of certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.

The UW-Madison political science professor had previously described how Trump critics’ feared this could happen — how Trump posed a threat to democracy — in a January 2019 syllabus for his class on the American Presidency.

A student enrolled in the course at that time considered Mayer’s description of Trump as biased and inflammatory. She posted the document to Facebook, which went viral, prompting stories in conservative media and a letter from a Republican lawmaker who leads the Assembly’s higher education committee.

Fox News host Tucker Carlson slammed Mayer for brainwashing students during a segment of his show called “Campus Craziness.” To Carlson’s millions of viewers, Mayer was just the latest example of liberal indoctrination of students on a college campus.

‘We are sending more foster kids to prison than college’

Laura Bauer & Judy Thomas:

Taken into foster care, through the eyes of a child

Before she was an inmate, Michelle Voorhees was a kid in foster care. Painting a vivid picture, Voorhees asks you to imagine the harrowing, disconcerting experience of being removed from your own home. By Shelly Yang | Neil Nakahodo

For the past year, The Kansas City Star has examined what happens to kids who age out of foster care and found that, by nearly every measure, states are failing in their role as parents to America’s most vulnerable children.

Roughly 23,000 kids across the country are churned out of the system every year, and their lives highlight a distinct path traveled by many:

Taken from an unstable home. Terrified by their first contact with the state. Emotionally and cognitively damaged in care as they are moved from home to home. Robbed of an education equal to their peers. Turned out to the streets unprepared to stand on their own. And changed for life.

“We are sending more foster kids to prison than college,” said Brent Kent, who spent the past 3½ years helping Indiana foster children transition into adulthood. “And what do we lose as a result? Generations of young people.

“I think as a society we view foster children the same way that we might view offenders coming out of prison or addicts in recovery. We forget that they are just children, that they were put in foster care and removed from their families through no fault of their own.”

As part of its investigation, The Star surveyed nearly 6,000 inmates in 12 states — representing every region of the country — to determine how many had been in foster care and what effect it had on their lives.

Of the inmates who took the survey, 1 in 4 said they were the product of foster care. Some spent the majority of their childhood in strangers’ homes, racking up more placements than birthdays.

The children strike of 1972

Amsterdam Stories:

The immediate victims of this situation (which happened throughout all major Dutch cities) were children and bikers, confined to narrow, dangerous streets, full of traffic. The consequences were brutal:

“The number of traffic casualties rose to a peak of 3,300 deaths in 1971. More than 400 children were killed in traffic accidents that year”, reads this Guardian article.

The decrease of bike usage in the Netherlands is clear in the next graphic:

Civics: Tensions of the Liberal Order

Applied Divinity Studies:

As Milton Friedman put it, the promise of liberal capitalism is to put “freedom before equality”, and still “get a high degree of both”. And yet, throughout Covid, we’ve had neither liberty nor prosperity. Instead, liberalism has resulted in twin failures:

• Authoritarian lockdowns and coercive quarantines dramatically outperformed voluntary social distancing. [2]

• Our leading institutions failed, first to take Covid seriously, then to promote the use of masks, then to enable distribution of the vaccine. In fact, they worked actively against these causes. [3]

Perhaps worst of all, the US did not even perform well with regards to individual liberties. Though we were able to avoid truly coercive quarantines, we did deploy numerous lockdowns, shutdowns and curfews. And yet, as our Covid cases continue to rise, it appears that we’ve gotten the worst of both worlds.

These points present a serious crisis for the US. More broadly, they threaten the continued dominance of liberalism as our default political ideology.

As in all crises, these weaknesses have not been a discovery, so much as as the revelation of open secrets. In 1992, Fukuyama’s The End of History claimed:

Assessing Mandatory Stay‐at‐Home and Business Closure Effects on the Spread of COVID‐19

Eran Bendavid Christopher Oh Jay Bhattacharya John P.A. Ioannidis:

Implementing any NPIs was associated with significant reductions in case growth in 9 out of 10 study countries, including South Korea and Sweden that implemented only lrNPIs (Spain had a non‐significant effect). After subtracting the epidemic and lrNPI effects, we find no clear, significant beneficial effect of mrNPIs on case growth in any country. In France, e.g., the effect of mrNPIs was +7% (95CI ‐5%‐19%) when compared with Sweden, and +13% (‐12%‐38%) when compared with South Korea (positive means pro‐contagion). The 95% confidence intervals excluded 30% declines in all 16 comparisons and 15% declines in 11/16 comparisons.

Conclusions

While small benefits cannot be excluded, we do not find significant benefits on case growth of more restrictive NPIs. Similar reductions in case growth may be achievable with less restrictive interventions.

Freedom of Speech

Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy:

This entry explores the topic of free speech. It starts with a general discussion of freedom in relation to speech and then moves on to examine one of the first and best defenses of free speech, based on the harm principle. This provides a useful starting point for further digressions on the subject. The discussion moves on from the harm principle to assess the argument that speech can be limited because it causes offense rather than direct harm. I then examine arguments that suggest speech can be limited for reasons of democratic equality. I finish with an examination of paternalistic and moralistic reasons against protecting speech, and a reassessment of the harm principle.

Civics: Poland plans to make censoring of social media accounts illegal

Shaun Walker:

Polish government officials have denounced the deactivation of Donald Trump’s social media accounts, and said a draft law being readied in Poland will make it illegal for tech companies to take similar actions there.

“Algorithms or the owners of corporate giants should not decide which views are right and which are not,” wrote the prime minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, on Facebook earlier this week, without directly mentioning Trump. “There can be no consent to censorship.”

If private schools can open….

Joanne Jacobs:

Parents and students called for schools to reopen at Thousand Oaks Elementary in Berkeley, where Kamala Harris once attended. Photo: Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group

In ultra-liberal Berkeley, parents protested school closures at an elementary school that was supposed to open this week, reports John Woolfolk in the San Jose Mercury News.

Wednesday was supposed to be the day Jessica Brown’s first-grader, Isaiah, would return to the classroom for the first time since the coronavirus shuttered schools across California last March.

It dawned instead with Isaiah outside a closed Berkeley elementary campus with his mother, sister and dozens of other frustrated parents and kids, scribbling out letters to school officials and even Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, who once attended district schools, urging reopening.

“Enough is enough!” said Brown. “We’ve seen solutions work in other places as well as in private schools. If they can do it, why can’t we?”

In a December survey, 40 percent of parents were ready to return to in-person learning, 20 percent were unsure and 40 percent wanted students to stay online, for now.

Why banning ‘harmful’ online speech is a slippery slope

Cathy Young:

While Ngo (with whom I was on friendly terms for a period of time) started out as a solid reporter on culture-war issues, his recent work can certainly be criticizedas biased and often sloppy, and he can be faulted for getting too close to extreme elements on “his” side. But the same charges can be directed at many journalists on the left. And there is certainly nothing about Ngo’s Twitter presence to justify his banning.

Meanwhile, activists in Portland have been mobbing a bookstore for carrying Ngo’s new anti-Antifa book, Unmasked, in its online catalogue.

In recent months, attempts to de-platform or punish “harmful” speech have targeted criticism of violence and looting related to anti-racism protests, as well as arguments that troubled teens are being too readily steered toward medical gender transition. In such a climate, calls to de-platform “dangerous” expression can easily lead to a disastrous shrinking of space for much-needed open discourse and dissent.

Some argue that such concerns are misplaced and frivolous when far-right terrorism remains a clear and present danger. Adam Serwer, a writer for The Atlantic, summed up this view in a sarcastic tweet:

Is Safetyism Destroying a Generation?

Matthew Lesh:

A review of The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure by Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt, Penguin Press (September 4, 2018) 352 pages.

In recent years behaviours on university campuses have created widespread unease. Safe spaces, trigger warnings, and speech codes. Demands for speakers to be disinvited. Words construed as violence and liberalism described as ‘white supremacy’. Students walking on eggshells, too scared to speak their minds. Controversial speakers violently rebuked – from conservative provocateurs such as Milo Yiannopoulos to serious sociologists such as Charles Murray, to left-leaning academics such as Bret Weinstein.

Historically, campus censorship was enacted by zealous university administrators. Students were radicals who pushed the boundaries of acceptability, like during the Free Speech Movement at UC Berkeley in the 1960s. Today, however, students work in tandem with administrators to make their campus ‘safe’ from threatening ideas.

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. 

Channel3000:

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

Testosterone levels show steady decrease among young US men

Kristie Kahl:

The decline in total testosterone was observed even among men with normal body mass index.

From 1999 to 2016, testosterone levels have declined in adolescent and young adult men (AYA), according to results presented at the 2020 American Urological Association Virtual Experience1.

“Overall male testosterone decline can be attributed to multiple etiologies. The United States has an aging population with older males exhibiting lower testosterone levels. Furthermore, overall population has an increase in comorbidities, including diabetes, which may have cause this testosterone decrease nationally,” Soum Lokeshwar, MD, MBA, incoming urology resident at Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, said during a press briefing.

“However, most of these explanations for testosterone deficiency may be attributed to age. This time-dependent decline in testosterone has not been investigated in adolescent and young adult males,” added Lokeshwar, who was at the University Of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, Florida, at the time of the study.

The Spurning of Old Books: The Devaluation of the Past Threatens Higher Ed

Matthew Stewart:

Alan Jacobs’ new book, Breaking Bread with the Dead: A Reader’s Guide to a More Tranquil Mind, is a coaxing argument to read “old books that come from strange times.” Readers of his previous works The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction and How to Think will not be surprised that Jacobs, distinguished professor of humanities at Baylor University, brings intellectual heft to the self-help genre.

Jacobs focuses on why we ought to pay attention to old books. There is no surprise in learning that such reading makes us deeper, fuller persons, and more humble. Ex post facto moralizing comes easily; working to see things through the eyes of those who lived before us, to understand the confines and dilemmas that they faced, to acknowledge their inability to foresee all consequences—this takes patience, effort, and good will. Reading old books develops “personal density” and provides “a balm for agitated souls.”

The book’s timeliness is without question. The past is currently under siege. Reading lists at universities are undergoing another round of scrutiny primarily trained on old texts. Freshman common readings are almost always new books chosen for their immediate relevance. The default position of too many students toward old books is suspicious, even dismissive, though studies continue to find students to be worryingly unacquainted with the history that produced these books.

What Jacobs does not confront directly, however, is the threat posed by a progressive ideology that constantly devalues the past. What holds sway in the academy today is a rejection of the old, with little desire to preserve much of the past.

Related: Chronological Snobbery.

Nearly 28% of Waukesha School District high school students are failing at least one class, records show

Alec Johnson:

Data from the Waukesha School District shows students have been struggling in the district’s hybrid learning model, with about 30% of high school students failing at least one class during the first quarter last fall.

The data, which came from an open records request submitted by parent Rebecca Flaherty, was sent to a reporter by the Wisconsin Achievement Partnership, a group of parents pushing for five-days-a-week in-person instruction. 

It showed 27.73% of district’s high school students in the current school year had a failing grade in at least one class and GPAs had dipped significantly at the district’s five high schools (West, North, South, Engineering Prep and Health Academy). 

Broken down by school, almost 49% of students failing at least one class are juniors at Waukesha South High School. The data also showed that, for example, average GPA at Waukesha North High School dropped about a half a point — from 3.003 to 2.641 — from the first quarter of the 2019-20 school year to the first quarter of 2020-21.

In the first quarter of the 2019-20 school year, 269 high school students failed at least one class. That number ballooned to 982 during the first quarter of the 2020-21 school year, a 265.1% increase.  

“We have been aware of the data and collaborating together as adults in the system to help kids succeed in multiple learning models,” Waukesha School District Superintendent James Sebert said. “We believe that getting back into school five days a week will be helpful in increasing engagement levels and academic performance.” 

The district’s middle and high school students will begin in-person learning, five days a week beginning Jan. 26.

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. 

Channel3000:

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

Civics: Trump’s Twitter ban obscures the real problem: state-backed manipulation is rampant on social media

Hannah Bailey:

Donald Trump’s controversial removal from social media platforms has reignited debate around the censorship of information published online. But the issue of disinformation and manipulation on social media goes far beyond one man’s Twitter account. And it is much more widespread than previously thought. 

Since 2016, our team at the Oxford Internet Institute has monitored the rapid global proliferation of social media manipulation campaigns, which we define as the use of digital tools to influence online public behaviour. In the past four years, social media manipulation has evolved from a niche concern to a global threat to democracy and human rights.

Our latest report found that organised social media manipulation campaigns are now common across the world — identified in 81 countries in 2020, up from 70 countries in 2019. The map below shows the global distribution of these 81 countries, marked in dark blue.

America is experiencing his worst record increase in the murder rate

The Economist:

That should make doing something easier, as officials know where to concentrate resources. Yet their efforts are failing. After some years of fewer killings, last year was “extraordinarily tough”, he says. Chicago saw over 770 murders, 50% more than in 2019, and around 3,000 people shot and wounded. Carjackings more than doubled. Eddie Bocanegra, who works with young men most at risk, says killers, many of them teenagers, have grown more ruthless. He describes a victim shot 21 times with an automatic rifle. He blames increased violence on more lethal weaponry, including magazines that hold dozens of rounds.

Open Enrollment and Student Diversity in Ohio’s Schools

Deven Carlson:

Approximately 85,000 Ohio students use interdistrict open enrollment to attend a neighboring school district. Titled Open Enrollment and Student Diversity in Ohio’s Schools, this new report examines whether these student transfers are creating more diverse schools, or possibly worsening segregation.

 

To assess this question, Dr. Deven Carlson of the University of Oklahoma compares current segregation levels across Ohio’s 600 plus school districts to a counterfactual in which all students attend their home district (i.e., no open enrollment). Based on his analysis of Ohio Department of Education data for the 2012–13 to 2017–18 school years, the following findings emerge.

Ohio school districts are highly segregated by race. As of 2017–18, 70.0 percent of Black students would need to change districts to achieve an even distribution (that is, each district’s enrollment would reflect the state average of Black students). Segregation levels in Ohio are higher than the national average where 61 percent of Black students would need to relocate.

Against Academic Book Reviews

Chronicle:

Several years ago, The Atlantic published a history of authors’, readers’, and reviewers’ gripes about book reviews. Reviews, the genre’s critics have charged over the centuries, are unsatisfying — too nice, too bland, too nepotistic. And while those barbs were levied at the literary book review, academics who work in book-intensive fields will likely find they resonant.

In general, academic book reviews are derivative works with a utilitarian purpose. They’re supposed to summarize scholarly books’ contributions, evaluate their worth, and situate them within a broader academic landscape. They can weigh heavily on tenure committees, depending on the discipline. And they consume a significant share of journals’ page counts. In its December 2020 issue alone, Perspectives on Politics, the journal that carries book reviews for the American Political Science Association, published over 80 reviews (not counting review essays, symposia, or author-meets-critics dialogues).

Given the amount of scholarly attention, resources, and energy that reviews command, it’s worth asking if they’re worth it. Looking at the state of academic book reviewing, it’s possible, even probable, that we should jettison such reviews in favor of other ways of linking books back to the scholarly conversation.

The target of my criticism is the standard book review: the standalone, capsule review of a scholarly volume published in an academic journal running about 500 to 1,000 words. That’s different from a “review essay,” which can run to thousands of words and cover one, two, or many books, or a review symposium, in which several authors discuss a single book. It’s also a form apart from the sorts of reviews for general audiences one encounters in major newspapers and magazines or in dedicated periodicals like The New York Review of Books.

Inside the Google-Facebook Ad Deal at the Heart of a Price-Fixing Lawsuit

Ryan Tracy and Jeff Horwitz:

State attorneys general said in a lawsuit earlier this month that a 2018 business agreement between two digital advertising giants, Facebook Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google, was an illegal price-fixing deal. Lawmakers are calling for further investigation. The companies say it was above board.

The Wall Street Journal viewed part of a recent unredacted draft version of the lawsuit, which elaborates on allegations in the redacted complaint filed in a Texas federal district court.

Ten Republican attorneys general, led by Texas’ Ken Paxton, say Google gave Facebook special terms and access to its ad server, a ubiquitous tool for allocating advertising space across the web. This and other conduct by Google, they allege in the final lawsuit, harms competition and deprives “advertisers, publishers and consumers of improved quality, greater transparency, increased output and/or lower prices.”

Previously unreported details from the draft, including contract terms and company documents, shed light on the legal battle ahead and the relationship between two tech giants who have called each other competitors even as they hold an ever-widening share of the digital advertising market.

Many taxpayer supported k-12 School Districts use Google and Facebook services, including Madison.

Stop the Scotch Egging and focus on the big picture

John Ashmore:

Is an Easter Egg essential? Is five miles away local? Can I sit on a park bench?

These are just a few in a long line of silly arguments and non-stories about whether someone has precisely followed the Government’s rather imprecise Covid regulations. Some have taken to calling this ‘Scotch Egging’ in honour of the ludicrous, protracted debate over what constitutes a “substantial” pub meal.

This week’s Scotch Egging is a row over whether Boris Johnson’s recent bike ride around the Olympic Park was really ‘local’, given that it took place seven miles from Downing Street. In a similar vein, Derbyshire Police got themselves into a stink by fining two women £200 for driving five miles for a walk around a reservoir. The absurdity of that story was compounded by an officer apparently telling one of the women that her peppermint tea was “classed as a picnic” – if this is a police state, then it’s quite a silly one.

Justices to Decide If Public Colleges Face Consequences After Infringing Students’ Free Speech

GianCarlo Canaparo:

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments Jan. 12 in Uzuegbunam v. Preczewski, a case that will decide whether public universities that infringe their students’ First Amendment right to free speech can be held accountable for it.

The case was brought by Chike Uzuegbunam, who was a student at Georgia Gwinnett College from 2013 to 2017. While there, he converted to Christianity, a decision that he said “brought me so much joy and purpose that I wanted to share my faith with as many people as possible.”

He tried to do that by having one-on-one conversations with students in a large plaza on campus where many other student groups and activists do the same.

Campus police told him he had to stop and move instead to a “free speech zone.” He did, but police quickly stopped him again, saying that his speech constituted “disorderly conduct,” which the college defined as any speech that causes students subjective discomfort.

The police threatened to prosecute Uzuegbunam if he continued, so he stopped.

Covid data on open vs closed K-12 schools

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. 

Channel3000:

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

The Rise and Fall of Facts

Colin Dickey:

In his 1964 Harper’s Magazine article on fact-checking, “There Are 00 Trees in Russia,” Otto Friedrich related the story of an unnamed magazine correspondent who had been assigned a profile of Egyptian president Mohamed Naguib. As was custom, he wrote his story leaving out the “zips”—facts to be filled in later—including noting that Naguib was “such a modest man that his name did not appear among the 000 people listed in Who’s Who in the Middle East” and that he elected not to live in the royal palace, surrounded “by an 00-foot-high wall.” The editor then sent the article to a fact checker in Cairo to fill in the zips. No answer came and, with the deadline looming, the editor, fuming, rewrote the story so the facts weren’t needed. A week later, the magazine received a telegram from the fact checker:

Am in jail and allowed to send only one cable since was arrested while measuring fifteen foot wall outside farouks palace and have just finished counting thirtyeight thousand five hundred twentytwo names who’s who in mideast.

Friedrich’s anecdote reveals the great truth of fact-checking: while facts are sacred to writers, readers, and, above all, editors, they are sometimes more work than they’re worth. The importance of fact-checking—particularly when it comes to inconsequential detail—is based on the long-held theory that if you’re fastidious about the little things, the reader will trust you with the big things. But the history of fact-checking suggests that too often, the accumulation of verifiable minutiae can become an end unto itself.

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. 

Channel3000:

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

Unions, political affiliation more predictive of virtual learning decision than COVID cases. The report.

We Need to Be Better Losers

Daniel Bennett:

Nobody likes to lose. But Americans will need to get better at losing if we want to maintain our system of government in the years ahead. And Christians of all people should model losing well, based in our commitment to Christ’s victory through the cross and what we are told in Scripture about our nature as losers in the eyes of the world.

Neither Americans in general nor Christians in particular have demonstrated an ability to be good sports in defeat this week, though. When Congress certified the results of November’s presidential election, formally naming Joe Biden the winner, dozens of representatives and several senators objected to the results of the election in a number of states. These were unsupported claims with no chance of changing the outcome, but they did turn what is usually a formal and boring process into a partisan frenzy, and perhaps a litmus test for Republicans running for national office in 2022 and 2024.

Ever since the election concluded in November, there have been allegations that the election was taken from President Donald Trump. The president has long perfected the image of being a winner, and some Trump voters could not believe it was possible for him to lose. The only explanation was an insidious plot to steal the election and subvert the will of the American people. Fighting these results therefore became a matter of standing up for America itself.

The Most-Popular College Books

Degree Query:

College: two hundred people reading the same book. An obvious mistake. Two hundred people can read two hundred books.”

So wrote John Cage, composer, teacher, and lifelong student. And he had a point. If everybody in your class reads the same book, what hope is there of a chance encounter between two random texts?

Thanks to the Open Syllabus Project, you can now access the reading lists of more than 2,500 colleges around the country. Whatever subject you’re studying, it is now easy to diversify your reading without straying from reputable sources. Or, if you can’t enroll in college right now, create your own reading list for a bit of home-schooling.

Degree Query was curious what the landscape of American college books looks like. What are the texts that are informing tomorrow’s society? We used Open Syllabus to identify the most commonly assigned college books in every state, overall, and in five core subjects: Political Science, Business, Computer Science, Economics, and (of course) English Literature.

Civics: Trump Was Kicked Off Twitter. Who’s Next?

Eugene Volokh:

After the Capitol was stormed by a mob fired up by President Trump, Facebook suspended his account, arguing that it was used “to incite violent insurrection against a democratically elected government.” Twitter, citing “the risk of further incitement of violence,” has done the same, blocking Mr. Trump from using its platform to communicate to his more than 80 million followers.

What should we think about the power of such private corporations — and of the companies’ immensely wealthy owners — over American political speech?

Censorship resistance and content moderation

Martin Kleppman:

Censorship resistance

When we think of censorship, we think of totalitarian states exercising violent control over their population, crushing dissent and stifling the press. Against such an adversary, technologies that provide censorship resistance seem like a positive step forward, since they promote individual liberty and human rights.

However, often the adversary is not a totalitarian state, but other users. Censorship resistance means that anybody can say anything, without suffering consequences. And unfortunately there are a lot of people out there who say and do rather horrible things. Thus, as soon as a censorship-resistant social network becomes sufficiently popular, I expect that it will be filled with messages from spammers, neo-nazis, and child pornographers (or any other type of content that you consider despicable). One person’s freedom from violence is another person’s censorship, and thus, a system that emphasises censorship resistance will inevitably invite violence against some people.

I fear that many decentralised web projects are designed for censorship resistance not so much because they deliberately want to become hubs for neo-nazis, but rather out of a kind of naive utopian belief that more speech is always better. But I think we have learnt in the last decade that this is not the case. If we want technologies to help build the type of society that we want to live in, then certain abusive types of behaviour must be restricted. Thus, content moderation is needed.

The difficulty of content moderation

If we want to declare some types of content as unacceptable, we need a process for distinguishing between acceptable and unacceptable material. But this is difficult. Where do you draw the line between healthy scepticism and harmful conspiracy theory? Where do you draw the line between healthy satire, using exaggeration for comic effect, and harmful misinformation? Between legitimate disagreement and harassment? Between honest misunderstanding and malicious misrepresentation?

K-12 Tax & Spending Climate: Declining Madison Commercial Property Values

Dean Mosiman:

Hotels, restaurants, taverns, gyms, live entertainment venues, movie theaters, and some retail establishments, as well as properties located in specific geographic locations such as State Street or Capitol Square damaged by summer protests, were impacted most, Drea said. Some businesses, such as grocery or liquor stores, have maintained strong sales, she said.

“Recent property tax data shows the success of our business community was driving the increase in Madison’s tax base prior to the pandemic,” said Zach Brandon, president of the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce. “When our businesses struggle, it affects our ability to fund city services. This is another example of why our local leaders need to take concrete steps to build public confidence and help businesses recover.”

Colorado youth corrections system sees biggest spike in violent offenders in a decade

Jennifer Brown:

The number of young people in Colorado’s youth corrections system because they killed someone jumped by 32% in the past fiscal year, an alarming increase that coincides with the system’s largest spike in youth violent crime in a decade.

Even more startling: In the past four years, the number of youth in the Colorado Division of Youth Services for the offenses of homicide and manslaughter has risen by 141%.

While 41 young people were held for homicide or manslaughter in the past fiscal year, there were 17 incarcerated for those crimes in 2017. Those numbers don’t include teens who were tried in court as adults and sent to the adult prison system.

The increase is a “reflection, unfortunately, of access to handguns on the street and an increase in youth violence,” said Anders Jacobson, division director.

Part 3: Cacophony (a mishmash) of Reading Issues

Armand A. Fusco, Ed.D.:

Part 2 stressed 11 lessons to be learned for the new Madison Literacy Task Force, but the same would be true for any reading task force or advisory group especially when Part 1 is included.

It’s should be clear from the first two parts that a great deal of research and information has been done relating to reading, so a logical question to ask is whether this trove of data has improved reading after decades of efforts? It was answered rather shockingly and disappointing during a meeting of the Council of Chief State School Officers, “At National Literacy Summit, State Education Chiefs Warn of Reading Stagnation, ”(Kevin Mahnken), T74, 01/27/2020:

An edit of the results follow and reveals, in summary, that credible reading research is apparently ignored by too many educators and that’s the main reason why reading results are disastrous; yet, schools supposedly are about learning and growing. The Summit information indicates it is not happening with the most critical skill required for academic success impacting minorities the most—literacy. Actually, it’s very hard to believe that this is still a crisis issue in this, the 21st century.

“Reading instruction in American schools is so rife with poor curriculum and pedagogical dogma that a prominent academic likened it to ‘the equivalent of chemistry departments teaching alchemy.’ We’ve had about 130 years of bad practice…

Note: Imagine of medical field had 130 years of bad practice for patients, or the corporate world doing the same? Heads would role! There would be and have been consequences, but not in education.

The roundtable discussion addressed the causes — from poorly prepared teachers to inadequate guidance on curriculum — of the well-documented stagnation in reading achievement across the United States.

Note; How can this happen when teacher preparation institutions must be accredited from an independent group, but not necessarily an unbiased group, involved in a rather rigorous process? There is only one answer and that is that the standards being used are inadequate and/or poorly followed; further, the independent group is also biased since they come from the same education society.

Related: The Reading Rat Race Series Part 2: The Reading Champion: 11 Lessons for Madison’s Literacy Task Force

Inside Education Column: Madison’s Literacy Task Force: Reading Renaissance or Recycling?

Proposed 3rd Round of Federal Taxpayer K-12 FUnds (in the Past 12 Months)

President-Elect Biden:

President-elect Biden is calling on Congress to ​provide $170 billion — supplemented by additional state and local relief resources — for K-12 schools and institutions of higher education. These resources will help schools serve all students, no matter where they are learning, and help achieve President-elect Biden’s goal to open the majority of K-8 schools within the first 100 days of his Administration.

Provide $130 billion to help schools to safely reopen.​ Schools need flexible resources to safely reopen and operate and/or facilitate remote learning. The president-elect’s plan will provide $130 billion to support schools in safely reopening. These funds can be used to reduce class sizes and modify spaces so students and teachers can socially distance; improve ventilation; hire more janitors and implement mitigation measures; provide personal protective equipment; ensure every school has access to a nurse; increase transportation capacity to facilitate social distancing on the bus; hire counselors to support students as they transition back to the classroom; close the digital divide that is exacerbating inequities during the pandemic; provide summer school or other support for students that will help make up lost learning time this year; create and expand community schools; and cover other costs needed to support safely reopening and support students. These funds will also include provisions to ensure states adequately fund education and protect students in low-income communities that have been hardest hit by COVID-19. Districts must ensure that funds are used to not only reopen schools, but also to meet students’ academic, mental health and social, and emotional needs in response to COVID-19, (e.g. through extended learning time, tutoring, and counselors), wherever they are learning. Funding can be used to prevent cuts to state pre-k programs. A portion of funding will be reserved for a COVID-19 Educational Equity Challenge Grant, which will support state, local and tribal governments in partnering with ​teachers, parents, and other stakeholders to advance equity- and evidence-based policies to respond to COVID-related educational challenges and give all students the support they need to succeed.​ ​In addition to this funding, schools will be able to access FEMA Disaster Relief Fund resources to get reimbursed for certain COVID-19 related expenses and will receive support to implement regular testing protocols.

Madison has received substantial new federal taxpayer funds during the past 12 months.

Civics: Facebook Suspends Ron Paul Following Column Criticizing Big Tech Censorship


Jon Miltimore
:

n Monday, Facebook blocked former presidential candidate Ron Paul from his own page. The move came hours after the longtime congressman and libertarian hero shared an article he wrote criticizing Twitter and Facebook for banning President Donald Trump from their platforms.

“Last week’s massive social media purges – starting with President Trump’s permanent ban from Twitter and other outlets – was shocking and chilling, particularly to those of us who value free expression and the free exchange of ideas,” Paul wrote. “The justifications given for the silencing of wide swaths of public opinion made no sense and the process was anything but transparent. Nowhere in President Trump’s two ‘offending’ Tweets, for example, was a call for violence expressed explicitly or implicitly. It was a classic example of sentence first, verdict later.”

Many taxpayer supported K-12 school districts use Facebook (and instagram) services, including Madison.

Is your school in person, hybrid or virtual during the coronavirus pandemic? Check out our list.

Christopher Kuhagen and Alec Johnson:

Is your school district in person, hybrid (mix of in person and virtual) or completely virtual?

Check out our list, which we will update as changes happen during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Districts are listed alphabetically and include those in the Journal Sentinel and its suburban coverage area in southeast Wisconsin.

A majority of the districts that have in-person or hybrid learning offer a virtual option for students who prefer this model. Our list doesn’t account for classes within schools that may be quarantined. This list will be updated as we know more. Email reporters Christopher Kuhagen at christopher.kuhagen@jrn.com or Alec Johnson at alec.johnson@jrn.com with any details about your district.

If You Want Peace, Study War Colleges are turning against the history of military conflict. But we forget these lessons at our peril.

Margaret MacMillan:

So why do history faculties, which accept the need to study other great forces in history, such as changes in the means of production or systems of belief, shy from war? I suspect that horror at the phenomenon itself has affected universities’ willingness to treat it as a subject for scholarship. Years ago, when I proposed a new course on war and society, an education consultant asked me, “Why don’t you call it peace studies?”

I have since met with incomprehension, even hostility, when I have pointed out that wars can bring unintended benefits. However much I say that we would not choose to make war in order to improve our societies, I am charged with loving war. Yet nobody would say that the study of imperialism, racism or famine means that we think those are good things.

Wikipedia is 20, and its reputation has never been higher

Economist:

LYING DRUNK in a field outside the Austrian city of Innsbruck in 1971, inspiration struck Douglas Adams, a science-fiction writer. He looked at his copy of “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Europe”, and then up at the stars, and came up with the idea for a “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”. It would be a (fictional) mixture of travel book and encyclopedia, but with an absurd-seeming twist: instead of being written by experts, anyone could contribute.

Adams played his idea for laughs. But today it looks as prescient as it was funny. On January 15th Wikipedia—“the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit”—will celebrate its 20th anniversary. It will do so as the biggest and most-read reference work ever. Wikipedia hosts more than 55m articles in hundreds of languages, each written by volunteers. Its 6.2m English-language articles alone would fill some 2,800 volumes in print. Alexa Internet, a web-analysis firm, ranks Wikipedia as the 13th-most-popular site on the internet, ahead of Reddit, Netflix and Instagram.

Civics: The Great Unraveling The old order is dead. What comes next?

Bari Weiss:

Thought comes before action. Words come before deeds. Media that profits from polarization will stoke it. Lies — maybe harmless for the moment, maybe even noble — create a lying world.

I’ve known this for a while. It’s why I left The New York Times. And it is why, as much as I miss doing journalism, I’ve been cautious at every next step. 

Hate sells, as the journalist Matt Taibbi has convincingly argued, and as anyone looking at Twitter trending topics over the past few years can see. If Americans are buying rage, is there a real market for something that resists it? 

Hate sells and hate also connects. Communities can grow quite strong around hatred of difference, and that’s exactly what’s happened to the American left and the right. It is painful to resist joining a mob when that mob includes most of your friends. It feels good, at least in the short term, to give in.

So part of my hesitation about what comes next is that I have been unsure about who will have the strength to stand apart from the various tribes that can give their members such pleasure of belonging. It is hard to know how to build things that are immune to these dangerous forces when the number of the people who are — or appear to me — immune to it is so very small

Related: My Question to Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers on Teacher Mulligans and our Disastrous Reading Results

‘Our souls are dead’: how I survived a Chinese ‘re-education’ camp for Uighurs

Gulbahar Haitiwaji:

The man on the phone said he worked for the oil company, “In accounting, actually”. His voice was unfamiliar to me. At first, I couldn’t make sense of what he was calling about. It was November 2016, and I had been on unpaid leave from the company since I left China and moved to France 10 years earlier. There was static on the line; I had a hard time hearing him.

“You must come back to Karamay to sign documents concerning your forthcoming retirement, Madame Haitiwaji,” he said. Karamay was the city in the western Chinese province of Xinjiang where I’d worked for the oil company for more than 20 years.

“In that case, I’d like to grant power of attorney,” I said. “A friend of mine in Karamay takes care of my administrative affairs. Why should I come back for some paperwork? Why go all that way for such a trifle? Why now?”

The man had no answers for me. He simply said he would call me back in two days after looking into the possibility of letting my friend act on my behalf.

My husband, Kerim, had left Xinjiang in 2002 to look for work. He tried first in Kazakhstan, but came back disillusioned after a year. Then in Norway. Then France, where he had applied for asylum. Once he was settled there, our two girls and I would join him.

Civics: WILL Warns City of Madison of Lawsuit Over Unconstitutional Racial Discrimination

Wisconsin Institute for Law and liberty:

Notice of Claim asserts racial quotas violate the law, Constitution

The News: The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) filed a Notice of Claim, Wednesday, putting the City of Madison on notice that an ordinance and resolution creating the new Police Civilian Oversight Board imposes unconstitutional racial quotas. WILL represents seven Madison residents challenging Madison’s decision to require nine members of the eleven-member Police Civilian Oversight Board to belong to specific racial groups – a clear violation of the Constitution’s ban on racial discrimination.

The Quote: WILL President and General Counsel, Rick Esenberg, said, “While it may represent the current zeitgeist, the City of Madison’s decision to insert racial quotas and classifications into law violates the Constitution’s ban on racial discrimination and equal protection before the law. The City of Madison may think they are advancing racial progress, but this policy is, in effect, cloaking deeply regressive policies of racial discrimination.”

“The Idea Trap”

Tyler Cowen:

Another problem is what my colleague Bryan Caplan has labeled “the idea trap.” Social science research indicates that in troubled times people are more likely to turn to bad ideas. The distressed German economy of the 1920s and early 1930s, for example, helped to breed support for the Nazis.

More recently, the global economy has been very much a mixed bag since the financial crisis of 2008. So people might begin to embrace worse ideas, which in turn will breed subsequent volatility. Such a cycle can worsen over time, and a ragged recovery from the Covid-19 deep recession could exacerbate this dynamic. It simply isn’t good for decision-making if everyone is feeling frazzled and stressed.

Critical Race Theory Infiltrates Government, Classrooms

Jarrett Stepman:

“Critical race theory and its parent, critical theory, are rooted in a worldview that wants to dismantle social and governmental norms,” Butcher said.

While racism and other prejudices still and will continue to exist, Butcher said this does not mean that we don’t have to ignore the intolerance and “dogmas” of critical theory.

“Critical theory is not a sympathetic perspective with policy goals that lead to racial reconciliation, freedom, and opportunity,” Butcher said. “It’s talking about subjugation and retribution.”

Proponents of critical theory, Butcher explained, even acknowledge that their ideas counter the values of the Enlightenment and classical liberalism, which were essential elements of the American founding.

These ideas are not just consigned to the margins of academia, however, as explained by Christopher Rufo, director of the Center on Wealth and Poverty at Discovery Institute and fellow at The Heritage Foundation. Instead, they have become pervasive in countless private and governmental institutions.

Rufo conducted research into human resource departments and governmental agencies that have become increasingly reliant on critical race theory.

Civics: The Global Consequences Of The Tech-Lash Will Be Severe

Sumantra Maitra:

Whatever the result of the massive Twitter purge, it made one thing clear to the world. Carl Schmitt’s most important and controversial aphorism, “sovereign is he who decides the exception” is still timeless.

In the American republic, the sovereign is not the state, which has hollowed out. The sovereign now is the group of neo-feudal oligarchs, Amazon, Google, Twitter, and Facebook, who now decide and control who can speak, see, learn, and buy, and what and when. Give them an army of their own like the East India Company, and the American state is over.

This is an accelerationist’s dream, and a centrist and moderate’s nightmare. The question at the heart of the debate within conservatism, of “who holds the real power,” was settled for good as the tech purge rolled.

After the reprehensible violence at the most respected state symbol of the American republic, tech companies and corporates took the fight to the other half of the populace. This is not just about banning President Trump as an individual or deleting his tweets from the official POTUS account. This is about choosing sides and flying a flag of war.

CDC study finds COVID-19 outbreaks aren’t fueled by in-person classes

Jessie Hellmann:

A new study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that in-person classes at K-12 schools do not appear to lead to increases in COVID-19 when compared with areas that have online-only learning.

The CDC study noted that in the week beginning Dec. 6, coronavirus cases among the general population in counties where K-12 schools opened for in-person learning were similar to rates in counties that were online only.

“CDC recommends that K-12 schools be the last settings to close after all other mitigation measures have been employed and the first to reopen when they can do so safely,” the authors of the report wrote.

As of Dec. 7, about 62 percent of K-12 school districts were offering either full or partial in person-learning, but reports of outbreaks at schools have been limited, according to the CDC.

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. 

Channel3000:

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

Unions, political affiliation more predictive of virtual learning decision than COVID cases. The report.

Run for Office: Dane County Executive is on the Spring, 2021 ballot.

Chicago Teachers Refused To Return To In-Person Teaching. Chicago Now Says They Will Not Be Paid.

Emily Zanotti:

Members of the Chicago Teachers Union refused to return to classrooms Monday, even though Chicago Public Schools officially reopened to some in-classroom learning. Now, the city says teachers who called in sick without an excuse will be considered “absent without leave” for each day they refuse to turn up and may not be paid for their time.

CTU has resisted a return to classrooms nearly since in-person learning was suspended back in March of 2020, at the start of the nationwide coronavirus pandemic. As Chicago officials neared a decision on returning to in-classroom learning, at least part-time, and for a select number of students — preschool-aged students and students who require one-on-one instruction, including “severe” special needs students — CTU even went so far as to suggest forcing teachers back into classrooms was “racist” and sexist.”

Late last week, CTU issued a new series of demands, telling Chicago Public Schools that “no teacher should be required to teach in person until all school employees have had the opportunity to get vaccinated, or until the city’s positivity rate falls to 3 percent and its rate of new cases falls below 400 per day,” according to The New York Times, and informed CPS that teachers would not show up to work on Monday if their demands were not met.

“The choice is ours”: Panel discusses COVID-19 and schools

Scott Girard:

Most children are better-served by in-person education, Navsaria said, with benefits coming from “just being around other people,” but there is a “balance” to strike with the health of the community. Pointing to guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics, Navsaria said it’s good to operate with a goal of being in-person, but only when the mitigation strategies mentioned in that guidance can be implemented.

“I think it’s really important that people not just stop before reading the ‘ifs,’” he said.

Madison’s well funded K-12 schools remain closed while many nearby organizations are either fully or partially open.

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. 

Channel3000:

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

Unions, political affiliation more predictive of virtual learning decision than COVID cases. The report.

Run for Office: Dane County Executive is on the Spring, 2021 ballot.

Survey: UW-Madison undergrads favor government limits on offensive and ‘hate’ speech

Chris Rickert:

“Overall the responses (the survey) elicits do indeed raise genuine concerns that are consistent with the rise of cancel culture in America and higher education more generally,” said UW-Madison political science professor emeritus Donald Downs, who was not involved in the survey.

Matthew Mitnick, chair of UW-Madison student government, Associated Students of Madison, did not respond to requests for comment. Jacob Broehm, ASM press officer, said the group has no position on the survey’s findings.

Questions over free speech are not new to UW-Madison, where students and faculty have long leaned left.

The university was a leader in the “speech code” movement of the 1980s, when universities adopted rules against speech or other types of expression on campus that could be perceived as discriminatory, insensitive or racist but were otherwise protected by the First Amendment.

A federal court struck down UW-Madison’s student speech code in 1991, and the UW-Madison Faculty Senate rescinded the faculty code in 1999.

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

Commentary on The Wisconsin DPI candidate Nomination Process

Elizabeth Beyer:

“I think it is becoming a little too precise to say that adding one title in an otherwise completely perfect document should be sufficient to overcome the nomination,” she said.

Hendricks-Williams has worked in Gov. Tony Evers’ Milwaukee office and as an assistant director of teacher education at the state Department of Public Instruction.

The commission cleared all seven candidates to appear on the Feb. 16 primary ballot. The others are Jill Underly, superintendent of Pecatonica School District; Joe Fenrick, a Fond du Lac high school science teacher; Steve Krull, principal of Milwaukee’s Garland Elementary School and former Air Force instructor; and Troy Gunderson, Viterbo University professor and former superintendent of the School District of West Salem.

Will the DPI continue their elementary reading teacher mulligan policy?

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

Unions, political affiliation more predictive of virtual learning decision than COVID cases. The report.

C.S. Lewis On The Reading of Old Books

Reasonable Theology:

We often settle for reading about the works of Augustine, Calvin, or other “old books” rather than reading the works themselves.

C.S. Lewis recommended the reading of old books in his introduction to Athanasius’ On the Incarnation.

There is a strange idea abroad that in every subject the ancient books should be read only by the professionals, and that the amateur should content himself with the modern books. Thus I have found as a tutor in English Literature that if the average student wants to find out something about Platonism, the very last thing he thinks of doing is to take a translation of Plato off the library shelf and read the Symposium. He would rather read some dreary modern book ten times as long, all about “isms” and influences and only once in twelve pages telling him what Plato actually said.

The error is rather an amiable one, for it springs from humility. The student is half afraid to meet one of the great philosophers face to face. He feels himself inadequate and thinks he will not understand him. But if he only knew, the great man, just because of his greatness, is much more intelligible than his modern commentator.

The simplest student will be able to understand, if not all, yet a very great deal of what Plato said; but hardly anyone can understand some modern books on Platonism. It has always therefore been one of my main endeavours as a teacher to persuade the young that firsthand knowledge is not only more worth acquiring than secondhand knowledge, but is usually much easier and more delightful to acquire.

Can Zoom Save the American Family?

Katherine Boyle:

I am sitting in a hospital bed in the town where I grew up. Twenty-four hours prior, I gave birth to my husband’s and my first child, surrounded by nurses and residents wearing Covid masks. Before leaving a hospital with a baby in tow, you are visited by about 53 specialists who cycle through the maternity ward: pediatricians, anesthesiologists, audiologists, midwives and a flurry of nurses schooled in swaddling and burping. And though no one tells you there will be a quiz at the end of your son’s first day on earth, a very nice young woman comes into your room to assess your “education.”

“I’m the education specialist! There are no right answers,” she says, signaling there are definitely wrong answers. But as she begins her survey of what we’ve learned, it becomes clear that there are surprising answers that don’t make much sense outside of our virus-ravaged world.

Where do you live? required a bit of an explanation. We were Covid refugees just in from fiery California, squatting in the downstairs bedroom of my mother’s house. When it became clear that California would adopt another aggressive lockdown save for Michelin-starred restaurants, we made the wise decision to decamp from San Francisco to Northern Florida and begin an experiment in intergenerational living that society abandoned decades ago.

Do you have a pediatrician? Yes, the medical school classmate of my childhood best friend. My husband’s experience of my hometown is that, despite housing a college with 50,000 students, everyone seems to know each other. The doctor who delivered our son has known me since I was five. The nurse who ensured our baby was feeding properly happened to be an elementary school friend. Though the hospital system has roughly 8000 employees (a third of whom seem to moonlight as lactation consultants), everything about the experience felt parochial –- as though we had moved into a ready-made community.

Civics: Amid ‘chaos in the West’, Chinese law enforcers told to keep grip on social stability

Karen Yeung:

Chinese leaders have urged law enforcement officials to tighten their hold to ensure social stability as the world enters a “turbulent period” and the global pandemic causes “chaos in the West”. At the annual meeting of the Communist Party body overseeing justice, prosecutorial and police agencies in Beijing on the weekend, the leaders said the country was facing rapidly evolving global risks due to the once-in-a-century pandemic. “As changes to the world structure accelerate, China’s rule is in sharp contrast with the turmoil in the West,” a statement from the Central Political and Legal Work Conference said. “At the same time … the world has entered a period of turbulent change. Political and legal work is facing new risks and challenges.”

Civics: How Silicon Valley, in a Show of Monopolistic Force, Destroyed Parler

Glenn Greenwald:

Critics of Silicon Valley censorship for years heard the same refrain: tech platforms like Facebook, Google and Twitter are private corporations and can host or ban whoever they want. If you don’t like what they are doing, the solution is not to complain or to regulate them. Instead, go create your own social media platform that operates the way you think it should.

The founders of Parler heard that suggestion and tried. In August, 2018, they created a social media platform similar to Twitter but which promised far greater privacy protections, including a refusal to aggregate user data in order to monetize them to advertisers or algorithmically evaluate their interests in order to promote content or products to them. They also promised far greater free speech rights, rejecting the increasingly repressive content policing of Silicon Valley giants.

Over the last year, Parler encountered immense success. Millions of people who objected to increasing repression of speech on the largest platforms or who had themselves been banned signed up for the new social media company.

As Silicon Valley censorship radically escalated over the past several months — banning pre-election reporting by The New York Post about the Biden family, denouncing and deleting multiple posts from the U.S. President and then terminating his access altogether, mass-removal of right-wing accounts — so many people migrated to Parler that it was catapulted to the number one spot on the list of most-downloaded apps on the Apple Play Store, the sole and exclusive means which iPhone users have to download apps. “Overall, the app was the 10th most downloaded social media app in 2020 with 8.1 million new installs,” reported TechCrunch.

It looked as if Parler had proven critics of Silicon Valley monopolistic power wrong. Their success showed that it was possible after all to create a new social media platform to compete with Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. And they did so by doing exactly what Silicon Valley defenders long insisted should be done: if you don’t like the rules imposed by tech giants, go create your own platform with different rules.

Civics: “Digital Oligarchy”

Birgit Jennen and Ania Nussbaum:

Donald Trump received unexpected backing from Germany and France after the U.S. president was shut off social media platforms including Twitter Inc. and Facebook Inc., extending Europe’s battle with big tech.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel objected to the decisions, saying on Monday that lawmakers should set the rules governing free speech and not private tech companies.

“The chancellor sees the complete closing down of the account of an elected president as problematic,” Steffen Seibert, her chief spokesman, said at a regular news conference in Berlin. Rights like the freedom of speech “can be interfered with, but by law and within the framework defined by the legislature — not according to a corporate decision.”

The German leader’s stance was echoed by French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, who said that the state and not “the digital oligarchy” is responsible for regulations, calling big tech “one of the threats” to democracy.

Europe is increasingly pushing back against the growing influence of big technology companies. The European Union is currently in the process of setting up regulation that could give the bloc power to split up platforms if they don’t comply with rules.

When the Great Equalizer Shuts Down: Schools, Peers, and Parents in Pandemic Times

Francesco Agostinelli:

What are the effects of school closures during the Covid-19 pandemic on children’s education? Online education is an imperfect substitute for in-person learning, particularly for children from low-income families. Peer effects also change: schools allow children from different socio-economic backgrounds to mix together, and this effect is lost when schools are closed. Another factor is the response of parents, some of whom compensate for the changed environment through their own efforts, while others are unable to do so. We examine the interaction of these factors with the aid of a structural model of skill formation. We find that school closures have a large and persistent effect on educational outcomes that is highly unequal. High school students from poor neighborhoods suffer a learning loss of 0.4 standard deviations, whereas children from rich neighborhoods remain unscathed. The channels operating through schools, peers, and parents all contribute to growing educational inequality during the pandemic.

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. 

Channel3000:

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

Unions, political affiliation more predictive of virtual learning decision than COVID cases. The report.

Run for Office: Dane County Executive is on the Spring, 2021 ballot.

Teacher creates ingenious exam question to find cheaters and catches 14 students

Luke Matthews:

Students who assumed their teacher ‘on the older side’ wouldn’t be familiar with the latest cheating methods were caught red handed when he devised a brilliant method to catch them out.

A pupil in the engineering class explained that when they all sat down to take their final exam, about half the class left the room to use the bathroom during the test – far more than the usual.

The student said they assumed the vast majority were looking up answers on their phone, which ‘irritated me’ but they stayed focused and made their way through the paper.

After leaving the exam hall, the pupil remembered there was one particular question that wasn’t related to what they had all been taught in class, which had two parts – the Mirror UK reports.

Part A was ‘fairly easy’ but they had no idea how to do part B, so they simply left it blank as it only accounted for 5 marks out of 100.

Mary Ann Nicholson K-12 School Positions

Mary Ann Nicholson is running for Dane County Executive. She recently published her K-12 positions:

Further, my heart goes out to students and parents/guardians throughout Dane County this week. From those in MMSD learning they won’t have the option of going back in-person for third quarter to those receiving news from medical advisory task forces/School Boards/administration that they may now go back.

According to medical experts, here and across the U.S., COVID-19 research** indicates:

Transmission rates in schools is almost ZERO

Transmission is occurring primarily in households from a positive family member

I understand it is a confusing, frustrating and emotional time for students and parents/guardians.

It is my hope that I can give a voice to all those who feel like they are not being heard. I want to build trust. I want to build up ALL citizens of Dane County. I will do my best to make sure your voices are heard.

Nicholson is running against incumbent Joe Parisi. The election is scheduled for Tuesday, April 6, 2021.

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. 

Channel3000:

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

Unions, political affiliation more predictive of virtual learning decision than COVID cases. The report.

Run for Office: Dane County Executive is on the Spring, 2021 ballot.

Commentary on Madison’s Closed K-12 Schools

Elizabeth Beyer:

A number of the staff respondents expressed concerns for their safety in regard to class size, ventilation and PPE, lack of district evidence that a safe return is plausible, the high number of COVID-19 cases in Dane County and a lack of detailed policies and procedures for returning.

“Our numbers in Dane County do not support a safe return. Our classes are too large to be able to space them out according to guidelines,” one staff member wrote in response to the survey.

District staff also noted a desire for widespread vaccination before returning to classrooms. Gov. Tony Evers said Monday the public won’t be able to receive the vaccine until June.

Madison Teachers Inc. issued a separate survey ahead of the district’s decision last week that asked members if they were ready to return to in-person learning for the third quarter and an overwhelming majority indicated they felt it was too soon to reopen classrooms.

“They asked a different question than us,” Jenkins said, “They asked a question about teachers feeling comfortable coming back, we asked how many felt like they could come back. It was different, from our survey to their survey, and anytime you have two different surveys, researchers will tell you, it is about the question: Was it the same, was it the same intent? And no it wasn’t.”

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. 

Channel3000:

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