An email from MTI faculty representatives urged teachers to report to the district before 8 a.m. last Thursday that they had COVID-19 symptoms.
“I’m sure we all feel exhausted, or have consistent headaches, not really feeling our usual energetic selves. Are you picking up what I’m putting down here?” the email states.
“We need them (MMSD) to get thousands of responses on the google forms. Flood them. We are encouraging you and your staff to join us all in solidarity to show the district that we do not believe it is safe yet,” the union reps’ message implored.
A source with inside information said some teachers had a change of heart following publication of Empower Wisconsin’s story and organizers spoke of shifting the protest to Monday. Sources say the teachers will now use other means to try to get their message across.
Two public interest law firms — the Liberty Justice Center and the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty notified the union on Friday that if the teachers went through with their plan they would be breaking state law and could face a lawsuit.
“An organized sick out is a form of strike and illegal in the State of Wisconsin and we are prepared to file a lawsuit to stop this illegal action. Madison students need to be in school, not used as pawns in a publicity stunt,” said Daniel Suhr, senior attorney at the Liberty Justice Center.
The union quickly punched back, threatening the law firms and, apparently, Empower Wisconsin.
In a learning preference survey filled out by 98% of district families in February, 65% of families with kindergarten students said they plan to resume sending their children to in-person learning on March 9.
No recent surveys of MTI members were available. But in a survey the union conducted of its members at all grade levels in December, 94% of the respondents said they did not feel comfortable returning to the classroom to teach in-person instruction during the third quarter.
Staff at schools beyond elementary joined in Thursday’s protest in a show of “solidarity.” Pete Opps, a LHS teacher and one of the school’s Madison Teachers Inc. building reps, stood outside the school talking with a pair of community residents who pulled into the parking lot to share their support for the teachers. Throughout the morning, some cars honked in support as they drove by on Pflaum Road.
“The teach out is really about visibility,” Opps said. “There’s a lot of people in the community just recognizing that putting people back together in a school may not be the best approach at this juncture.”
“To try to meet the students’ needs who are in front of them and also virtually simultaneously, that’s just sort of an impossible ask, especially at the elementary level,” Schultz said. “We wanted to represent those concerns that we’re hearing.”
Related: Catholic schools will sue Dane County Madison Public Health to open as scheduled
Notes and links on Dane County Madison Public Health. (> 140 employees).
Molly Beck and Madeline Heim:
which pushed Dane County this week not to calculate its percentage of positive tests — a data point the public uses to determine how intense infection is in an area.
While positive test results are being processed and their number reported quickly, negative test results are taking days in some cases to be analyzed before they are reported to the state.
The department said it was between eight and 10 days behind in updating that metric on the dashboard, and as a result it appeared to show a higher positive percentage of tests and a lower number of total tests per day.
The department said this delay is due to the fact data analysts must input each of the hundreds of tests per day manually, and in order to continue accurate and timely contact tracing efforts, they prioritized inputting positive tests.
“Positive tests are always immediately verified and processed, and delays in processing negative tests in our data system does not affect notification of test results,” the department said in a news release. “The only effect this backlog has had is on our percent positivity rate and daily test counts.”
Staff have not verified the approximately 17,000 tests, which includes steps such as matching test results to patients to avoid duplicating numbers and verifying the person who was tested resides in Dane County.
All 77 false-positive COVID-19 tests come back negative upon reruns.
Madison private school raises $70,000 for lawsuit against public health order. – WKOW-TV. Commentary.
WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators
Assembly against private school forced closure.
Wisconsin Catholic schools will challenge local COVID-19 closing order. More.
2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results
Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.
My Question to Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers on Teacher Mulligans and our Disastrous Reading Results
“An emphasis on adult employment”
Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]
Booked, but can’t read (Madison): functional literacy, National citizenship and the new face of Dred Scott in the age of mass incarceration.