Category Archives: Uncategorized

Comfortably Numb

Charles Murray:

Sterility as Douthat uses the word refers to the below-replacement birth rates that are observed in almost every advanced nation. Low birth rates have a variety of adverse economic consequences, but that’s not the main point. Societies without many young people “are simply less likely to be dynamic, less interested in risk taking, than societies with younger demographic profiles.” The growing number of young adults who say they don’t even want children is linked with solipsism and anomie. Their rates of depression increase, along with those of people who vaguely wanted to have children but never got around to it.

* * *

The increasing sclerosis of institutions has been documented and widely accepted for half a century thanks to Mancur Olson’s two seminal books, The Logic of Collective Action (1965) and The Rise and Decline of Nations (1982). Institutional sclerosis is baked into the politics of advanced democracies, Olson argued, the result of forces that James Madison anticipated in The Federalist. A small interest group composed of people who are intensely motivated to pass a law or regulation that benefits them can overcome the diffuse opposition of the great mass of the population (the persistence of sugar subsidies is a standard illustration). The response to the COVID-19 pandemic will doubtless provide a worldwide basis for comparing the stages of institutional sclerosis across nations. No one who has studied the functioning of the American administrative state in recent decades can doubt that the United States is suffering from an advanced case.

So far, I have summarized aspects of advanced civilizations that are probably inevitable but are not necessarily all that bad.

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

Choosing a good-citizen school (Milwaukee)

Joanne Jacobs:

Thirty years ago, Milwaukee launched a private-school voucher program for low-income students. In 1998, when religious schools were allowed to participate, enrollment expanded.

Overall, test scores for voucher students resemble their public school counterparts. But there’s a critical difference: Voucher students are more likely to complete high school, enroll in college and earn a degree.

They’re also more likely to become law-abiding citizens, concludes a study, published in the Journal of Private Enterprise. 

Participation in the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program (MPCP) “predicts lower rates of conviction for criminal activity and lower rates of paternity suits” by ages 25 to 28, conclude Patrick Wolf, a professor of education policy at the University of Arkansas, and Corey DeAngelis of the Reason Foundation. “Exposure to the MPCP is associated with a reduction of around 53 percent in drug convictions, 86 percent in property damage convictions, and 38 percent in paternity suits,” Wolf and DeAngelis found.

Effects tend to be “largest for males and students with lower levels of academic achievement at baseline.”

2011: A majority of the taxpayer supported Madison School Board voted to abort the proposed Madison Preparatory IB Charter School.

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 High-Performing School Deserts of Rural America

Will Flanders:

Among education reform advocates, improving urban education is often the focus. That’s no surprise since tens of thousands of kids in cities suffer from decades of educational failure and limited opportunity. But often overlooked are the challenges and problems plaguing rural education. Sometimes opportunities for success are just as limited, or even more so, than for students in cities. 

One example of this is found in Mattoon, Wisconsin, a village of just 400 residents. When the elementary school closed in 2016, most students from the North Central Wisconsin village found themselves riding the bus 45 minutes to Antigo. The distant, sprawling Unified School District of Antigo has five low-performing schools but only one high-performing elementary school. For the kids in Mattoon, attending a high-performing school isn’t really an option.  

The problem of high-performing school deserts is highlighted in in a new studyfrom the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL). The study identifies ZIP codes and regions in the state of Wisconsin without access to high-performing schools. High-performing school deserts are defined as locations that have no high-performing schools within ten miles, based on WILL’s value-added analysis of state test data. 

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: Facebook Messenger “Forward Limits”; Apple’s “human rights” document

Jay Sullivan:

As a part of our ongoing efforts to provide people with a safer, more private messaging experience, today we’re introducing a forwarding limit on Messenger, so messages can only be forwarded to five people or groups at a time. Limiting forwarding is an effective way to slow the spread of viral misinformation and harmful content that has the potential to cause real world harm.

Facebook prohibits music or music listening experience on “Live”.

Remarkable.

Many taxpayer supported school districts use Facebook services, including Madison (recent Facebook live event).

Apple:

Our Commitment to International Human Rights Standards

We’re deeply committed to respecting internationally recognized human rights in our business operations, as set out in the United Nations International Bill of Human Rights and the International Labour Organization’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. Our approach is based on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. We conduct human rights due diligence to identify risks and work to mitigate them. We seek to remedy adverse impacts, track and measure our progress, and report our findings.

We believe that dialogue and engagement are the best ways to work toward building a better world. In keeping with the UN Guiding Principles, where national law and international human rights standards differ, we follow the higher standard. Where they are in conflict, we respect national law while seeking to respect the principles of internationally recognized human rights.

The fragile state of ‘contact languages’

John Wenz:

When groups of people who speak different languages come together, they sometimes inadvertently create a new one, combining bits of each into something everyone can use to communicate easily. Linguists call such impromptu tongues “contact languages” – and they can extend well beyond the pidgin and creole that many of us have heard of.

The origin stories of these linguistic mash-ups vary. Some are peaceful, such as when groups meet for trade and need a lingua franca: Nigerian Pidgin English, for example, allows speakers of over 500 tongues to communicate. But others were born of tragedy and violence – like Haitian Creole, Gullah Geechee, Jamaican Creole and many others that arose from the Atlantic slave trade, when West African peoples combined several tongues with English, creating everyday languages often used among slaves.

Today, many of these contact languages are lost. Only 200 or so remain – scores of which are at risk of extinction. Linguists and anthropologists who traditionally have focused on the fate of more formal languages are paying increased attention: studying them with greater intensity and working with indigenous groups, international agencies, independent non-profits, academics and others to preserve them.

Divorce rates in America soar 34% during COVID

Laura Edmonds:

The coronavirus pandemic has dealt a serious blow to marriages in the US amid a 34 per cent increase in sales for divorce agreements and revelations that it took just three weeks under quarantine for relationships to crumble, according to a survey.

The outbreak of the coronavirus in January and implementation of lockdown orders in March forced couples to manage a plethora of new challenges.

The combination of quarantine life, wavering finances, mounting unemployment rates, illnesses, deaths of loved ones, mental illness and child care has led Americans lawyers to predict a record number of divorce filings. 

Middleton High School student’s petition asks for pass/no pass grading during virtual learning

Scott Girard:

Many districts moved to pass/no pass grading in the spring during the sudden switch to virtual as the COVID-19 pandemic forced unexpected closures. But with more time to plan and build their virtual learning environments, schools are moving back to letter grades for high school students this fall.

The Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District, for example, is moving back to its traditional letter grading system for high school, it informed students in an Aug. 28 email.

Not everyone supports the decision.

Middleton High School junior Daria Rudykh started a petition that has gotten more than 175 signatures asking MCPASD to keep the pass/no pass system in place as long as virtual learning continues. Distractions at home, whether siblings to care for or the stress of families losing income during the pandemic, can make it a challenging environment to learn in, she said, in addition to the stress and anxiety of the ongoing 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

Biden says school reopening a national emergency

Alexa Mencia:

Joe Biden delivered a speech in Delaware Wednesday on the issue of safely reopening America’s schools, which he says is a “national emergency.” 

In his second speech in three days, the Democratic presidential candidate outlined his plan to keep students and teachers safe during the pandemic. The remarks come ahead of a planned trip to Wisconsin Thursday.

During the campaign event in Wilmington, Biden said that if he were elected president, he would have the Federal Emergency Management Agency guarantee access to disaster relief for K-12 schools. 

Biden criticized President Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic Wednesday, saying he “still doesn’t have a real plan.” 

“This is an emergency and Donald Trump and his FEMA should treat it as one,” Biden said. 

FEMA officials said this week that the agency would no longer pay for cloth face masks and disinfectant in 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

Facebook, Under Pressure in India, Bans Politician for Hate Speech

Newley Purnell and Rajesh Roy:

Facebook Inc. FB 2.39% banned a member of India’s ruling party for violating its policies against hate speech, amid a growing political storm over its handling of extremist content on its platform.

The removal of the politician, T. Raja Singh, is an about-face for the company and one that will be politically tricky in India, its biggest market by number of users.

The Wall Street Journal reported last month that Facebook’s head of public policy in the country, Ankhi Das, had opposed banning Mr. Singh under Facebook’s “dangerous individual” prohibitions. In communications to Facebook staffers, she said punishing violations by politicians from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party could hurt the company’s business interests in the country.

Many taxpayer supported school districts use Facebook services, including Madison.

Commentary on Wisconsin per student spending trends – Madison spends far more than average

Wisconsin Policy Forum:

According to U.S. Census figures, Wisconsin relied on state revenues for over half of its K-12 per-pupil spending (54.3%) in 2018, compared to an average of 46.7% nationwide. In fact, aid to schools is the largest spending category in the state budget, comprising $6.0 billion (or 35%) of state general purpose revenue expenditures in 2019.

Moreover, although schools typically are funded by a mix of federal, state, and local revenue sources, the combined total of state and local revenues is particularly important in Wisconsin, which relies less on federal revenues than many other states. The vast majority of school district revenues (and therefore spending power) are controlled by state officials, who set both state aids to schools as well as state caps that effectively limit school property taxes.

This heavy reliance on state support and policies places Wisconsin’s schools in a comparatively precarious position even in the best of times. But attention to school finance issues is especially high right now, as the need to adopt and maintain balanced budgets in light of COVID-19 and its negative impact on state tax revenues will force policymakers to make difficult tradeoffs. Public school leaders are bracing for the possibility of state aid cuts as a consequence of these tough decisions.

Wisconsin K-12 spending has dropped relative to nation

To provide context, we analyzed public K-12 per-pupil spending data from the U.S. Census Bureau. The data include spending on operations such as instruction, general administration, transportation, building maintenance, curriculum development, staff training, and other functions. Debt payments and capital spending are excluded. Also, the data do not include public spending on private schools or charter schools authorized by nongovernmental entities.

We use per-pupil measures to compare state and national averages. As such, it is important to note that Wisconsin’s enrollment dropped by 1.8% between 2008 and 2018, while enrollment across the U.S. as a whole increased by 0.4% in that time. Even if spending is constant from one year to the next, the per-pupil spending figure will rise if enrollment falls and fall if enrollment rises.

In 2002, Wisconsin’s total spending per pupil was $8,574, placing its statewide public K-12 spending level about 11% higher than the national average and 12th highest in the nation. Since that time, the state’s ranking has fallen. By 2018, Wisconsin’s expenditure of $12,285 per pupil somewhat lagged the average nationwide ($12,612), and its ranking dropped to 24th. Among Wisconsin’s four neighboring states, only Iowa (27th) spent less per pupil in 2018.

Property taxes up 37% from 2012 – 2021.

MMSD Budget Facts: from 2014-15 to 2020-21
1. 4K-12 enrollment: -1.6% (decrease) from 2014-15 to projected 2020-21
2. Total district staffing FTE: -2.9% (decrease) from 2014-15 to proposed 2020-21
3. Total expenditures (excluding construction fund): +15.9% +17.0% (increase) from 2014-15 to proposed 2020-21
4. Total expenditures per pupil: +17.8% +19.0%(increase) from 2014-15 to proposed 2020-21
5. CPI change: +10.0% (increase) from January 2014 to January 2020
6. Bond rating (Moody’s): two downgrades (from Aaa to Aa2) from 2014 to 2020
Sources:
1. DPI WISEdash for 2014-15 enrollment; district budget book for projected 2020-21 enrollment
2. & 3.: District budget books
4. Bureau of Labor Statistics (https://www.bls.gov/data/)

Here’s why you won’t see reporting from inside Seattle-area virtual classrooms this week

Hannah Furfaro:

Thousands of Washington children are headed back to school this week — a majority of them remotely — but you’ll hear few firsthand accounts from our reporting team about what’s happening inside.

That’s because no local school district we asked allowed our team to sit in on students’ first days of class.

In the days leading up to this week, our reporters reached out to teachers and officials at Seattle, Highline, Bellevue, Lake Washington and Renton school districts.

Several district officials said they asked teachers to consider our request: We hoped to document this important historical moment for students and teachers who are facing an unprecedented and challenging school season.

But, these officials said, no teachers volunteered to participate. “It’s a lot of pressure already — doing something that is all so new in a situation fraught with uncertainty,” one district spokesperson wrote to us. 

Other officials cited concerns about student privacy and technical issues. Some gave no reason. “Thank you for your interest. However, we are not allowing anyone but classroom teachers or school/district support staff to be a part of Zoom conferences with students,” an official for the Renton School District wrote. 

Acting collectively and systemically for equity in pandemic schooling

Maxine McKinney de Royston and Erica O. Turner:

Let’s be clear: an uncontrolled COVID-19 pandemic, anti-Black racism, xenophobia, climate crises and economic collapse are deepening existing inequities. A large body of research, including our own, shows that students of color are systematically denied access to safe and high-quality education. Maxine’s article, “I’m a Teacher, I’m Gonna Always Protect You,” details how anti-Black racism operates every day via harmful disciplinary practices, teacher-student relationships and stereotypes to make classrooms and schools physically, emotionally, psychologically and academically unsafe spaces for Black children. These inequities do not get resolved by families securing “the best” for their children through “white flight” and opportunity hoarding.

Indeed, Erica’s book, “Suddenly Diverse: How School Districts Manage Race and Inequality,” demonstrates how a focus on the individual actions of privileged families obscures systemic inequities such as racialized wealth inequality and the defunding of public schools and contributes to the adoption of managerial policies that, in failing to disrupt inequity, actually exacerbate it. As before, in this new “normal,” individualized actions layered onto ongoing systemic inequities continue to have stark consequences for public schools and the children they serve. Individualized actions that do not consider the collective further privatize education by taking away much-needed resources and eroding the social safety nets public schools provide as a public good. They also often foreclose resources needed to disrupt the inequities and racism seen in Maxine’s work.

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

K-12 Tax, Referendum & Spending climate: Declining Tax Base – Madison Edition

:

Reschovsky and his colleagues predict Madison will see a 2021 revenue shortfall of between $55 million and $86 million. This is a lower-than-the-average percentage than other central cities but still significant.

“One of the takeaways with respect to Madison is that relative to the 150 cities, Madison is going to be hurt less at least in (fiscal year 2021) … than the average city,” Reschovsky said. “Bad as it is in Madison, it’s going to be a lot worse in a number of other cities.”

Parents Press For Dane County Schools To Teach In-Person During Pandemic

Shamane Mills:

Dane County parents upset over online instruction at schools that were intending to hold classes in-person are speaking out following a recent emergency order by the local health department, which restricted all public and private schools to virtual instruction for grades 3-12 because of COVID-19.

Parents and their children carried signs outside city hall Wednesday night before a virtual meeting of the Board of Health. Speakers at the meeting told members of the board how their children cried because they missed their teachers, and some schools said they spent “countless hours and thousands of dollars to prepare for opening.” 

“To have this blanket order is heartbreaking to me and to our families,” said Liz Goldman, principal at St. John the Baptist Catholic School in Waunakee. “Public health officials need to realize we are not only looking at the physical health of our children and families. We need to look at the emotional and social health too.”

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

Hanford exposes soft bigotry in schools

Nathaniel Swain:

If you haven’t listened to or read the latest APM Report from Emily Hanford, this is really a must. A multifaceted look at the importance of oral language, background knowledge, and effective instruction for reading comprehension, Hanford’s report sheds light on the cruel intersections and interactions between race, family income, poverty, and educational failure.

Opening this documentary, Hanford creates a vivid picture of the mix of bleakness and hope for young people in youth justice, who are trying to get an education even at this late stage. This episode resonated strongly with me, as it is the setting of my previous research and current work.

The families of the young people in prison share their experiences of always knowing there was something wrong with their child’s learning, but getting nowhere. Hanford shares multiple stories of families trying to advocate for their children, but never getting the help they needed—not until they reached the justice system. In prison, of all places, remedial support for reading can be finally provided.

Booked, but can’t read (Madison): functional literacy, National citizenship and the new face of Dred Scott in the age of mass incarceration

Our Civic Duty

Judith Davidoff:

Wisconsin is an “outlier,” says Hess. The state is one of just 10 that does not require that students take a dedicated high school civics course.

National polls consistently show that a majority of Americans know little about how our system of government works. In this year’s national survey of civic knowledge, sponsored by the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania, just two in five (39 percent) adults out of 1,104 polled could correctly name the three branches of government. Twenty-two percent couldn’t name any branch. Remarkably, this is an improvement — only 32 percent in last year’s poll could name all three branches. The pollsters say the survey “found a link between high school civics classes and civics knowledge.” People who took high school civics classes and who said they were greater consumers of the news were more likely to know such things as the three branches of government.

Why does it matter?

Critics say ignorance about and detachment from democratic governance play a role in everything from low voter turnout to the country’s growing political divide to the decline in media literacy.

A bill pending in the U.S. House of Representatives, the Civics Learning Act of 2019, authored by Rep. Alcee Hastings, a Democrat from Florida, would allocate $30 million in grants to schools for programs that strengthen “civics education and learning.

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

Fall 2020 Madison School District Referenda Notes & Links

Taxpayers have long supported the Madison School District’s far above average spending, while tolerating our long term, disastrous reading results.

The district has placed substantial tax and spending increase referendums on the November, 2020 Presidential ballot.

A presenter [org chart] further mentioned that Madison spends about $1 per square foot in annual budget maintenance while Milwaukee is about $2. – October 2019 presentation. Milwaukee taxpayers plan to spend $1.2B for 75,234 students, or $15,950 per student, about 16% less than Madison.

Blacks for Political and Social Action of Dane County:

“We have not been presented with evidence that links additional public expenditures with increasing the academic performance of African American students,” the organization said in the statement. “More of the same for African American students is unacceptable.”

2020 Referendum: Commentary on adding another physical Madison School amidst flat/declining enrollment..

Elected Madison School Board referendum advocacy and rhetoric:

Savion Castro: Why Madison Needs Referenda 2020.

Gloria Reyes:

$350 million for our kids and our Madison public schools!? On behalf of Schools Make Madison Advocacy and the “Vote Yes 2 Invest” campaign, Maurice “Mo” Cheeks and I invite your questions and involvement as we work together between now and November 3rd. Let’s get this done! To learn more, please read: https://lnkd.in/eF276nn and visit our website, https://yes2investmsn.org/.

Many SIS 2020 Referendum notes and links.

“Public schools keep collecting tax revenue regardless of whether school opens on time.”

Hannah Stoll:

I was supposed to go back to class next week, but the public school I attend won’t open even for remote learning for three weeks. Its classrooms will be shut for at least another two months.

My twin sister and younger brother, who attend a Jewish school in a Boston suburb, are going back this week. The city’s Catholic schools are advertising on Twitter : “If your school in the Greater Boston area has a delayed opening or is going fully remote, check our website to find a Catholic school near you that is offering live in-person instruction.”

Time will tell which school made a safer decision. For now, though, it seems like my siblings are better off. It’s frustrating to see them excitedly preparing their school supplies and finding out their classes while I sit around the house wondering what the heck is going on with my school this fall. I love seeing my friends each day, even on Zoom, and it’s upsetting to be unable to do so because of a weekslong delay I can barely understand. I’d rather be in class learning and discussing new things than sitting at home scrolling through my phone. I miss screaming my friends’ names in the busy halls as I pass them on my way to class, or the laughter-filled sharing of “do nows” at the beginning of each class.

There are complex reasons why private schools are quicker to reopen. Public schools have influential teachers unions, whereas the National Labor Relations Board and the U.S. Supreme Court have limited union power at religious schools. Private-school budgets depend on families choosing to enroll and pay tuition. Public schools keep collecting tax revenue regardless of whether school opens on time.

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

“Leveling”

Video:

In the school district of South Orange & Maplewood, NJ there a system of student academic placement called “Leveling” by which students are placed in levels 2-5. There has been a heated debate within the community on the effectiveness of this system. Watch and listen as the teachers, administrators, parents and students speak on the issue.

This is the prequel to upcoming feature length documentary, “De-leveling the System”, where we look at; the district’s plans to revise leveling, the community response, systems in other districts and we follow 5 students throughout the school year and get their perspective on academic placement.

Why has college gotten so expensive in the last 30 years? Probably because the government handed them a blank check in 1993.

Andrew:

The acceleration in tuition costs in the past 30 years has a surprisingly simple origin, mostly stemming from the  “); background-size: 1px 1px; background-position: 0px calc(1em + 1px); background-repeat: repeat no-repeat”>Student Loan Reform Act of 1993.

Student Loan Reform Act of 1993 — Amends the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA) to replace the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program, under which loans made by private lenders are guaranteed by the Government, with a Federal Direct Student Loan Program, over a four-year transition period.

Up until 1993, the federal government merely guaranteed/backed student loans that private lenders gave. This meant that only in the case of someone defaulting on their loan would the government be on the hook, stepping in and paying the college what’s owed.

This amendment completely overhauled that system, making it so that for the vast majority of student loans, the federal government directly made the loans to students. More specifically, the federal government pays the universities/colleges up front, and the student then owes the government that money.

This represented a large shift in the alignment of incentives. When the loans come from the federal gov, there’s much less pressure on schools to compete on price. This is especially true since “increasing max student loan size => making college more accessible to everyone” is a political argument that both major parties benefit from in terms of optics.

A college student used GPT-3 to write fake blog posts and ended up at the top of Hacker News

Kim Lyons:

College student Liam Porr used the language-generating AI tool GPT-3 to produce a fake blog post that recently landed in the No. 1 spot on Hacker News, MIT Technology Review reported. Porr was trying to demonstrate that the content produced by GPT-3 could fool people into believing it was written by a human. And, he told MIT Technology Review, “it was super easy, actually, which was the scary part.”

So to set the stage in case you’re not familiar with GPT-3: It’s the latest version of a series of AI autocomplete tools designed by San Francisco-based OpenAI, and has been in development for several years. At its most basic, GPT-3 (which stands for “generative pre-trained transformer”) auto-completes your text based on prompts from a human writer.

My colleague James Vincent explains how it works:

What the world can learn from the UK’s A-level grading fiasco

London School of Economics:

The A-level grading fiasco in the UK led to public outrage over algorithmic bias. This is a well-established problem that data professionals have sought to address through making their algorithms more explainable. However, Dr Daan Kolkman argues that the emergence of a “critical audience” in the A-level grading fiasco poses a model for a more effective means of countering bias and intellectual lock-in in the development of algorithms. 

Last week, hundreds of students in UK gathered in front of the Department for Education and chanted “f**k the algorithm”. Within days, their protests prompted officials to reverse course and throw out test scores that an algorithm had generated for students who never sat their exams due to the pandemic.

This incident has shone the media spotlight on the question of AI bias. However, previous cases of AI bias have already led to well-intentioned efforts by data scientists, statisticians, and machine learning experts to look beyond the technical and also consider the fairness, accountability, confidentiality, and transparency of their algorithms. What the A-level grading fiasco demonstrates is that this work may be misdirected. There is a key lesson to be learned from this algorithmic grading fiasco. A lesson that will only become more relevant as governments and organizations increasingly use automated systems to inform or make decisions: There can be no algorithmic accountability without a critical audience. By this, I mean that, unless it draws the attention of people who critically engage with it, technical and non-technical quality assurance of algorithms is a token gesture and will fail to have the desired effect.

Dane County Madison Public Health issues hundreds of warnings for alleged COVID-19 order violations

Chris Rickert:

Since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been 5,568 cases of COVID-19 in Dane County, including 41 new cases reported Wednesday and 40 documented deaths. Statewide there have been 77,129 cases and 1,142 deaths.

SSM Health, which owns St. Mary’s Hospital, was sent warning letters on Aug. 7, 13 and 19 for alleged face covering, cleaning and social distancing violations at clinics in Madison, including its cancer care center on John Q. Hammons Drive, according to Public Health.

In a statement, SSM Health outlined the precautions it’s been taking at its facilities and said it used the warnings from Public Health “as another opportunity to talk with our employees and remind them of our policies.”

The village of Mount Horeb Recreation Department was sent a warning letter on Aug. 10 for reportedly not abiding by social distancing guidelines during a sports program, according to the Public Health records. Village officials did not respond to requests for comment.

One school and three parishes within the Madison Catholic Diocese saw complaints. Diocese spokesman Brent King said a complaint about a mass gathering at St. Dennis School was likely related to a meet-and-greet picnic for which the school had received Public Health’s approval.

Public health received mask-related complaints about Blessed Sacrament and St. Maria Goretti in Madison and St. Mary of Pine Bluff in Cross Plains.

Two public school districts also show up on the health department’s list, including Marshall, for alleged violations of the mask and mass gatherings rules.

Marshall district administrator Dan Grady said the district hasn’t received the letter sent Aug. 27 and wasn’t sure what it could pertain to.

He said the cross-country team began practicing Aug. 17, staff gathered Aug. 24 and teachers have been meeting with parents of some students, but all such activities have been carried out in compliance with the county rules and no one has come to him with concerns directly.

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

Advocating Outdoor Classrooms

Daniela Blei:

In 1905, when tuberculosis plagued the United States, and Americans lived in deadly fear of the disease, a New York City health official addressed the American Academy of Medicine, pleading for changes at the nation’s schools. “To remove all possible causes which might render a child susceptible to the invasion of tuberculosis during school life, we must appeal to school boards, superintendents teachers, and school physicians to do all in their power.” Alarmed, the speaker noted that windows in American classrooms only opened halfway, and should be immediately replaced with French-style windows to “permit twice the amount of foul air to go out, and of good air to come in.” Every school must have a large playground, he continued, and classroom ventilation “of the most improved kind.” Schoolrooms were to be washed daily, and a “judicious curriculum” was to include “as much outdoor instruction as possible.”

The speaker was S. Adolphus Knopf, a German-born expert on tuberculosis and the founder of the National Tuberculosis Association, which became the American Lung Association. Like many leading minds of his generation, Knopf took an approach to science that was informed by the racist tenets of eugenics. For Knopf, slowing the spread of tuberculosis—an infectious disease second only to influenza in its deadliness—required investing in healthy, young bodies to prevent racial, national and even military decline. By 1915, Knopf argued that “open-air schools and as much open-air instruction as possible in kindergarten, school and college should be the rule.”

The Why and How of Privacy and Security

CLO S:

Trigger warning: authoritarianism, state surveillance, the Holocaust. If you want to avoid these topics, please jump to the last paragraph of this introduction, starting with ‘Enough about the depressing stuff.’

Before we start, I feel like I need to give a bit of background on why I care so deeply about privacy. It’s partly historical. Being Ashkenazi, I learnt from a very young age about the importance of sensitive information, and who you give that information to. My grandfather broke the law by not going to the police station to register himself as a Jew. The Holocaust saw 76,000 Jews deported to death camps from France alone – around 1/4th of the country’s Jewish population at the time. There’s a chance that not being part of the Jewish census saved his life. Lesson: be careful who you give sensitive information to.

That grandfather and two of his brothers left Paris in the middle of the war, and took a train south with no plan, no luggage, no contact, and no destination other than, well, heading south. They were helped by strangers and survived. Their mother however, along with two other siblings, had a plan. They had a deal with a smuggler to reach unoccupied France. The smuggler informed the Nazis, and all 3 of them died in deportation. Lesson: each person who has information on you represents an additional chance for it to be leaked.

And yes, we can raise the irony of mentioning my Jewish grandpa to warn you against sharing sensitive information online. There, I just did. 

While this happened in the 1940’s, a data point’s lifespan is drastically different today. It’s possible that you posted something online 10 years ago, and it was fine back then, but 20 years from now you will hope that no one finds it. My message is: the Internet never forgets, cultures change, and retroactive laws exist. People can get screwed over digital data. Let’s take the obvious example: China’s state surveillance has an eye on literally each and every move of its inhabitants, whether physical or digital. The state uses extensive data to allocate social scores, which can have a drastic impact on Chinese people’s life, including banning them from purchasing train or plane tickets, providing them with lower Internet speed, and denying them visas and loans. China also makes use of this surveillance system against its Uyghur population, detaining between 1 and 2 million people – the estimates vary – in concentration camps, where prisoners suffer extensively reported torture, brainwashing and forced labour. 

Apart from governmental issues, there’s also the topic of pervasive tracking and ads, championed by Facebook and Google. I’m yet to see the difference between today’s digital advertising and individually-customised mass manipulation. Maybe because there is none. Please try and change my mind if you have any conclusive elements.

Australian Premier Andrews faces multibillion-dollar COVID-19 class action claim

Patrick Durkin:

The Andrews Labor government is facing a multibillion-dollar COVID-19 bill from businesses shut down during the stage four lockdown for failures in hotel quarantine, in a landmark class action that names Health Minister Jenny Mikakos, Jobs Minister Martin Pakula and their department secretaries.

The man who successfully sued the Queensland government for as much as $1 billion following the 2011 floods is launching one of the country’s largest claims, expected to be worth billions of dollars and potentially crippling to Victoria, after Premier Daniel Andrews went it alone this year to pass laws that support the class action industry.

Mr Andrews’ latest woes comes as federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg labelled the Premier’s handling of the pandemic as a “slow car crash” and a “massive drag on the national economy”, as the state recorded 114 new cases and 11 deaths.

Apple-Google COVID platform rolls out on U.S. campuses

Philip Elmer DeWitt:

“There’s an analogy to Facebook’s rollout,” said Joanna Masel, a mathematical biologist and professor in the department of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Arizona. “We’re starting on college campuses. It is useful to focus on these communities and on places where there is trust, achieve high uptake and spread from there.”

To that end, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have shown interest in Dr. Masel’s pioneering contribution to the contact tracing and exposure app being deployed at the University of Arizona. The app, known as Covid Watch and developed on a platform built by Apple and Google, anonymously tracks students’ movements using Bluetooth technology; those who download the app will be notified if they have been in proximity to someone who has tested positive.

Dr. Masel built in an algorithm that seeks to gauge how infectious a student was at the time contact was made with others — a determination made by looking at when symptoms first appeared. Using that data, the algorithm can calculate how much risk was posed to other students depending on when they were exposed to the infected student and for how long. Students at the highest risk of exposure will be asked to quarantine and get tested.

Protecting union jobs rather than giving parents $3,000 to educate the children

Liv Finne:

Most schools in Washington will remain closed this fall. Some school districts are tightening their belts in anticipation of the COVID-19 budget cuts that are coming. Last week Governor Inslee bypassed the legislature and the decisions of local school districts to protect the jobs of union school bus drivers. He’s made sure money will keep flowing for school buses that are not carrying schoolchildren. His next step may be to keep the money flowing to school buildings with no students.   

Here is the background. In early August the school districts of Edmonds and Blaine announced layoffs of bus drivers and other school employees. On August 17th, six unions, including the WEA union, wrote Governor Inslee and State Superintendent Reykdal, demanding protection from these layoffs.

Nine days later, in a proclamation dated August 26th, Governor Inslee rewrote state funding for student transportation. His proclamation cancelled RCW 28A.160 (Student Transportation), which requires districts to fund transportation based on student enrollment. In March when schools closed, the state waived this portion of the law to keep bus drivers employed.  Now he has moved to make this change permanent by forcing districts to keep union school bus drivers employed, even though they are no longer driving students to school.

Governor Inslee claims his emergency powers under COVID-19 allow him to rewrite the student transportation funding law. But after examining the law, it turns out he does not have this power. The Governor’s emergency powers are limited as described in RCW 43.076.220, and they are circumscribed to “help preserve and maintain life, health, property or the public peace,” not to protect the jobs of favored union constituencies.

A recent Gallup Poll shows that public school enrollment will drop this fall from 83% to 76%. This fact is alarming school administrators because school district funding is based on student enrollment. If student enrollment falls off as expected this fall, the financial impact on school districts across the state will be large.

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

Disrupted Schooling Spells Worse Results and Deeper Inequality

The Economist:

Of the 50 largest school districts in America, 35 plan to start the coming term entirely remotely. The opportunity to squelch the virus over the summer has been lost, upending plans for “hybrid” education (part-time in-person instruction). This means more than just child-care headaches for parents. The continued disruption to schooling will probably spell permanent learning loss, disproportionately hurting poorer pupils.

“Achievement gaps will become achievement chasms,” warns Robin Lake, director of the Centre on Reinventing Public Education, a research group. Analysts at McKinsey, a consultancy, reckon that the typical American pupil would suffer 6.8 months of learning loss if in-person instruction does not resume until January 2021 (which looks plausible). This would fall heaviest on black pupils, who would regress by over ten months’-worth of instruction, and poor ones, who would fall behind by more than a year. There could also be 648,000 more high-school dropouts.

The true scale of the educational fallout will be unknown for years, because it manifests itself in future decisions like dropping out of high school or university. It will also remain murkier because typical barometers, such as the standardised tests administered in crowded school halls, have also been impeded. What evidence exists now does not look encouraging.

A team of five education scholars recently calculated that American schoolchildren in 2020 learned 30% less reading and 50% less maths than they would in a typical year. Despite that, the top third of pupils posted gains in reading. Data from Opportunity Insights, an economic-research outfit at Harvard University, show that after lockdowns began in March pupils from low-income neighbourhoods fell permanently behind on online maths coursework, whereas those from richer areas quickly rebounded (see chart).

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 College Board Is Sharing Student Data Once Again

Thomas Germain:

The College Board is tracking students and sending information about their activity to advertising platforms at companies such as Facebook and Google.

Our researchers found ads on other websites that appeared to use tracking from the College Board website.

These practices seem to contradict the College Board’s explicit promises to consumers. The company may be sharing students’ information without consent.

For millions of students, the College Board is the gatekeeper to higher education. And according to a Consumer Reports investigation, the organization uses that role to collect and share information on those students—despite apparent promises to the contrary.

The nonprofit company owns and operates the SAT test. It also administers the Advanced Placement exams high school students take to earn college credit and strengthen their applications. And when you create an account on collegeboard.org to register for the SAT, sign up for an AP test, or research colleges and scholarships, the College Board sends details about your activity to at least seven tech companies that profit from advertising.

(some) Madison School board COmmentary on Planned West High School Grading Changes

So in a district where this was previously implemented, um, failure went down, but so did rates of students earning A’s and B’s and our level classes, um, and teachers found that it had eroded some students’ motivations. So I was wondering if that’s a concern at all in how the district might address that.

Okay, great question. I know that, um, several schools have, um, have used this in him through the year, but as well as. Just went back and looked at their grades to see how it might’ve affected most recently. Um, and teacher at West high school is providing some professional development and used his class.

He didn’t use the strategy and here actually wasn’t necessarily a fan of it. But over the summer reading and understanding, he went back and looked at last year’s grades. Right among the, the trend that we’ve seen, whether we’re talking East algebra or we’re talking West chemistry, because it did not actually inflate the number is, and B’s it did.

However, bring up, um, a few of the F’s and the reason being on this is that it brought some, it took some of the zeros and brought them up to fifties and it raised it a little bit. But here’s the interesting part of it was that. And again, this is something that we saw when we talked to summer school students, and this is something we talked when we talked to students that were in the transition academies or micro schools as well, is that when the teacher, as there were students that had one, two or three F’s and they felt that they were not going to be able to get those up, they just stopped coming.

And those, those were some of the apps that they continue to stay in those classes. Um, and so we’ve been looking at this and we have other teachers now are looking at their grade books just to see if that trend is consistent as well. I’ll also just add in there a little Julia, um, many districts across the nation have shifted their entire grading scale as they’ve moved to an equal interval grading scale.

And I would say we grappled with about three or four different grading scales, and we decided as a collective to keep the grading scale for an a through D consistent now and only. Change the 59 points for an app. So that students that were earning A’s before should still be earning A’s students that were earning bees should still be earning BS.

We didn’t feel that we were ready for kind of, um, fully going like this and blowing up the full grading scale of making those shifts. Because we also simultaneously have to work on that instructional delivery and assessing standards through the way we deliver instruction. So I think that some of the references you’re making are in terms of where they’ve done some other significant shifts and it’s just one phase and kind of where we may go with that.

Thank you. Um, I had another question. So, um, all Madison teachers that I’ve had in the past have chosen to give opportunity to make up late work or late assignments or even redo tests for partial or full credit though, could either, could encourage and keep your, to allow makeups for credit or like some districts have mandated, um, that you have a minimum 50%, if a reasonable attempt is made on the assignment, would that achieve the same goals?

It’s just removing the zero or is there a reason. Specifically, like why you went to get rid of the F basically. Yeah, so I’ll start. And then Mike, feel free to chime in. So one, we don’t have a consistent in practice right now in terms of teachers allowing to have students make up a redo. That’s one of the shifts that we’ve been working on for the last few years.

And it’s great to hear that all of your teachers have done that. I would say across a student’s day, they have had very inconsistent practices in terms of what’s allowed and what’s not. So that’s one of the things we want to standardize and to, I want to go back and just re. Besides this idea of a zero and this idea of 59 points for an AF yet nowhere near that same number of points for students to demonstrate passing.

And so for us the shift and taking away a zero. Which tanks students. Sometimes you can not come out of a zero even mathematically in any way you try. You can not come up from a zero. We want students to be able to see us as a learning organization, and we want our students to be in this continuous improvement cycle as well.

And so one way to do that is just to create equal number of points that still allows students to fail forward. Right. And to come out of that and to master the content and the skills. So that is where we’re at. I don’t think just this idea of redoing without removing a zero and that kind of disproportionate number of opportunities and an app would achieve the same goal just to go along with that is there’s sometimes there’s confusion when we use grades as punitive measures as well.

Um, an example, being somebody who cheated. Um, you know, they deserve a zero or do they deserve an F because sometimes if somebody cheats, there’s a root cause to that. And so we need to look at this and if we’re looking at a deficit mindset, Hey, I’m coming down as hard as I can you get a zero or an S I say deficit mindset.

I’m here as a student might have. Had something that they needed to do and they didn’t have to a chance to study or complete the homework. And so knowing that they’re going to either get a zero or take the chance they decided to take the chance. I think the root cause from this is we need to figure out how we can, we need to figure out what, hello.

Hello? Yeah. Okay. I hear an answer. I know that’s coming from your on Gloria has got a mute, so we need to figure out the root cause of, of the why. Um, I think there’s a hangup on and being able to fail somebody. Um, you’re still, there’ll still be people still be able to fail a student, but it’ll be with the 50% F as opposed to a zero F.

I mean, do you think that students would be less likely to make up their work or try to relearn content if it was already at 50%? I think that particular students. So if we’re being extremely, um, intentional on this, I think that students are gonna realize that as we work on your maturity as well, that they can, they still have a chance to get engaged and pass the class, as opposed to, you know, the first two or three weeks.

Let me see a few, a few zeros. I mean, we’re looking at it and then two different senses, right? I’m looking at, there are students that are intrinsically motivated. Um, earlier when I talked about the privileges, they have privileges of pants and or people supporting them. And we have some that don’t, and that’s unfortunate in reality.

And so we’re taking one of those variables out and then we’re not going to penalize somebody for not having that privilege.

cut out for a minute there, but I think I got the gist of what you’re saying. Um, I have other questions, sorry to take up more time, but, um, so some kind of going along with that idea of privilege, there’s kind of dangerous and subjective grading as well. Um, and some research has found that educators in schools with a note zero policy.

Um, give higher grades to students who are shown, who they believe are putting in more effort. Um, and I’m kind of concerned that would make grading more subjective or discouraging to students who aren’t doing as well. So could you speak to that at all?

well, I can start. And then Mike, you want to chime in. So I think this is why we want to move to standard space instruction and grading overall when teachers have rubrics and the rubrics are very clear in terms of what students need to know, be able to do and demonstrate in order to master the standards, there is no subjectivity in it, right?

We’re taking some of that subjectivity out. I would say that this kind of phase along the way. It’s still imperfect because we are still using percents and letter grades. And we haven’t moved to the full standard spaced approach. Many of our teachers use rubrics. Many of our teachers use points and those points are able to calculate on the backend to that percent.

And so we’re getting closer to that. And that has been six years of work. As Lisa said, we just recently sent people to the standards Institute. And DPI just made some shifts to their standards again. So when we can fully get to that place where we show students in advance, this is what it means to meet the standards.

Here is the rubric. There is no guessing game. I think we will be even closer to what you’re getting at Julia. And I think this is one step to that. Yeah. And I agree with the subjectivity when we hit the standards, as well, as I mentioned earlier, you have multiple entry points to show proficiency in. And so that takes some of that subjectivity out, but we also know with grading, um, participation is code for behavior.

Um, uh, if that is their active language that they’re participating in, or if they’re not necessarily, um, engaged in class, that can be a difference between getting full points of participation and getting zero points for participation. And that’s a way to, to create subjectivity as well. But if we’re talking about, um, being able to show.

Uh, I demonstrate some proficiency in multiple different ways. I can take out that subjectivity as well. Dr. Jagan. Yes, no. I was just going to say to chair Reyes and to the rest of the board members, I appreciate all the questions we’re going to be bringing this back. This isn’t the end of this. And at this particular point, we have several of the items on the agenda.

Definitely think that we could move this. And if there are any other questions, you can submit those in and, uh, we’ll definitely will respond to those. But tonight was intended to give you an overview because we’re moving. This great piece for it. So if we could, at this point, we could just end this particular presentation and thank you to those who are presenting, uh, unless the board wishes differently.

Thanks for your answers. Thank you, dr. Jenkins. I agree. I think, um, you know, we’ve been to two hours into the, uh, superintendents report. Um, I will take in one more person. I don’t, I don’t see, I didn’t see any other hands up. Um, Chris Gomez Schmidt. Um, if you could ask you questions all at once. I think Ollie had her hand up, so I don’t want to interrupt there.

I know she was. Hoping to ask my question. My question is just around the metrics that we’re using to make, to determine if, what the changes that we’re making are effective. So if you could share with us, yeah. However, you’re going to share that, um, the metrics that we’re using to, um, tell that this, these changes are helping students stay more engaged in school and that they’re increasing their mastery and learning along the way and not just increasing their GPA.

I think that would be helpful for us to understand. Well, I can start. I think we’re going to use the same metrics that we have in place in our strategic framework and the same metrics we’ve used in the past. I think in addition to that in the research has told us kind of what we should be paying attention to and why we’re making these changes.

So that’s where we are initially in terms of metrics for that. I think the other thing we will do obviously, is qualitatively along the way in our reflect and adjust process. So let me know if you want to add anything to that. Great. Thank you. I also want to say part, one of the metrics we look at is attendance and looking at some of the trend data of students from last year to this year and engagement, and there were disengagement of attending classes.

Thank you. Alright,

great presentation. Thank you. Thank you. All. This was very informative. Um, as dr. Jenkins said that, um, we, um, we’ll come back to this topic again, uh, to have another conversation, um, and update on how we’re doing. Uh, so next item on the agenda is did somebody have something before I move on? Okay. Um, is report on items that proceeded through the instruction work group.

** Machine generated transcript – there may be errors.

Notes and links on the planned Madison West High School Grading changes.

Dane County Madison Public Health amendment allows in-person instruction for students with disabilities

Scott Girard:

Students with disabilities who need some in-person instruction will be allowed to go to schools this fall after Public Health Madison & Dane County amended its previous order Tuesday.

PHMDC had announced on Friday, Aug. 21, that no students beyond grades K-2 were allowed for in-person instruction until certain metrics were met.

After a challenging spring for students with disabilities, who have Individualized Education Programs that outline therapies and goals, some area districts had been planning for limited in-person opportunities prior to the order. That work, part of the IEP process that includes parents and school representatives, can now continue.

The Madison Metropolitan School District had nearly 4,000 students with disabilities of nearly 27,000 students total in the 2019-20 school year. Some therapies like speech and language were easier to adapt to a virtual environment than practices like physical therapy or the social interactions that are an important part of development for students.

The Aug. 21 order, Emergency Order No. 9, is facing multiple legal challenges from area private schools, supporting groups and parents. Many private schools were set to open last week, just after the order was published.

The state Supreme Court has asked PHMDC director Janel Heinrich and County Executive Joe Parisi to respond by Wednesday at noon.

The order allows public and private schools to open for grades K-2 in person with certain hygiene, mask and distancing requirements in place.

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

In Person School Begins (Appleton, not Madison)

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

It is about a Japanese painter who, having once enjoyed great popular success, finds himself the victim of a revisionist post-war culture, shunned and despised for the incorrect political choices he made in the ’30s.

Bomb:

The butler is a good metaphor for the relationship of very ordinary, small people to power. Most of us aren’t given governments to run or coup d’etats to lead. We have to offer up the little services we have perfected to various people: to causes, to employers, to organizations and hope for the best—that we approve of the way it gets used. This is a condition that I want to write about. It struck me that the figure of the butler, the man who serves, someone who is so close and yet so very far from the hub of power would be a useful person to write through. And there’s the other reason that you’ve hinted at … It’s precisely because the butler has become such a mythical figure in British culture. I’ve always found that bizarre and amusing. This has got something to do with the fact that I come from a Japanese background. There are certain things that are very exotic to me about Englishness.

GS

 Although, you could say that the butler is a figure who leads, by necessity, a very stylized existence. Dignity is enormously important to this character. There is a resemblance with Japan—that feeling of dignity, service, life as a kind of performance. There is a strong echo of An Artist of the Floating World. The central character of that novel, Masuji Ono, is also concerned with dignity. Yet Stevens is a much less self-knowing and more pathetic character. He seems to have this terrible blindness about his own experience. The only thing which redeems him is the enormous importance he attaches to dignity. Do you think of dignity as a virtue?

KI

 I’m not quite sure what dignity is, you see. This is part of the debate in The Remains of the Day. Stevens is obsessed with this thing that he calls dignity. He thinks dignity has to do with not showing your feelings, in fact he thinks dignity has to do with not having feelings.

GS

 It’s to do with the suppression of feelings.

No heroes, no hope: Is this how to teach history?

Rick Hess:

Well-meaning, white teachers” should “talk about systemic racism,” not stories of individual achievement, advises Robert Harvey, superintendent of New York City’s East Harlem Scholars Academies charters, in an Education Week commentary.

“When we neglect to talk about how systemic racism is embedded within American structures — education, justice, employment, housing, and health care — we unintentionally teach students” that successful Blacks are “exempt from racist structures,” Harvey writes.

I can’t imagine anyone teaching that Black heroes were “exempt” from racism. They overcame it. Is it good to tell kids that racism is systemic — and impossible to overcome. “Abandon hope all ye enter here” is the motto for hell.

The commentary is a good example of the “lunacy unfolding on the ‘anti-racist education’ front, writes Rick Hess.

Dane County Madison Public Health Slides (late Friday) on Schools; “activity tracker”

Dane County Madison Public Health:

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services’ (DHS) Activity Tracker, Harvard guidance, COVID-local and COVIDActNow served as the main sources of the targets used for determining in-person instruction by grade level.

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

19-year-old activist helps spearhead youth-led Black Lives Matter movement

Shanzeh Ahmad:

A 2018 graduate of West High School, Obuseh comes from a military family and moved to Madison in 2016 after having lived in Germany for some six years. Her younger brother is about to start his sophomore year at West.

Before Germany, they lived in Delaware, Alabama and Georgia, where Obuseh was born in Atlanta. She said moving a lot as she was growing up taught her the importance of “finding structure within chaos.”

“I’m not the type of person to really get in the mix of things,” Obuseh said. “I feel like I can instead try to create a little bit of order.”

She said even though activism takes up a lot of her time, she is “still 19” and likes to hang out with friends and go outside and paint, and enjoys poetry and TED Talks.

She is a student at UW-Madison exploring her interests in law and healthcare but took some time off in the spring to focus on an internship at the Capitol and other roles, including creating the youth-led group Impact Demand. Obuseh said she and some of her peers who she used to protest with in high school wanted to organize for the Black Lives Matter movement and show the community where youths stand.

Why is it important to get the youth voice out there?

The youth is the future. The youth are the people that are living through all the policies that are being created. A lot of people you see protesting will be the loudest people in the room, or at the Capitol, but not making any legislation. A lot of things don’t get done in terms of writing the legislation and holding people accountable. We have all this energy, and now it’s directed energy towards a purpose. In terms of our group, I helped to spearhead the policy action. We still have a lot more to do and a long way to go, but we’re putting the work in.

Do you find it hard for people to take the youth seriously?

I think people support the youth vocally and make it seem like they take it seriously but not on the ballot where it matters or monetarily. The youth right now has the energy, the motivation and the will to educate themselves and others to make this movement stronger. I feel like if you see somebody younger than you doing something bigger than themselves, that has an impact. A lot of the older generations are coming around and realizing that we need to be able to have the floor. We’ll always need them to mentor and give us advice, but let the youth be empowered. I think that’s the biggest thing right now is just letting us take the lead and allowing us to move with our energy and momentum towards policy.

What are Impact Demand’s goals?

The biggest goal is to see accountability across the board, whether it be in the police department, in hospitals, in housing. Our group, Impact Demand, we demand action. We demand change immediately. I want to see policies in place because we deserve more as a community. Change should be immediate, things like town halls and civilian oversight. At the end of the day, we’re all in this community and all want the best for ourselves. We all want to live equally and live freely, and it takes everyone to do that.

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 Broken Algorithm That Poisoned American Transportation

Aaron Gordon:

In November 2011, the Louisville-Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges Project published a 595-page document that was supposed to finally end a decades-long battle over a highway. The project was a controversial one, to say the least.

At a time when many cities around the country were re-evaluating whether urban highways had a place in their downtowns, Louisville was doubling down. It not only wanted to keep the infamous “Spaghetti junction” where Interstates 64, 65, and 71 meet in a tangled interchange, but it wanted to build more on top of it. In addition, the political alliance behind the project aimed to expand the I-64 crossing to double the lane capacity, as well as build a whole new bridge just down the river—doubling the number of lanes that crossed the river from six to 12—all for a tidy $2.5 billion.

But in order to get approval to use federal funds for this expensive proposition, the project backers had to provide evidence that Louisville actually needed this expansion. Using a legally-mandated industry practice called Travel Demand Modeling (TDM), the project backers hired an engineering firm to predict what traffic will look like 20 years in the future, in this case, by 2030. They concluded that the number of cross-river trips would increase by 29 percent. The implication was obvious: if they did nothing, traffic would get worse. As a result, the project got federal approval and moved ahead.

New Subject Offering: “COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2 and the Pandemic”

MIT Biology:

In Fall 2020, all MIT students and the general public are welcome to join Professors Richard Young and Facundo Batista as they discuss the science of the pandemic during this new class. Special guest speakers include: Anthony Fauci, David Baltimore, Britt Glaunsinger, Bruce Walker, Eric Lander, Michel Nussenzweig, Akiko Iwasaki, Arlene Sharpe, Kizzmekia Corbett, and others. The class will run from September 1, 2020 through December 8, 2020 and begin each Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. ET. See the syllabus for lecture details.

The rise and fall of the industrial R&D lab

Ben Southwood:

Once, small firms centred on inventors were responsible for most of our innovation. Larger firms might buy or exploit these steps forwards, but they did not typically make them. And then for a brief period, this changed: many of the best new products, tools, and ideas came from research labs within large corporations. This brief period also happened to be the era when scientific, technological, and economic productivity sped forward at its fastest ever clip. Yet almost as soon as it arrived, the fruitful period was over and we returned to a situation where small companies and small-business-like teams at universities developed innovations outside of large companies and sold them in a market for ideas. Though we might enjoy the innovation created by small flexible firms, we should not dismiss the contributions made by large corporate labs. The corporate lab may be creeping back, but aggressively prosecuting antitrust against large firms growing organically through in-house research could easily snuff this spark out.

K-12 Tax, Spending, Referendum and School Climate: Germany eyes a four-day week to help prevent mass layoffs

Charlotte Edmond:

  • Germany’s largest trade union, IG Metall, is proposing its members call for a four-day week to offset economic pressures heightened by the pandemic.

  • The proposal has had a mixed reception, with the German labour minister open to the possibility, while others are fundamentally opposed.

  • The idea of a reduced working week has already been raised in other countries – and coronavirus could make others willing to consider it.

At 34.2 hours, Germany already has one of the shortest average working weeks in Europe. And there are loud voices calling for it to be shorter still.

The country’s largest trade union, IG Metall, has proposed a four-day week to limit job losses in the automotive industry. Coronavirus woes are compounding economic pressure from existing structural shifts in the sector.

Let’s compare: Middleton and Madison Property taxes

Madison property taxes are 22% more than Middleton’s for a comparable home, based on this comparison of 2017 sales.

Fall 2020 Administration Referendum slides.

(Note: “Madison spends just 1% of its budget on maintenance while Milwaukee, with far more students, spends 2%” – Madison’s CFO at a fall 2019 referendum presentation.)

MMSD Budget Facts: from 2014-15 to 2020-21 [July, 2020]

Property taxes up 37% from 2012 – 2021.

MMSD Budget Facts: from 2014-15 to 2020-21
1. 4K-12 enrollment: -1.6% (decrease) from 2014-15 to projected 2020-21
2. Total district staffing FTE: -2.9% (decrease) from 2014-15 to proposed 2020-21
3. Total expenditures (excluding construction fund): +15.9% +17.0% (increase) from 2014-15 to proposed 2020-21
4. Total expenditures per pupil: +17.8% +19.0%(increase) from 2014-15 to proposed 2020-21
5. CPI change: +10.0% (increase) from January 2014 to January 202
6. Bond rating (Moody’s): two downgrades (from Aaa to Aa2) from 2014 to 2020
Sources:
1. DPI WISEdash for 2014-15 enrollment; district budget book for projected 2020-21 enrollment
2. & 3.: District budget books
5. Bureau of Labor Statistics (https://www.bls.gov/data/)

– via a kind reader (July 9, 2020 update).

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

Another indictment of America’s approach to reading instruction

Dale Chu, via a kind reader:

The tremor that you felt last week was the dropping of a new Emily Hanford radio documentary, “What the Words Say: Many kids struggle with reading—and children of color are far less likely to get the help they need.” Since she started reporting on reading several years ago, Hanford has kept up the pressure on the scourge of educational malpractice that is America’s approach to reading instruction. Her formula is simple but effective: gut-wrenching stories interwoven with science, data, and a just-the-facts-ma’am ethos.

Clocking in at just under fifty-three minutes, Hanford’s latest entry hones in on how early reading problems are particularly acute with Black, Hispanic, and Native American students. Unlike White and Asian children who often have more opportunities to develop E.D. Hirsch’s concept of cultural literacy at home, low-income children of color often attend schools that fall short in building content knowledge, vocabulary, and reading comprehension, a failure from which they rarely fully recover.

Hanford’s first documentary on reading, now three years old, explored how poorly kids with dyslexia are being served. Her next two tackled the broader problem of reading instruction failure, stemming from misbegotten strategies and schools’ refusal to teach decoding. This time, Hanford delves deep into the importance of building knowledge and vocabulary so kids can understand the words they decode—lest they start the path toward dropping out of school and being consigned to the criminal justice system.

Indeed, in a windowless cinderblock room at a juvenile detention facility in Houston, Hanford sat in on a cringeworthy reading lesson with a fifteen-year-old that had been failed by his teachers and his schools:

School “opening”, Election Posturing and K-12 “advocacy”

There seems to be a rhythm to the text message touch attempts.

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

How ‘elite overproduction’ and ‘lawyer glut’ could ruin the U.S.

Peter Turchin:

Complex human societies, including our own, are fragile. They are held together by an invisible web of mutual trust and social cooperation. This web can fray easily, resulting in a wave of political instability, internal conflict and, sometimes, outright social collapse.

Analysis of past societies shows that these destabilizing historical trends develop slowly, last many decades, and are slow to subside. The Roman Empire, Imperial China and medieval and early-modern England and France suffered such cycles, to cite a few examples. In the U.S., the last long period of instability began in the 1850s and lasted through the Gilded Age and the “violent 1910s.”

We now see the same forces in the contemporary U.S. Of about 30 detailed indicators I developed for tracing these historical cycles (reflecting popular well-being, inequality, social cooperation and its inverse, polarization and conflict), almost all have been moving in the wrong direction in the last three decades.

Every year U.S. law schools churn out about 25,000 “surplus” lawyers, many of whom are in debt. A large number hope to enter politics.

The roots of the current American predicament go back to the 1970s, when wages of workers stopped keeping pace with their productivity. The two curves diverged: Productivity continued to rise, as wages stagnated. The “great divergence” between the fortunes of the top 1 percent and the other 99 percent is much discussed, yet its implications for long-term political disorder are underappreciated. Battles such as the recent government shutdown are only one manifestation of what is likely to be a decade-long period.

How does growing economic inequality lead to political instability? Partly this correlation reflects a direct, causal connection. High inequality is corrosive of social cooperation and willingness to compromise, and waning cooperation means more discord and political infighting. Perhaps more important, economic inequality is also a symptom of deeper social changes, which have gone largely unnoticed.

Increasing inequality leads not only to the growth of top fortunes; it also results in greater numbers of wealth-holders. The “1 percent” becomes “2 percent.” Or even more. There are many more millionaires, multimillionaires and billionaires today compared with 30 years ago, as a proportion of the population.

Let’s take households worth $10 million or more (in 1995 dollars). According to the research by economist Edward Wolff, from 1983 to 2010 the number of American households worth at least $10 million grew to 350,000 from 66,000.

They wanted to drown me at birth – now I’m a poet’

Rahil Sheikh:

Born in an Indian village with cerebral palsy, Kuli Kohli was lucky to survive. Neighbours told her parents they should throw her in the river, instead they brought her to the UK. As she grew up here, writing became her means of escape – and transformed her life in ways she never expected.

Waiting to be called on stage in her home town of Wolverhampton, Kuli Kohli felt sick with anxiety. She was petrified her words wouldn’t come out and worried she would fall flat on her face. Her heart soared and her nerves clattered. Self-doubt raced through her mind. “Why am I putting myself through all of this?” she asked herself.

The host welcomed Kuli to the empty chair that was waiting for her. It was dark, a spotlight illuminated the stage, and a small wave of applause rippled around the room.

Emerging from the side of the stage, Kuli nervously approached the mic. She took a breath and a few seconds of silence passed before she shared one of her poems with an audience for the very first time.

Choose Life.

Madison Council member catches heat for reposting flyer that called on protesters to ‘f— s— up’

Dean Mosiman:

Ald. Max Prestigiacomo, who has represented the student-dominated 8th District since winning a special election to fill a vacancy in April, posted the flyer circulating online on his Facebook page after the shooting in Kenosha.

“Madison stands with Kenosha,” reads the flyer promoting protests Sunday and Monday. “F—- Kenosha PD. F—- Madison PD. F—- Milwaukee PD. F—- Chicago PD. No bad protesters. No good cops. Come prepared. Wear a mask. Bring water. No peace police. Do what you want. F—- S—- up.”

On Monday and Tuesday nights, peaceful protests in Madison became violent with some people starting dumpster and trash fires, breaking windows, looting multiple businesses, and throwing projectiles at police officers, who deployed chemical agents and made at least 10 arrests. Peaceful protests continued through the week without major incidents.

On Tuesday, when he saw the posting, resident Barnaby Kerr posted a comment on Prestigiacomo’s Facebook page and said Prestigiacomo blocked him. Kerr sent a screenshot of the posting to all City Council members and also contacted other city officials. Kerr said he intends to ask the council to censure Prestigiacomo at Tuesday’s council meeting.

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

College Is Everywhere Now

Taylor Lorenz:

As the fall semester begins, many college students will be attending classes from the relative safety of their family homes. Others have arrived to live on university campuses, with varying amounts of success; even schools that enforce strict social distancing guidelines are seeing outbreaks of the coronavirus.

But some students are pursuing a third option: Renting giant houses with friends — sometimes in far-flung locales — and doing school remotely, together. Call it the rise of the college “collab house.”

Two groups of students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, for example, have rented large houses in Hawaii for the fall semester. Six rising seniors at Columbia University will be living in a house in Portland, Ore. Several rising seniors at Harvard are renting property in Montana. There are at least seven large houses that have been rented in the greater Salt Lake City area alone, filled with students from different colleges.

These houses range in scale from lavish and pricey productions to smart, budget-friendly solutions for first generation, low-income students.

The media needs to stop spreading fear about ‘pandemic pods’

Chris Stewart:

Are they a saving grace for families displaced from traditional schooling or yet another mirage hiding serious educational inequities.

Like most things it matters who you ask. 

Much of the media coverage of pods has shown a deceptively white face which predictably has drawn significant warnings of widening gaps in educational outcomes. 

I understand the concerns, but it’s still a damned shame there is more vigilance about hamstringing solutions rather than finding them. 

The idea of self-determined home-based solutions for education has barely made it into the mainstream. The public has only a slight idea of what pods are, but already the always-on social justice naysayers and self-interested bureaucrats are breakdancing chicken little suitsall over pod news stories.

Of course we should care if the unintended consequences of educational trends will hurt societies most marginalized children, but that fear shouldn’t immobilize creative attempts to stem the learning loss school shutdowns have caused.

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

Appeals Court Denies Oberlin College Rehearing, Expelled Male Student Discrimination Case Moves Forward

William Jacobson:

The District Court threw out the lawsuit, but it was reinstated by a panel in the Sixth Circuit in a 2-1 opinion. We explained the background and appeals court decision in Oberlin College loses appeal in suit by expelled male student, case reinstated:

To refresh your memory, John Doe No. 1’s case involved whether a female student gave “consent” as defined by Oberlin College to what on the surface was a consensual sexual encounter, as I wrote in December 2017, Lawsuit: Oberlin College sexual assault hearing process rigged, 100% conviction rate.

John Doe No. 1 had his case dismissed in the federal district court on legal grounds, despite the judge finding there was reason to doubt the result, as I wrote in April 2019, Male student lawsuit against Oberlin College dismissed despite possibly flawed sexual assault disciplinary decision.The appeal was argued in December 2019, Cautious optimism for expelled Oberlin College male student after appellate argument.

The 6th Circuit just issued its Opinion (pdf.), reversing the dismissal and reinstating the case. In so doing, the court excoriated Obelin College’s alleged misconduct (which the court had to accept as true at this procedural stage)….

Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul files briefs in support of Dane County emergency school closures

Elizabeth Beyer:

In his briefs, Kaul states, “For over a century, Wisconsin has maintained a public health infrastructure that empowers local health officials to be a critical line of defense, barring public gatherings and swiftly taking any actions that are reasonable and necessary to suppress spreading diseases. That is precisely what Dane County did here, barring in-person school instruction in order to prevent outbreaks of COVID-19.”

The petitions challenging the emergency order were filed on behalf of eight Dane County families, five private schools, School Choice Wisconsin Action, and the Wisconsin Council of Religious and Independent Schools, by the conservative Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL).

In its petitions, WILL states the emergency order exceeds Heinrich’s statutory authority and violates petitioners’ religious liberties and right to direct their children’s education by barring in-person education.

“This order injected unnecessary chaos, confusion, and frustration into the lives of children, families, and school leaders preparing to navigate a difficult new school year,” WILL President and General Counsel Rick Esenberg said in a statement.

Unsurprising.

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

Local school creates outdoor classrooms with tents

WKRC:

Students at Mercy Montessori will enjoy some of their classes outdoors.

Principal Patty Normile has been working with parents and experts for months on plans to make the school safe. She has set up tents outdoors to create spaces for teachers to hold some classes.

“Our goal is to have them outside as much as we can,” Normile said. “With the various guidelines of having the fresh air, it just seems like a no-brainer for our community.”

Normile said it was important for students to be back in the classroom five days a week. The tents will be used to create classroom space along with other outdoor spaces that can be used.

“We’re really concerned about the mental health of children who have not had the opportunity to be among their peers for socialization,” Normile said.

Marybeth Flaspohlar teaches fourth through sixth grade. She is excited to welcome back the students and believes they will enjoy the outdoor classrooms.

Elite U.S. Colleges Lose Favor With Lucrative Asian Students

Janet Paskin:

In a typical year, more than 1 million students come from all over the world to study at U.S. colleges and universities. They’ve never had more reasons to reconsider. The coronavirus pandemic has brought health concerns, travel restrictions and shifting immigration rules; online classes and social distancing promise a diluted college experience at a full-strength price. Students from Asia, who make up three quarters of foreign nationals on U.S. campuses, have yet another concern. Anti-Asian bias and hate crimes are at an all-time high.

Foreign students contributed an estimated $41 billion to the economy in the 2018-19 academic year, according to NAFSA: Association of International Educators. The intangible benefits to the U.S. are harder to measure but no less real: By one count, more than 60 world leaders attended U.S. schools. Still, America’s near-monopoly on elite higher education is weakening. After 12 years of steady growth, the number of international students in the U.S. plateaued in 2019, Institute of International Education data show. Other countries including the U.K., Canada and Australia are eager to attract students from overseas.

Maine summer camps successfully stem spread of COVID-19: CDC

Vishwadha Chander:

Four overnight camps in Maine successfully stemmed the spread of the novel coronavirus and conducted sessions with over 1,000 attendees from 41 states and international locations this summer, according to a new report published on Wednesday.

The findings in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report contrasted with that of an overnight camp in Georgia, where the disease reportedly spread to at least 44% of staff and attendees.

All Maine camp attendees for the season between June and August were asked to quarantine with families for 10–14 days before arrival, and camps advised members to arrive in a family vehicle.

About a week before arrival, the attendees were tested for the coronavirus, and three of the four camps mandated submission of these results before entry.

To address exposure during travel, all camps quarantined attendees by groups for 14 days after arrival.

Lawsuits challenge Dane County Madison Public Health’s authority to close private schools

Scott Girard:

Two separate lawsuits are seeking to block a new public health emergency order that allows only a fraction of elementary school students to attend classes in person in Dane County.

The legal challenges come days after Public Health Madison and Dane County officials in their ninth emergency order restricted in-person schooling to grades K-2 and outlined metrics required for students in higher grades to return in-person.

PHMDC’s Friday announcement at 5:18 p.m. came just days before many area private and parochial schools were set to return with at least some in-person instruction. At least one school already had, which formed the basis for the first challenge, filed directly to the Wisconsin Supreme Court Tuesday.

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

MMSD tells some staff to accept in-person child care reassignment or resign

Scott Girard:

He added that MTI “recognizes the need” for supporting families through child care, but believes safety remains the top priority. MTI has also asked the district to seek volunteers, including within the teaching workforce, to staff in-person services and is encouraging all staff to get a COVID-19 test prior to working with students and families.

LeMonds wrote that the district had put together a “thoughtful health and safety plan” and said the summer child care model was “very successful.” Safety guidelines include masks, social distancing when possible, a symptom check before starting the program, staying home with a positive test or symptoms and working with public health to determine who should quarantine if there is a positive case within a building.

The classes are expected to be limited to 15 students per room and located at many elementary schools around the district.

When the district announced it was going virtual, Dean was initially relieved, he wrote, as he remains concerned about COVID-19. But if he had to work in-person he would “be extremely hurt if I caused harm to a kid or adult by spreading something I can’t tell is in my system.”

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.