Oakland teacher points finger at ‘rich white parents’ in reopening debate

Amy Graff: An Oakland special education teacher who also serves as the secretary of the Oakland Education Association added fire to the growing school reopening debate with a pointed Tweet criticizing parent concern that distance learning amid the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted their children’s mental health. Bethany Meyer tweeted on Feb. 17, “All the rich … Continue reading Oakland teacher points finger at ‘rich white parents’ in reopening debate

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

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

West Coast States’ Failure to Reopen Schools Is a Disaster

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

Opinion: Affluent professionals and unions: Can this marriage last?

Megan McArdle: Rereading Teixeira and Abramowitz today, one is struck by their eerie prescience, but also by the fundamental difficulty of holding together a Democratic Party where highly educated and affluent adults are the ascending faction but are not numerous enough to carry an election by themselves. This past year, that difficulty has come into … Continue reading Opinion: Affluent professionals and unions: Can this marriage last?

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

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

Teachers to get priority for COVID-19 vaccine, Dane County Madison public health department says

Chris Rickert: While many public schools in Dane County began reopening in recent months to some in-person learning, and many private schools have been in-person since September, Madison public school students won’t begin returning to the classroom until March 9, when kindergartners go back. First- and second-graders are set to return March 16 and 4-year-old … Continue reading Teachers to get priority for COVID-19 vaccine, Dane County Madison public health department says

These California politicians have taken the most money from the state’s biggest teacher’s union

Eric Ting: California’s various teachers unions are coming under increased scrutiny over their reluctance to return to in-person learning, especially in the wake of the state legislature’s apprehension towards Gov. Gavin Newsom’s school reopening plan. The state’s most powerful teachers union — the California Teachers Association, which has more than 300,000 members and is affiliated with … Continue reading These California politicians have taken the most money from the state’s biggest teacher’s union

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

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

3 Attacks on School Choice in Governor Evers’ Wisconsin Budget Proposal

Will Flanders: Governor Tony Evers’ 2021-23 budget includes a Christmas tree for teachers unions in the form of higher spending and no requirements to get kids back into the classroom. But it also represents a renewed assault on the state’s high-performing school choice and charter programs. Below are three school choice takeaways from the governor’s budget proposal.    Enrollment Caps on Choice Programs   … Continue reading 3 Attacks on School Choice in Governor Evers’ Wisconsin Budget Proposal

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot on What She Learned From Battling the Teachers’ Union

Dana Goldstein: After a bitter fight, the Chicago Public Schools reached a deal with its teachers’ union last week to reopen elementary and middle schools amid the pandemic. By early March, students who have been learning remotely for 10 months will be back in the classrooms. The agreement speeds up vaccinations for teachers, provides expanded … Continue reading Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot on What She Learned From Battling the Teachers’ Union

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

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

Mulligans for “Act 10”?

Patrick Marley and Molly Beck: Republican legislative leaders immediately rejected the full proposal because of provisions within it that would roll back policies they enacted under a Republican governor. “He’s not serious about governing, he’s serious about politics,” Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, told reporters after the budget address. Vos said the budget proposal was … Continue reading Mulligans for “Act 10”?

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

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

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

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

“Protestants came to believe that both boys and girls had to study the Bible for themselves to better know their God.”

Joseph Henrich: In the wake of the spread of Protestantism, the literacy rates in the newly reforming populations in Britain, Sweden, and the Netherlands surged past more cosmopolitan places like Italy and France. Motivated by eternal salvation, parents and leaders made sure the children learned to read. The sharpest test of this idea comes from … Continue reading “Protestants came to believe that both boys and girls had to study the Bible for themselves to better know their God.”

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

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

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

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

Ann Arbor trustee comments rile physicians urging in-person learning

Beth LeBlanc: An Ann Arbor public schools trustee has suggested area physicians pushing for in-person learning options in the district were pushing teachers into risky environments that doctors wouldn’t subject themselves to.  Area doctors — more than 350 of whom had signed a letter urging the school board to reopen in-person learning — were “positioning themselves as experts … Continue reading Ann Arbor trustee comments rile physicians urging in-person learning

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

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

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

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

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

Benjamin Yount: The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty is releasing a new study that puts the cost for keeping schools closed last spring at over $7 billion.  Will Flanders, research director at WILL, said the number comes from study after study that shows less time in the classroom as well as a widening achievement … Continue reading Wisconsin school closures to cost children $7B over lifetime: Study

K-12 Governance, Politics and Government School Teacher Unions

Jonathan Easley and Amie Parnes: The mixed messaging underscores the tricky politics Biden faces as elected officials clash with teachers unions in Democratic strongholds over how quickly to reopen classrooms.                                                                                                  Some public health experts are chiding the White House for downplaying analysis from CDC leaders, warning that the apparent tension could undermine the agency’s authority … Continue reading K-12 Governance, Politics and Government School Teacher Unions

“Worse, societal ignorance has bred contempt and it’s seen as the worst kind of boomer conservatism to glorify the education of the past. I concede, I do.”

Riva Tez: The icky nature of the current moment comes from it falling under the disgracefully false pretense of democracy. Hysteria for more justice conveniently ignores what powers an oligarchy has amassed against any kind of accountability. As our ancestors paid off the Church to repent for their sins, we elect flagrant sinners who strike … Continue reading “Worse, societal ignorance has bred contempt and it’s seen as the worst kind of boomer conservatism to glorify the education of the past. I concede, I do.”

“Yet what we see at times is people with a Bernie Sanders sign and a ‘Black Lives Matter’ sign in their window, but they’re opposing an affordable housing project or an apartment complex down the street.”

Ezra Klein: San Francisco is about 48 percent white, but that falls to 15 percent for children enrolled in its public schools. For all the city’s vaunted progressivism, it has some of the highest private school enrollment numbers in the country — and many of those private schools have remained open. It looks, finally, like … Continue reading “Yet what we see at times is people with a Bernie Sanders sign and a ‘Black Lives Matter’ sign in their window, but they’re opposing an affordable housing project or an apartment complex down the street.”

The War on Disinformation Is a War on Dissent. “Disinformation” and “misinformation” are used to excuse incompetence and punish opposition.

Ash Staub: The terms “misinformation” and “disinformation” have dominated the political lexicon in recent years. Whereas misinformation merely refers to inaccurate or misleading information, the label of disinformation implies an intent to deceive. Both have served as the source of much consternation and hand-wringing from media figures and politicians alike, with countless articles, press segments, academic papers, and political … Continue reading The War on Disinformation Is a War on Dissent. “Disinformation” and “misinformation” are used to excuse incompetence and punish opposition.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Unspent Federal COVID Education Relief Funds Exceed $50 Billion

Dan Lips: President Biden has proposed $130 billion in new federal funding to help the nation’s schools reopen as part of a $1.9 trillion stimulus package. Congressional leaders have committed to quickly consider the administration’s proposal. But will billions of additional federal funds actually help public schools reopen? State departments of education currently already have between $53 and … Continue reading Unspent Federal COVID Education Relief Funds Exceed $50 Billion

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

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

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

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

How San Francisco Renamed Its Schools

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

K-12 Politics & Governance commentary

This week we have seen the Biden administration and the CDC back away from opening schools. Why? — nathan (@wyattsheepie) February 7, 2021 Related: Catholic schools will sue Dane County Madison Public Health to open as scheduled Notes and links on Dane County Madison Public Health. (> 140 employees). Molly Beck and Madeline Heim: which pushed Dane County this … Continue reading K-12 Politics & Governance commentary

“They said their kids are being sacrificed. Which is 100% true.”

John Hindraker: The thing I will tell you: However bad/sad/depressing I thought it would be, it was worse Let me start by saying, this is a wealthy district. Maybe one of the top 5 in the state. The parents are almost all white professionals. To be honest, I almost discounted it. I thought, They’re fine! … Continue reading “They said their kids are being sacrificed. Which is 100% true.”

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

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

K-12 Tax & Spending Climate: Wisconsin Expected a Bad Year for Tax Revenue. It Was Wrong; challenging lockdown orders

Heather Gillers and Joe Barrett: Wisconsin businesses benefited from generally looser restrictions on business than in neighbors Illinois and Minnesota after a number of court reversals and legislative challenges to restrictions imposed by Gov. Evers, a Democrat. That has helped bars and restaurants outside the urban centers like Madison and Milwaukee, where restrictions are tighter, … Continue reading K-12 Tax & Spending Climate: Wisconsin Expected a Bad Year for Tax Revenue. It Was Wrong; challenging lockdown orders

Good morning. Why aren’t progressive leaders doing a better job at mass vaccination?

David Leonhardt: But over the last few weeks, as vaccination has become a top priority, the pattern has changed. Progressive leaders in much of the world are now struggling to distribute coronavirus vaccines quickly and efficiently: • Europe’s vaccination rollout “has descended into chaos,” as Sylvie Kauffmann of Le Monde, the French newspaper, has written. … Continue reading Good morning. Why aren’t progressive leaders doing a better job at mass vaccination?

Who is running Madison’s schools? Chicken Little?

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

What Does Freedom, Inc. Believe And Why Won’t The Mainstream Media Talk About Their Radical Beliefs?

Brett Healy: Freedom, Inc. wants to totally eliminate police departments and free almost everyone from prison Programming by Freedom, Inc. “politicizes” kids, teaches them to use intimidation tactics and to vandalize public property The radical non-profit received over $500,000 in grants in 2020 from the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families Freedom, Inc., a Madison-based … Continue reading What Does Freedom, Inc. Believe And Why Won’t The Mainstream Media Talk About Their Radical Beliefs?

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

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

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

Heather Knight: The fight over reopening San Francisco’s public schools will take a dramatic, heated turn on Wednesday as the city becomes the first in the state — and possibly the entire country — to sue its own school district to force classroom doors open. City Attorney Dennis Herrera, with the blessing of Mayor London … Continue reading San Francisco sues its own school district, board over reopening: ‘They have earned an F’

Civics: Advocating a “Ministry of Truth”

Kevin Roose: The experts agreed that before the Biden administration can tackle disinformation and extremism, it needs to understand the scope of the problem. “It’s really important that we have a holistic understanding of what the spectrum of violent extremism looks like in the United States, and then allocate resources accordingly,” said William Braniff, a … Continue reading Civics: Advocating a “Ministry of Truth”

Dance studio cited for its ‘Nutcracker’ performance joins lawsuit against 140+ employee Dane County Madison public health department

Ed Treleven: An Oregon dance studio that last week drew a 119-count complaint from the joint Madison and Dane County public health department for alleged COVID-19 health order violations is suing the department, joining a lawsuit that challenges Dane County’s indoor gathering limits. A Leap Above Dance, which faces nearly $24,000 in fines for alleged … Continue reading Dance studio cited for its ‘Nutcracker’ performance joins lawsuit against 140+ employee Dane County Madison public health department

How personal experiences shaped one journalist’s perceptions

Amber Walker: I sometimes wonder where I would be today if my kindergarten teacher hadn’t encouraged my mother to have me take the admissions exam for Chicago’s selective elementary schools. That one test result earned me a coveted spot at Edward W. Beasley Academic Center, one of the city’s gifted and talented elementary programs, where … Continue reading How personal experiences shaped one journalist’s perceptions

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

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

“What happens when the most respected authorities get it wrong and ruin lives and economies?”

David Mamet: “We are all, in a sense, fools, since no one person can know everything. We all have to trust others for their expertise, and we all make mistakes,” says Mamet. “The horror of a command economy is not that officials will make mistakes, but that those mistakes will never be acknowledged or corrected.” … Continue reading “What happens when the most respected authorities get it wrong and ruin lives and economies?”

Fear and Loathing in the Classroom: Why Does Teacher Quality Matter?

Mike Insler, Alexander F. McQuoid, Ahmed Rahman and Katherine A. Smith This work disentangles aspects of teacher quality that impact student learning and performance. We exploit detailed data from post-secondary education that links students from randomly assigned instructors in introductory-level courses to the students’ performances in follow-on courses for a wide variety of subjects. For … Continue reading Fear and Loathing in the Classroom: Why Does Teacher Quality Matter?

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

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

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

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

Three staff members vying to become next Madison Teachers Inc. president

Scott Girard: Three Madison Metropolitan School District staff members are vying to be the next Madison Teachers Inc. president. One week after the most contentious presidential transition in generations, a much friendlier race is playing out with millions fewer voters. “It is actually a very healthy part of our union to have these sorts of … Continue reading Three staff members vying to become next Madison Teachers Inc. president

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

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

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

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

St. Paul, Minnesota begins teacher vaccinations…. Madison?

Roy Wlikins Auditorium is set up to vaccinate 15,000 teachers and child care workers over a 5-day period. Vaccinations begin tomorrow. #wcco pic.twitter.com/EYaEXTwVik — John Lauritsen (@JDLauritsen) January 27, 2021 Meanwhile, Fairfax County, VA: We are pleased to share that more than 22,000 Fairfax County Public Schools teachers and employees have already been able to … Continue reading St. Paul, Minnesota begins teacher vaccinations…. Madison?

Dane County Madison health department files 119-count complaint against studio over ‘Nutcracker’ performance

Chris Rickert: It does not include specific regulations for art or dance studios, and Nemeckay said her business was among about 20 studios that collectively tried to get answers from Public Health Madison and Dane County about what they were allowed to do, but that the agency either gave them conflicting information or refused to … Continue reading Dane County Madison health department files 119-count complaint against studio over ‘Nutcracker’ performance

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

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

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

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

Surge of Student Suicides Pushes Las Vegas Schools to Reopen

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

Civics: Democracy dies in emergencies

Joshua Sharf: The United States begins 2021 under a continuing state of emergency.  Rather, it begins the new year under fifty-one different states of emergency, one for each state plus the District of Columbia. In Colorado this has resulted in conflicting, inconsistent, and arbitrary rules.  Businesses are punished not for bad outcomes but for daring … Continue reading Civics: Democracy dies in emergencies

Racine Teachers Union Survey Reveals Plan to Keep Schools Closed

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

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

Betheny Gross: In a year of educational crisis, fall report cards brought more worrisome news. Failing grades are on the rise across the country, especially for students who are learning online. The results threaten to exacerbate existing educational inequities: students with failing grades tend to have less access to advanced courses in high school, and … Continue reading Credit recovery isn’t enough: How to manage a surge of failing course grades

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

Sarah Carr: Kids in need of remedial support already were vulnerable before the pandemic. Now they’re facing educational ruin. By Sarah Carr Globe Staff,Updated January 19, 2021, 9:32 a.m. Over the past six months, I interviewed 15 families with struggling readers between the ages of 7 and 12 to better understand the impact of school … Continue reading For schoolchildren struggling to read, COVID-19 has been a wrecking ball

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

Sarah Karp: The Chicago Teachers Union on Wednesday evening decided to ask its 25,000 members to vote on a resolution that rejects in-person learning until they come to an agreement with the school district. The resolution opens the door to Chicago’s second teachers strike in two years. Members can vote Thursday until Saturday evening. This … Continue reading Chicago Teachers To Vote Whether To Reject In-Person School And Move Toward A Potential Strike

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

WILL: The News: The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) filed a lawsuit in Dane County Circuit Court, on behalf of two Dane County residents, challenging the Dane County health department’s legal authority to issue sweeping restrictions on all aspects of life in Dane County. This lawsuit is substantially similar to an original action WILL filed with … Continue reading WILL Files Lawsuit Challenging Dane County Health Department’s Authority to Enact COVID Restrictions

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

Sarah Carr: Yet Daniel’s progress came to an abrupt halt after Medford schools closed down in mid-March in response to the spread of COVID-19. The tutoring came to an end. The intensive, small group classes in reading disappeared, as did all meaningful instruction, from what Ronayne could tell. Daniel, who is being referred to by … Continue reading For schoolchildren struggling to read, COVID-19 has been a wrecking ball

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

New Jersey Left Behind: This is a petition circulating among Montclair parents who oppose the district’s decision to begin the school year remotely, despite 70% of parents voting for an “in-person hybrid model.” At the bottom of the petition, signatories ask that district personnel, not MEA (Montclair Education Association, the teachers union) fulfill requests under the Open Records Act … Continue reading Montclair Families, “Devastated” By Remote Instruction, Demand To Be Treated As “Equal Shareholders”

Is Safetyism Destroying a Generation?

Matthew Lesh: A review of The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure by Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt, Penguin Press (September 4, 2018) 352 pages. In recent years behaviours on university campuses have created widespread unease. Safe spaces, trigger warnings, and speech codes. Demands … Continue reading Is Safetyism Destroying a Generation?

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

Alec Johnson: Data from the Waukesha School District shows students have been struggling in the district’s hybrid learning model, with about 30% of high school students failing at least one class during the first quarter last fall. The data, which came from an open records request submitted by parent Rebecca Flaherty, was sent to a reporter by … Continue reading Nearly 28% of Waukesha School District high school students are failing at least one class, records show

Covid data on open vs closed K-12 schools

Key finding: “aggregate COVID-19 incidence among general population in counties where K–12 schools offer in-person education (401.2 per 100,000) was similar to that in counties offering only virtual/online ed (418.2 per 100,000).” Cc: @DeAngelisCorey https://t.co/q2cGnLorCV — Lindsey Burke (@lindseymburke) January 14, 2021 Related: Catholic schools will sue Dane County Madison Public Health to open as scheduled Notes … Continue reading Covid data on open vs closed K-12 schools

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

Jessie Hellmann: A new study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that in-person classes at K-12 schools do not appear to lead to increases in COVID-19 when compared with areas that have online-only learning. The CDC study noted that in the week beginning Dec. 6, coronavirus cases among the general population … Continue reading CDC study finds COVID-19 outbreaks aren’t fueled by in-person classes

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

Scott Girard: Most children are better-served by in-person education, Navsaria said, with benefits coming from “just being around other people,” but there is a “balance” to strike with the health of the community. Pointing to guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics, Navsaria said it’s good to operate with a goal of being in-person, but … Continue reading “The choice is ours”: Panel discusses COVID-19 and schools

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

Chris Rickert: “Overall the responses (the survey) elicits do indeed raise genuine concerns that are consistent with the rise of cancel culture in America and higher education more generally,” said UW-Madison political science professor emeritus Donald Downs, who was not involved in the survey. Matthew Mitnick, chair of UW-Madison student government, Associated Students of Madison, … Continue reading Survey: UW-Madison undergrads favor government limits on offensive and ‘hate’ speech

Commentary on The Wisconsin DPI candidate Nomination Process

Elizabeth Beyer: “I think it is becoming a little too precise to say that adding one title in an otherwise completely perfect document should be sufficient to overcome the nomination,” she said. Hendricks-Williams has worked in Gov. Tony Evers’ Milwaukee office and as an assistant director of teacher education at the state Department of Public … Continue reading Commentary on The Wisconsin DPI candidate Nomination Process

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

Francesco Agostinelli: What are the effects of school closures during the Covid-19 pandemic on children’s education? Online education is an imperfect substitute for in-person learning, particularly for children from low-income families. Peer effects also change: schools allow children from different socio-economic backgrounds to mix together, and this effect is lost when schools are closed. Another … Continue reading When the Great Equalizer Shuts Down: Schools, Peers, and Parents in Pandemic Times

Mary Ann Nicholson K-12 School Positions

Mary Ann Nicholson is running for Dane County Executive. She recently published her K-12 positions: Further, my heart goes out to students and parents/guardians throughout Dane County this week. From those in MMSD learning they won’t have the option of going back in-person for third quarter to those receiving news from medical advisory task forces/School … Continue reading Mary Ann Nicholson K-12 School Positions

Thompson Center calls UW student’s free speech attitudes ‘troubling’

Yvonne Kim: The nonpartisan Thompson Center published a report Thursday characterizing University of Wisconsin-Madison students’ views on free speech as “troubling” and recommended increased First Amendment education on college campuses. The Thompson Center, named after former Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson, and the UW Survey Center surveyed 530 undergraduate students, primarily between the ages of 18 … Continue reading Thompson Center calls UW student’s free speech attitudes ‘troubling’

Madison’s well funded K-12 schools remain closed; online only

Not a surprise, but the Facebook comments on @MMSDschools‘ post about the decision to remain virtual are hotly divided between people supporting the decision and others saying the decision is a failure: https://t.co/MnD2Q3W3qj — Scott Girard (@sgirard9) January 8, 2021 Commentary one and two. Related: Catholic schools will sue Dane County Madison Public Health to open as … Continue reading Madison’s well funded K-12 schools remain closed; online only

Doctors’ group says open schools, with proper COVID-19 measures

UPI: A prominent U.S. doctors’ group reaffirmed its recommendation this week that having kids physically in school should be the goal, while also outlining safety protocols needed to allow schools to be open. In its COVID-19 guidance for safe schools, the American Academy of Pediatrics listed measures communities need to address. These include controlling the … Continue reading Doctors’ group says open schools, with proper COVID-19 measures

Wisconsin schools saved money by closing, unclear where savings went

Benjamin Yount: Wisconsin schools saved about $40 million by not being open last spring, but a new report says no one is sure where the money went.  The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty looked at the data included in the coronavirus report issued by the state’s Department of Public Instruction last month.  “The report … Continue reading Wisconsin schools saved money by closing, unclear where savings went

Charter schools deliver extraordinary results, but their political support among Democrats has collapsed. What will Biden do?

Jonathan Chait: In the dozen years since Barack Obama undertook the most dramatic education reform in half a century — prodding local governments to measure how they serve their poorest students and to create alternatives, especially charter schools, for those who lack decent neighborhood options — two unexpected things have happened. The first is that … Continue reading Charter schools deliver extraordinary results, but their political support among Democrats has collapsed. What will Biden do?

40% of Chicago teachers and staff didn’t report to schools as ordered, district says

Nader Issa and Stefano Esposito: About 40% of Chicago Public Schools teachers and staff who were expected to report to schools Monday for the first time during the pandemic didn’t show up for in-person work, officials said Tuesday, accusing the Chicago Teachers Union of pressuring its members to defy the district’s orders. In all, about … Continue reading 40% of Chicago teachers and staff didn’t report to schools as ordered, district says

‘Bizarre, disorganized’: Wisconsin behind most of Midwest on COVID-19 vaccinations; some health care workers say they’re in the dark

Molly Beck, Mary Spicuzza and Bob Dohr: Wisconsin lags nearly all of its Midwest counterparts in getting its health care workers and first responders vaccinated against COVID-19 and has received fewer doses than other states of its size.  The state is 10th lowest out of 12 states in the Midwest in getting a first dose of the vaccine … Continue reading ‘Bizarre, disorganized’: Wisconsin behind most of Midwest on COVID-19 vaccinations; some health care workers say they’re in the dark

How D.C. and its teachers, with shifting plans and demands, failed to reopen schools

Perry Stein and Laura Meckler: Hours before the mayor was to make an announcement, she said she needed more time. The city spent the next five months trying to bring students and teachers back to classrooms. A combination of mismanagement by the mayor and her aides and intransigence from the District’s teachers union combined to … Continue reading How D.C. and its teachers, with shifting plans and demands, failed to reopen schools

Commentary on Teacher Unions vs Students/Parents

Deanna Fisher: In the battle of local juridictions versus teachers’ unions over school reopening, the unions are glorying in their upper hand while the students sit at home. After years and years of catering to the teachers’ unions, the bureaucracy that is purportedly in charge lacks the spine to force the issue. The teachers’ union, … Continue reading Commentary on Teacher Unions vs Students/Parents

Closer look at fall enrollment shows decrease in public schools, increase in charter schools

Matthew Cash: A recent study completed by Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty shows school districts across the state saw a dramatic decline in fall enrollment as educators navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. Fall enrollment numbers collected in October shows districts saw an average of 2.67% decline in enrollment. For districts that started the school year … Continue reading Closer look at fall enrollment shows decrease in public schools, increase in charter schools

Looking Back On A Year Of Mass Homeschooling

Kerry McDonald: In March, I published an article here about the world’s homeschooling moment, noting that hundreds of millions of students worldwide were suddenly displaced from their classrooms and learning at home due to the Covid-19 response. At its peak, that number reached nearly 1.3 billion children learning at home, with varying degrees of remote … Continue reading Looking Back On A Year Of Mass Homeschooling

Chicago Teachers Union board member facing criticism for vacationing in Caribbean while pushing remote learning

Ben Bradley: A Chicago Teachers Union leader is facing criticism for vacationing in the Caribbean while at the same time claiming it’s unsafe for teachers to return to the classroom. Sarah Chambers is on the union’s executive board and is an area vice president. As recently as Thursday, she tweeted to rally special education teachers not … Continue reading Chicago Teachers Union board member facing criticism for vacationing in Caribbean while pushing remote learning

Madison Teachers Union opposes return to classroom; district says little about child care program

Chris Rickert: Public Health in August issued an order barring schools in Dane County from holding in-person classes for all but grades kindergarten through second grade, but the Supreme Court blocked it from taking effect and many private and religious schools in the county have been open to in-person learning since the start of the … Continue reading Madison Teachers Union opposes return to classroom; district says little about child care program

2020: the year the elites failed upwards

Jacob Siegel: For a year filled with fear and uncertainty, as plague collided with the final eruptions of the Trump era, the political lessons of 2020 are uncannily clear. Elite institutional authority is everywhere collapsing in a bonfire of self-immolation even as elite institutions become ever more powerful. What ties the impeachment drama that began … Continue reading 2020: the year the elites failed upwards