In San Francisco, Closed Public Schools, Open Private Schools

Amelia Nierenberg:

In San Francisco, restaurants, movie theaters and museums are open at reduced capacity. The share of coronavirus tests that come back positive in the city has stayed low since a surge over the summer.

But as some of San Francisco’s private and parochial schools have begun to reopen their doors, its public school district has not set a timeline for resuming in-person instruction, except to say that it is not likely in this calendar year.

That has made San Francisco the latest flash point over school reopening. This politically progressive city is also California’s most unequal area, and its sharp debate about how best to safely educate low-income and minority students during the pandemic resonates across the country.

Frustrations boil over

Last month, in the wake of months of protests for racial equity across the country, San Francisco’s district administrators recommended a significant move. They told the principals of roughly one-third of the district’s 125 public schools that their communities should start brainstorming new names for their schools, because the current names had historical associations with slavery, genocide, colonization or other injustices.

The list included schools named for George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, as enslavers; Abraham Lincoln, for his treatment of Native Americans; and even the state’s senior U.S. senator, Dianne Feinstein, over reports that, as mayor in 1984, she replaced a vandalized Confederate flag outside City Hall.

Related: Catholic schools will sue Dane County Madison Public Health to open as scheduled

Notes and links on Dane County Madison Public Health. (> 140 employees).

Molly Beck and Madeline Heim:

which pushed Dane County this week not to calculate its percentage of positive tests — a data point the public uses to determine how intense infection is in an area.   

While positive test results are being processed and their number reported quickly, negative test results are taking days in some cases to be analyzed before they are reported to the state. 


The department said it was between eight and 10 days behind in updating that metric on the dashboard, and as a result it appeared to show a higher positive percentage of tests and a lower number of total tests per day.

The department said this delay is due to the fact data analysts must input each of the hundreds of tests per day manually, and in order to continue accurate and timely contact tracing efforts, they prioritized inputting positive tests.

“Positive tests are always immediately verified and processed, and delays in processing negative tests in our data system does not affect notification of test results,” the department said in a news release. “The only effect this backlog has had is on our percent positivity rate and daily test counts.”

Staff have not verified the approximately 17,000 tests, which includes steps such as matching test results to patients to avoid duplicating numbers and verifying the person who was tested resides in Dane County.

All 77 false-positive COVID-19 tests come back negative upon reruns.

Madison private school raises $70,000 for lawsuit against public health order. – WKOW-TV. Commentary.

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Assembly against private school forced closure.

Wisconsin Catholic schools will challenge local COVID-19 closing order. More.

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

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

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

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