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

New Jersey Left Behind:

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

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

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

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

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

Molly Beck and Madeline Heim:

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

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


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