“We’ve likely overestimated the protective health benefits of school closures and underestimated the costs for children.”

John Bailey:

One year after nationwide public school closures, a growing body of medical research and the firsthand experiences of school systems worldwide can provide a sound basis for determining a reopening strategy. This report examines the collective findings of more than 120 studies and considers their implications for current decisions. These studies cover a wide array of topics, including risks for children, transmissibility concerns, and the impact of school reopenings on community spread.

Key Findings

• The vast majority of research from around the world suggests that children comprise a small proportion of diagnosed COVID-19 cases, develop less severe illness, and have lower mortality rates.

• Studies suggest attending school does not increase risk to children, particularly if health protocols are followed.

• Evidence points to schools mirroring the transmission rates of their communities. Schools themselves do not appear to drive community transmission.

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.

Culture, Status, and Hypocrisy: High-Status People Who Don’t Practice What They Preach Are Viewed as Worse in the United States Than China

Mengchen Dong:

Status holders across societies often take moral initiatives to navigate group practices toward collective goods; however, little is known about how different societies (e.g., the United States vs. China) evaluate high- (vs. low-) status holders’ transgressions of preached morals. Two preregistered studies (total N = 1,374) examined how status information (occupational rank in Study 1 and social prestige in Study 2) influences moral judgments of norm violations, as a function of word-deed contradiction and cultural independence/interdependence. Both studies revealed that high- (vs. low-) status targets’ word-deed contradictions (vs. noncontradictions) were condemned more harshly in the United States but not China. Mediation analyses suggested that Americans attributed more, but Chinese attributed less, selfish motives to higher status targets’ word-deed contradictions. Cultural in(ter)dependence influences not only whom to confer status as norm enforcers but also whom to (not) blame as norm violators.

Despite spending far more than most taxpayer supported K-12 school districts and tolerating long term, disastrous reading results, a majority of the Madison School board aborted the planned independent Madison Preparatory Academy IB Charter School, in 2011.

Yet, Kaleem Caire persevered, supported by many seeking a diverse K-12 governance environment, now moving much of One City schools to a large Monona facility.

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.

Musical notation branded ‘colonialist’ by Oxford professors hoping to ‘decolonise’ the curriculum

Craig Simpson:

Musical notation has been branded “colonialist” by Oxford professors hoping to reform their courses to focus less on white European culture, The Telegraph can reveal.

Academics are deconstructing the university’s music offering after facing pressure to “decolonise” the curriculum following the Black Lives Matter protests.

The Telegraph has seen proposals for changes to undergraduate courses, in which some staff question the current curriculum’s “complicity in white supremacy”.

Professors said the classical repertoire taught at Oxford, which spans works by Mozart and Beethoven, focuses too much on “white European music from the slave period”.

Documents reveal that faculty members, who decide on courses that form the music degree, have proposed reforms to address this “white hegemony”, including rethinking the study of musical notation because it is a “colonialist representational system”.

Teaching notation which has not “shaken off its connection to its colonial past” would be a “slap in the face” for some students, documents state, and music-writing studies have been earmarked for rebranding to be more inclusive.

Schools gone woke: a view from America

Artillery Row:

am an American educator who began teaching nearly two decades ago. During that time, I have taught at some of the most prestigious private secondary schools in the United States. Starting about five years ago, these schools began to be consumed by woke ideology.

When I say “consumed by woke ideology” I mean that these schools are obsessed with sophomoric and divisive notions of diversity, equality, and justice; increasingly hostile to freedom of expression; addicted to cancelling anything that offends the woke movement; and prioritising activism over understanding as the goal of education.

The pendulum will not swing back because the woke movement is not a pendulum; it is a steamroller

I am writing this letter to alert those we may describe as “sleep-wokers”. A sleep-woker is one who has not taken the woke creed to heart, yet nevertheless tacitly complies with the linguistic, pedagogical, political, and moral imperatives of wokeness. Sleep-wokers go through the motions; they are like religious folk who say prayers without thinking, attend worship services without engaging, and perpetuate dogmas without believing. I was a sleep-woker. In some ways, due to a combination of timidity and tiredness, I still am.

Sleep-woking, like sleepwalking, is very dangerous. While sleep-woking, an English teacher can unwittingly help cancel Chaucer, Keats and Conrad in the name of decolonisation. A biology teacher might find herself obliged to deny important differences between the sexes. A football coach will not be able to cheer on a player after a strong tackle, as strength and physical violence smack of toxic masculinity.

Challenging the Link Between Early Childhood Television Exposure and Later Attention Problems: A Multiverse Approach

Matthew McBee, Rebecca Brand & Wallace Dixon:

In 2004, Christakis and colleagues published an article in which they claimed that early childhood television exposure causes later attention problems, a claim that continues to be frequently promoted by the popular media. Using the same National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 data set (N = 2,108), we conducted two multiverse analyses to examine whether the finding reported by Christakis and colleagues was robust to different analytic choices. We evaluated 848 models, including logistic regression models, linear regression models, and two forms of propensity-score analysis. If the claim were true, we would expect most of the justifiable analyses to produce significant results in the predicted direction. However, only 166 models (19.6%) yielded a statistically significant relationship, and most of these employed questionable analytic choices. We concluded that these data do not provide compelling evidence of a harmful effect of TV exposure on attention.

How U.S. media lost the trust of the public

Saman Malik, Sarah Peterson:

A global pandemic, historic anti-racism protests and a turbulent U.S. presidential election had Americans glued to their screens in 2020 like never before. Cable news ratings soared, online news subscriptions increased and the amount of time we all spent online broke records.

But as people consumed more news, they also began to trust the media less, surveys showed. According to a recent Gallup survey, the percentage of Americans with no trust in the mass media hit a record high in 2020: only nine per cent of respondents said they trust the mass media “a great deal” and a full 60 per cent said they have little to “no trust at all” in it.

The American media landscape has become increasingly polarized over the last few decades. 

Education Secretary: It’s Too Soon to Say If Schools Can Reopen by Fall

Alex Nextel:

Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said it’s “premature” to determine if schools can resume in-person instruction this fall, despite a growing body of evidence that shows students can safely return to the classroom.

In a Wednesday interview with MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, Cardona said the rate of COVID-19 transmission in a community would play a role in determining whether K-12 students will receive face-to-face instruction. Hayes pressed Cardona for the Education Department’s stance on whether remote learning should continue at the start of the 2021-2022 school year.

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.

An Interview with Julie Willems Van Dijk, deputy secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services

Milwaukee Press Club [Machine Translation]:

[00:31:11] If we had had the opportunity to, um, put restrictions on what businesses were open and closed as we did earlier in the pandemic. One of the things that is true about Wisconsin, That is not true about nearly all of the 49 other States is that because of the actions of the (Wisconsin) Supreme court in May, when we hit surges in July and hit surges in the fall, the huge surge we had in the fall, we did not have the same tools in our toolbox as many other States, when those huge surges hit States like Florida and Texas, they were able to close or to.

[00:31:54] Well, first to close bars and restaurants and places where people were congregating and then [00:32:00] eventually to open them up with limited occupancy, but the state of Wisconsin did not have those same tools. And I think those, that was a huge issue in terms of, um, the incredible surge that this state saw, particularly in the fall months.

Texas COVID Cases Drop to Record Low Nearly Three Weeks After Mask Mandate Lifted

– Via the Financial Times.

Johns Hopkins Data Summaries: California Florida Minnesota New York Texas Wisconsin

mp3 audio

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.

12 Private College Presidents Earned Over $2 Million In 2018

Chronicle:

These data show the total compensation received by chief executives in two sectors: (1) public college and university systems, from the 2010-11 through the 2016-17 fiscal years, and in the 2018 and 2019 calendar years; and (2) private colleges, from 2008 through 2017.

All individuals who served as chief executive during those periods, including interim and acting leaders, are included. Oftentimes, more than one chief executive served at an institution during a given year. Presidents who served less than the full year are noted. Compensation values for all employees reflect the compensation earned from the institution (and associated foundations) across a full fiscal or calendar year, regardless of the role or roles held by those employees during the full year.

Information about presidents’ tenures and prior employment were obtained from college websites, newspaper archives, or university offices. Photographs were obtained from university websites.

Paul Erdős posed and solved problems in number theory and other areas and founded the field of discrete mathematics.

MacTutor:

Paul Erdős came from a Jewish family (the original family name being Engländer) although neither of his parents observed the Jewish religion. Paul’s father Lajos and his mother Anna had two daughters, aged three and five, who died of scarlet fever just days before Paul was born. This naturally had the effect making Lajos and Anna extremely protective of Paul. He would be introduced to mathematics by his parents, themselves both teachers of mathematics.

Paul was not much over a year old when World War I broke out. Paul’s father Lajos was captured by the Russian army as it attacked the Austro-Hungarian troops. He spent six years in captivity in Siberia. As soon as Lajos was captured, with Paul’s mother Anna teaching during the day, a German governess was employed to look after Paul. Anna, excessively protective after the loss of her two daughters, kept Paul away from school for much of his early years and a tutor was provided to teach him at home.

The situation in Hungary was chaotic at the end of World War I. After a short while as a democratic republic, a communist Béla Kun took over, and Hungary became a left wing Soviet Republic. Anna was at this time made head teacher of her school but when the Communists called for strike action against Kun’s regime she continued working, not for political reasons but simply because she did not wish to see children’s education suffer.

“Tracking YouTube’s Manipulation of the White House Channel’s Dislikes”

81m.org

It is true that Biden won the most votes cast for a U.S. presidential candidate, amassing about 81 million votes.

– USA Today

Such a popular president should have some truly epic YouTube numbers. Let’s keep track. I’m sure we won’t see anything weird happening, such as dislikes being thrown out in the wee hours of the morning.

YouTube is owned by Google, a service that many taxpayer supported K-12 School Districts support.

How Does a Baby Bust End?

Ross Douthat:

The declining American birthrate is a frequent preoccupation of this column, and over the years that I’ve been writing about the problem it’s only gotten worse, with the apparent Covid-19 baby bust a punctuation mark.

But with the pandemic’s end inspiring various forms of optimism, hopes of faster growth and scientific breakthroughs, it’s worth considering what optimism about the future of fertility might look like. Because if you assume that dynamism and growth are desirable things (not everyone does, but that’s a separate debate), then for the developed world to be something more than just a rich museum, at some point it needs to stop growing ever-older, with a dwindling younger generation struggling in the shadow of societal old age.

U.S. News Issues THIRD Version Of Law School Rankings In Advance Of Their Public Release On Tuesday

Paul Caron:

For the overall ranking, U.S. News removed the metric for ratio of credit-bearing hours of instruction provided by law librarians to full-time equivalent law students [.25%, reducing the library weighting to 1.75%] and increased the weighting for the bar passage rate indicator [by .25%, for a new total of 2.25%]. As a result, we recalculated the rankings.

Piano Practice Software Progress

Jacques Mattheij:

First an apology. I started this project because during the first 9 months of the COVID-19 pandemic business was down to a fraction of what it was before then, and I had a lot of time on my hand. But that has changed now and there is a lot of work in my ‘day job’, so I don’t have a whole lot of time to work on the piano software (or to play piano, for that matter). Even so I try to play at least an hour every day, just to unwind from the work, and while doing that I make notes of the things that I think should be improved.

So slowly but steadily there have been a number of subtle but important changes to the way the software works. The first thing that I noticed is that when importing certain midi tracks into PianoJacq it would sometimes really mess up the splitting of the notes across the hands if this had not already been done in the track itself. This is highly irritating because the score then looks terrible and you can’t really play the piece from it. That’s solved now so if you had issues importing certain files then maybe try again.

Then, it was asked, multiple times to label the scores with the names of the notes. This is a trivial thing to do, but what I really wanted is not that trivial: to label the score also with the names of the chords. I spent a day or two on WikiPedia getting the names and offsets of all the chords that I could find and turned them into a huge table with a little bit of software that could then, given a set of notes tell you which chord that is. Lots of help from pilot users there to point out errors in the tables, special mention to Ludwig Weinzierls who helped track down a particularly nasty case of a misidentified chord. The speed slider was another oft repeated request, I made the range ‘down’ a lot lower, you can now go to 1/5th of real time speed to help you to practice really hard passages, and I added some visual feedback to help determine how fast the slider has been set.

Incredible Shrinking Income Inequality Its rise is an illusion created by the Census Bureau’s failure to account for taxes and welfare.

Phil Gramm and John Early:

The refrain is all too familiar: Widening income inequality is a fatal flaw in capitalism and an “existential” threat to democracy. From 1967 to 2017, income inequality in the U.S. spiked 21.4%, and everyone from U.S. senators to the pope says it’s an urgent problem. Yet the data upon which claims about income inequality are based are profoundly flawed.

We have shown on these pages that Census Bureau income data fail to count two-thirds of all government transfer payments—including Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps and some 100 other government transfer payments—as income to the recipients. Furthermore, census data fail to count taxes paid as income lost to the taxpayer. When official government data are used to correct these deficiencies—when income is defined the way people actually define it—“income inequality” is reduced dramatically.

We can now show that if you count all government transfers (minus administrative costs) as income to the recipient household, reduce household income by taxes paid, and correct for two major discontinuities in the time-series data on income inequality that were caused solely by changes in Census Bureau data-collection methods, the claim that income inequality is growing on a secular basis collapses. Not only is income inequality in America not growing, it is lower today than it was 50 years ago.

While the disparity in earned income has become more pronounced in the past 50 years, the actual inflation-adjusted income received by the bottom quintile, counting the value of all transfer payments received net of taxes paid, has risen by 300%. The top quintile has seen its after-tax income rise by only 213%. As government transfer payments to low-income households exploded, their labor-force participation collapsed and the percentage of income in the bottom quintile coming from government payments rose above 90%.

2020 World Press Freedom Index : A decisive decade for the future of journalism

Morgane Bougouin:

The Press Freedom Index is a ranking of 180 countries published yearly by Reporters Without Borders on the basis of countries’ press freedom results according to the organization’s own assessment. This ranking attempts to reflect the degree of freedom that journalists, media, and netizens have in each country, and the efforts made by the authorities to respect this freedom.

The World Press Freedom Index is composed of a number of indicators, which are :

Biden stocks cabinet with prep school grads

Jon Levine:

The silver spoons comes in all colors and creeds.

While President Biden has largely delivered on his promise to assemble the most diverse cabinet in US history, there has been considerably less attention paid to his advisers’ economic diversity.

Many of his top cabinet officials come from money and attended ritzy private schools that serve as the traditional breeding ground for the American elite of both parties.

“Democrats abandoned the working class many years ago,” Noam Chomsky, professor of linguistics at MIT and iconic left-wing thought leader told The Post when asked to assess the Biden leadership lineup.

Antony Blinken, Biden’s Secretary of State, was a child of privilege who graduated from NYC’s Dalton School, where tuition today runs $55,210. Tom Vilsack, Biden’s Secretary of Agriculture, graduated from Pittsburgh’s tony Shady Side Academy, a $53,000-a-year boarding school. Katherine Tai, Biden’s pick for US Trade Representative, went to the famed Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C. ($46,490). Susan Rice, now serving as Biden’s Director of the Domestic Policy Council, was valedictorian of National Cathedral School, a D.C day school for girls ($47,350). Marty Walsh, Biden’s pick for Labor Secretary, attended Bostons’ Newman School where parents shell out a cool $27,000 a year.

Trends in U.S. Adult Physiological Status, Mental Health, and Health Behaviors across a Century of Birth Cohorts

Hui Zheng, Paola Echave:

Morbidity and mortality have been increasing among middle-aged and young-old Americans since the turn of the century. We investigate whether these unfavorable trends extend to younger cohorts and their underlying physiological, psychological, and behavioral mechanisms. Applying generalized linear mixed effects models to 62,833 adults from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (1988-2016) and 625,221 adults from the National Health Interview Surveys (1997-2018), we find that for all gender and racial groups, physiological dysregulation has increased continuously from Baby Boomers through late-Gen X and Gen Y. The magnitude of the increase is higher for White men than other groups, while Black men have a steepest increase in low urinary albumin (a marker of chronic inflammation). In addition, Whites undergo distinctive increases in anxiety, depression, and heavy drinking, and have a higher level than Blacks and Hispanics of smoking and drug use in recent cohorts. Smoking is not responsible for the increasing physiological dysregulation across cohorts. The obesity epidemic contributes to the increase in metabolic syndrome, but not in low urinary albumin. The worsening physiological and mental health profiles among younger generations imply a challenging morbidity and mortality prospect for the United States, one that may be particularly inauspicious for Whites.

The War on Merit

Asra Q. Nomani:

New York City’s gifted and talented students are in the crosshairs of woke activists who seek to impose “racial justice” in the city’s school system, not by improving education but by destroying opportunities for the city’s most advanced learners. And we can’t let them win.

A consortium of activists, including celebrity lawyer Ben Crump, has filed an 81-page lawsuit against the State of New York, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio, and other state and city education officials, demanding the elimination of merit-based admissions to the city’s Gifted and Talented programs. The lawsuit argues the city’s gifted program and its specialized schools, including Stuyvesant High School and the Bronx High School of Science, perpetuate an illegal “racial hierarchy,” “racism,” and “segregation” because black and Hispanic students qualify for them at a lower rate than white and Asian students.

The proposed remedy – eliminating gifted and talent programs and schools and punishing smart kids – will not fix the systemic academic problems in New York City elementary and middle schools that are the root cause for this “racial hierarchy.” Instead, it will promote another discrimination: against advanced learners. The legal activists demand discrimination against students whose academic performance ranks in the top 1.5 percent of their peers, and they disparage these students as having “in-the-know” parents. It is common sense that we will accomplish nothing as a society and surely do much harm if we embrace a conception of “fairness” that involves attacking and delegitimizing excellence as a form of “racism.”

Commentary on Harvard and the Asian American Population

Don Surber:

She wrote, “I am Korean American, and the idea that someone might randomly attack me at the gym or hurl racist invectives at me in the grocery checkout line makes me uneasy. So I looked into the numbers being used to support the so-called surge in attacks. They turn out to be thin, with data points cherry-picked to invoke fear and bolster the wobbly claim that the Atlanta shooter was driven by racism. 

“A report by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism drew national media attention for identifying a 149% increase in anti-Asian hate crimes in 2020 compared to 2019 in 16 of our largest cities. A startling number — until you learn the actual number of hate crimes in those cities rose from 49 to 122 – in a country of 330 million people.

“In my hometown, Houston, there were three last year. The year before, there were none.”

Bravo.

She looked behind the percentage at what the actual number is.

And as we know, the definition of hate crime is ill-defined, by design.

Child Suicide is Becoming an ‘International Epidemic’ Amid Restricted Pandemic Life, Doctors Warn

Brad Polumbo:

Billions of people across the globe continue to live under COVID-19 lockdowns or heavily-restricted life. And for almost all of us, life amid the pandemic in 2020 was an isolating and difficult year. Yet doctors are warning that children in particular are experiencing grave mental health consequences as a result of the lockdowns—leading to an “international epidemic” of child suicide. 

The Associated Press interviewed Dr. David Greenhorn on the subject, who works in the emergency department at England’s Bradford Royal Infirmary. The number of mental health crises he has seen, such as suicide attempts, has gone from a couple per week pre-pandemic to now several per day.

“This is an international epidemic, and we are not recognizing it,” Greenhorn said. “In an 8-year-old’s life, a year is a really, really, really long time. They are fed up. They can’t see an end to it.”

Dr. Richard Delorme heads the psychiatric department at one of the largest children’s hospitals in France, and he offered a similar warning to the AP.

Delorme pointed out that it is clearly COVID restrictions and lockdowns taking this toll on children that end up in his hospital: “What they tell you about is a chaotic world, of ‘Yes, I’m not doing my activities any more,’ ‘I’m no longer doing my music,’ ‘Going to school is hard in the mornings,’ ‘I am having difficulty waking up,’ ‘I am fed up with the mask.’”

Delorme’s hospital went from seeing roughly 20 suicide attempts per month involving patients 15 or younger, the AP reports, to more than double that—and, disturbingly, more determination than ever before in the attempts. 

K-12 Governance Diversity: Charter Cities

Joshua Brustein:

If you’re going to work remotely, Próspera is a nice place to do it. Located on Roatán, a tropical island off the coast of Honduras, it features a series of airy offices and communal outdoor spaces with ocean views. There are other real estate developments on the island, but Próspera is the only one with its own set of laws and governing system.

Próspera is the first project to gain approval from Honduras to start a privately governed charter city, under a national program started in 2013. It has its own constitution of sorts and a 3,500-page legal code with frameworks for political representation and the resolution of legal disputes, as well as minimum wage (higher than Honduras’s) and income taxes (lower in most cases). After nearly half a decade of development, the settlement will announce next week that it will begin considering applications from potential residents this summer.

Why don’t we treat Asian American history the way we treat Black history?

Michael Eric Dyson:

The struggles of the Black American narrative — the arc from slavery to Barack Obama — are celebrated, contested and even sometimes disparaged. But there’s no denying that this narrative is well-known. We all grasp the importance of Black history to the American story, even if we argue over the proper emphasis.

The relationship between Asian American and Pacific Islanders and their place in American history is not, to many, nearly as obvious. The American racial conversation, in which African Americans are the default minority group, has impoverished our understanding of — and provided a poor platform for — the stories of others.

That is why, in a year with thousands of anti-Asian assaults, civil rights violations and instances of verbal harassment reported even before the Atlanta area shootings this month — in which six of the eight slain were women of Asian descent — most Americans are just beginning to engage with the Asian American struggle. That is why we sense that race is near the core of the Atlanta killings but have a harder time putting the tragedy in context or agreeing on whether these were, in a legal sense, hate crimes. That is why President Donald Trump wasn’t immediately drummed out of public life after calling covid-19 a “Chinese virus” or “kung flu” and appearing to give sanction to those who would exclude or attack people of Asian ancestry, rather than affirming Asian Americans’ place in the American family.

In our popular imagination, the snarling legacy of disenfranchisement does not as easily attach to Asian America, writ large. Asian Americans were not wiped out, like Native Americans, under the marauding imperatives of empire. A Civil War was not waged over their previous condition of servitude. There is not an Asian American figure as universally lauded for his contributions as Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. or, for that matter, Mexican American civil rights leader Cesar Chavez, whose likeness now sits behind President Biden in the Oval Office. But the impact of systemic racism in Asian American history is still right there: Los Angeles’s “Chinese Massacre,” a mass lynching in 1871 fueled by propaganda that Chinese Americans were “barbarians taking jobs away from whites”; the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882; Vietnamese commercial fishermen in Texas facing racist confrontations with the Ku Klux Klan in the late 1970s; six people gunned down at a Wisconsin Sikh temple in 2012.

Testing Todd: family types and development

Jerg Gutmann and Stefan Voigt:

Many years ago, Emmanuel Todd came up with a classification of family types and argued that the historically prevalent family types in a society have important consequences for its economic, political, and social development. Here, we evaluate Todd’s most important predictions empirically. Relying on a parsimonious model with exogenous covariates, we find mixed results. On the one hand, authoritarian family types are, in stark contrast to Todd’s predictions, associated with increased levels of the rule of law and innovation. On the other hand, and in line with Todd’s expectations, communitarian family types are linked to racism, low levels of the rule of law, and late industrialization. Countries in which endogamy is frequently practiced also display an expectedly high level of state fragility and weak civil society organizations.

West Virginia’s New School Choice Law

Jayme Metzgar:

On February 2018, public school teachers brought West Virginia to its knees. Seeking pay raises and better health plans, unions had declared a “work stoppage” in all 55 counties, shuttering every public school in the state. The “stoppage” — which was in fact an unlawful strike — dragged on for nine school days, costing children nearly two weeks of instruction. Under pressure, the Republican legislature rushed through a pay raise to pacify the unions.

The victorious teachers of West Virginia quickly became the darlings of the socialist left. Jacobin magazine, which had extensively covered the strike, ran a victory-lap interview entitled “What the Teachers Won.” News coverage touched off copycat strikes, beginning in Arizona and spreading to other states. The “Red for Ed” movement was born, uniting unions, socialists, and other far-left radicals in dreams of an American labor renaissance.

Flush with victory, West Virginia teachers’ unions got bolder. The next year, they went on strike again, taking aim at broader education policy. The Republican Senate had passed a bill granting teachers their second pay raise in two years, but they tied it to something for parents: school choice.

It wasn’t much—open enrollment, Education Savings Accounts (ESAs) for special-needs students, and permission for three charter schools statewide. But West Virginia was one of the last remaining states without school choice, and “Red for Ed” wasn’t letting that go without a fight.

The 2019 strike lasted only two days. The West Virginia House of Delegates quickly caved, scuttling school choice and passing a “clean” pay raise for teachers. But 18 Republicans in the state Senate stood firm. No school choice, no second pay raise, they said. Their stand forced the governor’s hand. A special session in June resulted in the passage of modest school choice measures. Open enrollment survived; so did the three charter schools. ESAs did not.

S.F. and Oakland families, eager for normalcy, find disarray in school reopening

Jill Tucker:

For seven months, 5-year-old Megan has seen her kindergarten teacher only on a screen. So she was thrilled at the prospect of heading into her Oakland classroom this week to meet in person.

Instead, Megan will encounter a stranger on Tuesday, a substitute assigned to teach her Montclair Elementary class for the next two weeks.

That’s because a district and union agreement gave teachers the option of returning in late March, but didn’t require it. Officials hoped an $800 stipend would lure enough back to reopen schools starting with preschool through second grade, more than two weeks before all schools reopen to eligible students on April 19.

Oakland teachers refuse to return to school, despite getting COVID vaccine priority

Caitlin McFall:

But due to a lack of teachers willing to come back before April 14, high needs pupils, including homeless, foster and special needs students, will not be able to get into classrooms ahead of time, the newspaper reported.

“At this time, we simply do not have enough staff who opted in for in-person instruction to open our classrooms to K-2 and priority students on Tuesday,” a Cleveland Elementary School official said in a letter to parents. “Although this is disappointing news, please know that we are working hard to make sure we find every way possible to serve our students safely.”

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.

Report: 30% of Milwaukee public high schoolers failed last fall

Benjamin Yount:

There are new numbers to go along with claims that online classes are leaving school kids in Wisconsin behind.

Milwaukee Public Schools on Wednesday said just over 30% of high school students failed the fall semester.

Data from Milwaukee schools showed 30.3% of MPS high schoolers failed last fall, compared to 18.8% in the fall of 2019.

The difference, besides the huge increase, is that Milwaukee Public Schools were online only in the fall of 2020.

The revelation comes as Milwaukee schools prepare to welcome some students back to class next month. MPS’ board this week approved a return to in-person classes for kids in elementary school and junior high. MPS will bring high school seniors back, but freshmen, sophomores, and juniors will continue to learn from home.

The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty said the decision to keep some Milwaukee students home will only further the achievement gap between city schools and the rest of the state.

Spending and school outcomes

Corey DeAngelis and Patrick Wolf:

We’ve heard the claim many times: Charters are a specialized form of schooling that might not be able to cater to the needs of large segments of the population, some people say. These critics claim that while public charter schools might be able to deliver good results by serving a few highly motivated families, there is no way they can succeed at scale.

New Orleans has proven those skeptics wrong. The city has been the test case for scaling public education through the charter school model — and it has passed that test with flying colors.

Since Hurricane Katrina, every public school in the City of New Orleans has been a charter, and most of the public schools in Orleans Parish similarly have the independence of the charter model.

Two rigorous evaluations have concluded that charter schools in the Crescent City produce better educational outcomes than traditional public schools with similar student demographics. The Center for Research on Educational Outcomes (CREDO) at Stanford University concluded that, in the 2016-17 school year, a student attending a New Orleans public charter school gained the equivalent of an additional 54 days of learning in reading and 71 days of learning in math compared with a similar student in a traditional public school in the city, back when traditional schools existed.

The Education Research Alliance for New Orleans at Tulane University found that the charter-centered package of education reforms implemented after Katrina increased student achievement by 11 to 16 percentage points, boosted high school graduation rates by 3 to 9 points and improved college graduation rates by 3 to 5 points. Study authors Douglas Harris and Matthew Larsen state, “The reforms also improved all outcomes for disadvantaged students and reduced educational inequities for high school and college measures. It is very unusual to see programs and policies improve all of these outcomes.”

Google & Privacy

Johana Bhuiyan:

In Google’s case, the company typically lets users know which agency is seeking their information.

In one email The Times reviewed, Google notified the recipient that the company received a request from the Department of Homeland Security to turn over information related to their Google account. (The recipient shared the email on the condition of anonymity due to concern about immigration enforcement). That account may be attached to Gmail, YouTube, Google Photos, Google Pay, Google Calendar and other services and apps.

The email, sent from Google’s Legal Investigations Support team, notified the recipient that Google may hand over personal information to DHS unless it receives within seven days a copy of a court-stamped motion to quash the request.

That’s a high bar to clear in a short amount of time, said Paromita Shah, co-founder and executive director of immigration rights law firm Just Futures.

Many taxpayer supported K-12 School Districts use Google services, including Madison.

The Madness Comes for the Mathematicians

Jonathan Marks:

Andrea Bertozzi is a distinguished mathematician. A professor of mathematics at UCLA and the author or co-author of over 250 publications, Bertozzi has been elected to both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences.

She is also now something of a lightning rod, not because of her work on higher-order partial differential equations but because of her work on predictive policing. Bertozzi’s research seeks to “determine where crime is likely to occur in the near future.” Whether predictive policing helps to allocate scarce policing resources better, and whether the data about crime on which any mathematical model must rely reflects racial bias, is a matter of controversy. Like other controversies among academics, this one has been joined in peer-reviewed journals. But even this controversy does not explain the trouble with Bertozzi. The trouble with Bertozzi, her critics allege, is that she is a collaborator. With the cops.

Bertozzi was to deliver the 2021 Noether lecture, jointly sponsored by the Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM) and the American Mathematical Society (AMS) to honor “women who have made fundamental and sustained contributions to the mathematical sciences.” Last June, Bertozzi, AWM and AMS agreed to cancel her lecture in light of protests surrounding George Floyd’s death the previous month. AWM apologized for its insensitivity in announcing Bertozzi’s selection during the protests and recognized that it had “ongoing work to do in order to be an organization that fights for social justice.” AWM’s inbox, it seems, had filled up “with well-crafted commentary on the pain that has been caused by algorithmic policing, the insensitivity of the AWM’s timing, and questioning the choice of speaker.”

A few days after AWM’s apology, mathematicians who objected to Bertozzi wrote a public letter that explainedtheir objections and called for a “boycott” on “collaboration with the police.” Even if predictive policing were free of controversy, even if peer-reviewed research were to demonstrate its effectiveness and freedom from bias, “the structural racism and brutality in US policing” compelled these academics to profess that they “do not believe that mathematicians should be collaborating with police departments in this manner.

“We know best” – Kentucky edition

Eric Boehm:

Kentucky’s public education establishment loudly complained about legislation that would have forced school districts to compete for students—and on Wednesday, Gov. Andy Beshear did their bidding.

Beshear, a Democrat, vetoed a school choice bill that would have allowed families to cross district lines in pursuit of better schools, with education dollars following students who decided to switch from one school to another. The bill would have also created a $25 million scholarship fund—to be filled by donations from private businesses, for which they would receive state tax credits—that students in Kentucky’s three largest counties could have tapped to help pay for private school tuition, while students elsewhere could have used the money to hire tutors or pay other educational expenses.

The bill would “greatly harm education in Kentucky,” Beshear said in a video statement announcing the veto, by “taking money away from public schools.” In other words, students in failing public schools should be forced to remain there so those institutions can continue to collect tax dollars—because that’s what is important, right?

Science relies on constructive criticism. Here’s how to keep it useful and respectful

William A. Cunningham, Jay J. Van Bavel , Neil A. Lewis, Jr., June Gruber:

“All models are wrong, but some are useful.”

—George Box

Box’s quote reflects a deep and uncomfortable truth about science: None of our ideas are perfect, which means they are all destined to be questioned, reinterpreted, and potentially discarded. Although this is the very process that often makes science better in the battlefield of ideas—with the best ideas presumably winning out—it is also one that can generate anxiety and unpleasantness for everyone involved.

Commentary on Smith College Governance

Tobias Hoonhout:

The letter, obtained by National Review,was sent on Monday to Smith College president Kathleen McCartney by Bob Woodson, a veteran of the Civil Rights Movement and founder of “1776 Unites,”and 44 fellow black intellectuals. The signatories ask McCartney to “rethink how you have handled” the fallout over an alleged incident of racial profiling in the summer of 2018, and urge her to “publicly apologize” and 

Notes on the (apparent) exhaustion of the Western mind.

Ross Douthat:

But as with other areas of Western life I think the left is a little too focused on accelerating forces in capitalism when recent deceleration is also such an important fact. Both the 19th and 20th centuries offered ample proof that arts and ideas could flourish amid creative and not-so-creative destruction — could thrive despite yawning inequities whose scale dwarfs on our own — could coexist, however uneasily, with industrialization and consumerism and mass democracy and all manner of technological change. So the shift to intellectual stagnation over the last half-century has to be more multi-dimensional than a simple “capitalism dunnit.”

My own favored explanation, in The Decadent Society, is adapted from Robert Nisbet’s arguments about how cultural golden ages hold traditional and novel forces in creative tension: The problem, as I see it, is that this tension snapped during the revolutions of the 1960s, when the Baby Boomers (and the pre-Boomer innovators they followed) were too culturally triumphant and their elders put up too little resistance, such that the fruitful tension between innovation and tradition gave way to confusion, mediocrity, sterility. 

Sweetwater and San Ysidro will pay teachers incentives to come back to campus and adjust to new teaching model

Kristen Taketa:

Sweetwater Union High School District plans to give its teachers bonuses to get them to return to campus after more than a year of closed schools and online learning.

The school board on Monday approved a one-time 7 percent increase in the April pay of teachers who return to campus on April 12, plus a 2 percent bonus for the months of May and June for teachers who return to campus on May 3.

The bonuses are contingent on the district qualifying for state reopening incentive money, which would fund the bonuses.

Sweetwater appears to be rare among San Diego County districts for offering in-person incentive pay to teachers, but it is not the only district to do so.

Commentary on National K-12 Governance Policies (and elections)

Shannon Whitworth:

Miguel Cardona’s confirmation this month as President Biden’s secretary of education has left the nation’s school choice advocates wary but hopeful. Certainly, they appreciate the fact that Biden decided against elevating a number of teachers union executives to the position. In fact, after Cardona put in a good word for Connecticut’s charter schools and was an advocate for reopening Connecticut’s schools post COVID-19 closures, one is almost skeptical as to how his nomination avoided being canceled by liberal unions, let alone received their endorsements. In a letter from Cardona put out by the department after his confirmation, he said, “The research is conclusive: when they can do so safely, students are better off learning in school, in person, rather than remotely.” 

School choice advocates may owe former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos a debt of gratitude for pushing so hard on her policies that progressives were willing to accept anyone remotely resembling a normal-sounding Democrat. Whether Cardona’s support from the Republican senators who voted in his favor turns out to be a Faustian bargain in disguise, however, remains unknown.

The challenges facing the nation’s public schools are dire. Before even focusing on our nation’s inner-city schools, it is worth noting, for example, that in Wisconsin, according to research by the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty, there are over 40,000 school-age children in 134 rural zip codes who do not have a high-performing school within 10 miles of where they live. These rural schools actually lag behind Wisconsin’s urban schools, which is saying something because in Milwaukee Public Schools alone, more than 40% of the schools fail to meet expectations, according to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. The suburban schools, where parental wealth creates educational options for their children, have been outperforming rural and urban schools for years, creating the largest achievement gap between black and white students in the nation.

K-12 School Governance Commentary

Tom Knighton:

Look, I’m not a huge fan of public education. While I agree we need some kind of education, I’m not sure public education is the way to address it. There’s no accountability for bad systems and no options for those displeased with their schools.

Yet the law requires some degree of education for your children. You have to either teach homeschool or pay for private school unless you opt for public education.

Further, public education is funded by society as a whole through, among other things, property taxes as well as federal tax dollars being sent to state and local systems. It’s not funded through specialized taxes that only impact those who use certain resources—like, say, the gasoline tax being used to help fund road construction—but through broad taxes that impact everyone regardless of whether they utilize the services directly.

The thinking goes that this is because society as a whole benefits from an educated populace.

This is fair.

Yet this also implies that this is an entitlement, not some privilege. After all, the state constitution calls for a public education system to educate the citizens of Pennsylvania.

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.

Commentary on renaming a Madison High School

Scott Girard:

“Madison was a person that benefited off of the exploitation of Black bodies, and those who embarked in such acts of racism should have no influence in today’s culture,” Berry wrote. “Expecting Black students to attend a school named after a slave owner is anti-Black.”

[Glendale Elementary will be renamed for Virginia Henderson]

She cites the academic disparities for Black students compared to their white peers in her recent proposal and the 2017 petition.

“Being in an institution that perpetuates an anti-Black culture is not conducive for the success of Black students, and therefore hinders the school overall,” she wrote recently. “That is why actions such as ending contracts with the police in MMSD schools, and holding faculty accountable for their discrimination are small steps towards creating an environment where they can thrive.”

In 2017, the Cap Times reported that Berry’s effort was connected to the social justice class she was taking at the time.

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.

Reproductive Problems in Both Men and Women Are Rising at an Alarming Rate

Shanna H. Swan, Stacey Colino:

So, we continue to wonder: Where is the outrage on this issue? The annual 1 percent decline in reproductive health is faster than the rate of global warming (thankfully!)—and yet people are up in arms about global warming (and rightly so) but not about these reproductive health effects. To put the 1 percent effect in perspective, consider this: scientific data show a 1.1 percent per year increase in the number of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder between 2000 and 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. People have been rightly unnerved about this.

Why aren’t people equally troubled by reproductive damage to males and females? Maybe it’s because many don’t realize that these worrisome changes are happening, or that they’re marching along at the same rate. But everyone should. After all, these reproductive changes can hardly be a coincidence. They’re just too synchronous for that to be possible.

The truth is, these reproductive health effects are interconnected, and they are largely driven by a common cause: the presence of hormone-altering chemicals (a.k.a., endocrine-disrupting chemicals, or EDCs) in our world. These hormone-hijacking chemicals, which include phthalates, bisphenol A, and flame retardants, among others, have become ubiquitous in modern life. They’re in water bottles and food packaging, electronic devices, personal-care products, cleaning supplies and many other items we use regularly. And they began being produced in increasing numbers after 1950, when sperm counts and fertility began their decline.

The Coming Demographic Collapse of China

Gordon Chang:

China this century is on track to experience history’s most dramatic demographic collapse in the absence of war or disease.

Today, the country has a population more than four times larger than America’s. By 2100, the U.S. will probably have more people than China.

China’s National Bureau of Statistics typically releases population data for the preceding year in early March. This year, NBS delayed its announcement because the central government is scheduled next month to announce preliminary results of the 7th national census, conducted in November and December.

The image of Chinese economic and geopolitical dominance will be severely dented when Beijing releases census data. Xi Jinping may believe “the East is rising and the West is declining”—the money line from one of his speeches late last year—but that view will be exceedingly hard to maintain.

The Chinese take great pride in being part of the world’s most populous state. Beijing reported China’s population in 2019 hit 1.4 billion in 2019, up from 1.39 billion the previous year.

Chinese authorities will undoubtedly report an increase for last year as well. They are on record as believing the country’s population will continue to grow for more than a half decade.

No life, no hobbies, burnout, lost childhood — the price students pay for a prized IIT seat

Soniya Agrawal:

Last year, 1.5 million students took the JEE to qualify for 13,000 seats in 23 IITs across the country – in other words, for each seat there were 115 aspirants.

They are the country’s premier engineering institutes and getting into them is internationally considered more difficult than admission into Princeton, America’s Ivy League university.

Last year, 1.5 million students took the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) to qualify for 13,000 seats in 23 IITs across the country — in other words, for each seat there were 115 aspirants.

So intense is the pressure and so gruelling is the preparation required that students as young as 14 start the process, often missing out on the simple joys of adolescence. Most give up extra-curricular activities, relationships with friends and peers, and all forms of entertainment to achieve the goal. By the time they achieve their aim, if they do, many realise they have lost out on social skills, ability to communicate easily with others (an attribute now known as soft skills), and of course, some part of their youth.

An IIT Delhi professor who has been teaching for the last two decades underlines this reality, saying when students come to them after two or three years of prep, they don’t even know how to behave socially.

“deconstructs the faith-based progressive dogma of Critical Race Theory”

David Blaska:

Damn! Dave Cieslewicz is just killing it over at his blog. (No wonder the armadillos are dead.) In today’s installment, he deconstructs the faith-based progressive dogma of Critical Race Theory. 

Not just a theory in the Emerald City. The governance of our city, county, and public schools adhere to this neo-Marxist “construct” as scientific fact. Teach it, preach it, and legislate it. Common Council could be talking about a liquor license for a quickie mart and some over-educated, elected idiot pulls out his racial micrometer and frets about Equity. Too many of the wrong kids starting fights in the cafeteria? Expel the “racist” police.

Part 1 Discipline: Has school discipline become undisciplined?

Armand A. Fusco, Ed.D.:

(It will be very important to read the end of Part 3)

Any educator can tell you that discipline is by far the most challenging of all issues facing teachers, administrators, and schools in general; that’s why teachers rank it as their number one problem. In its twenty-two year existence, the Annual Gallup Poll has identified “lack of discipline” as the most serious and difficult problem facing the nation’s educational system; without discipline learning becomes an orphan to disruption.

Numbers will add a reality to the problem: In a survey taken by the American Federation of Teachers “66 percent of the members reported having been verbally abused by a student, 32 percent had been threatened or assaulted, and 20 percent had administrators refuse to remove a disruptive student.” Data from Indicators of School Crime and Safety, 2001, indicates that teachers were the victims of 1,700,000 non-fatal crimes at school; and what is important to note is that this number only includes disciplinary problems that were reported to police.

The reality is that discipline problems are the major reason why teachers leave the profession within the first five years. Better pay will certainly not solve this problem, but perhaps hazardous duty pay would help to compensate school personnel for what they have to endure day in and day out.

However, there is a rather disturbing issue surrounding this problem. When principals were surveyed (Violence and Discipline Problems in U.S. Public Schools 1996-97), 43% perceived discipline issues as no more than minor in their school, 41% indicated it was a moderate problem and only 16% perceived at least one discipline issue as a serious problem. How is it that teachers and the public polls report discipline as the number one school problem, but only 16% of the principals see it as a serious problem? This difference in perception may help explain why discipline is so undisciplined.

PART 6 Finance—Can a SchStat program enhance the treasure chest?

“the $1.5 billion heading toward Wisconsin’s public K-12 schools and $560 million for colleges and universities”

Brianna Reilly:

A new report from the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau highlights preliminary details about how the expected $5.7 billion for state and local governments can be spent in Wisconsin. That’s in addition to the $1.5 billion heading toward the state’s public K-12 schools and $560 million for colleges and universities.

Related: Commentary on K-12 use of redistributed federal taxpayer (and borrowed) funds

Commentary on the 2021 Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) Superintendent election

Scott Girard:

[I have received 3 text messages and a door knock from a paid lit drop person, for one of the candidates. Guess?]

13-1 Special interest $pending for Wisconsin DPI Superintendent Candidate Jill Underly, running against Deborah Kerr.

In that same forum, Kerr outlined a plan to decentralize the Department of Public Instruction by creating offices around the state and making it a “customer service” instead of “regulatory” agency. She also questioned Underly’s support beyond unions.

“I am beholden to kids and families and educators, in that order,” she said. “My opponent is beholden to teachers’ unions.”

Kerr’s campaign has seen controversy since immediately after finishing second in the primary. The day after the primary, she deleted her Twitter account after sending a tweet in response to a post asking people generally to recall the first time they were called the N-word.

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Assembly against private school forced closure

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.

Nearly half of schools are open full-time, survey finds

Laura Meckler:

The first federal data on education during the pandemic finds nearly half of public schools were open for full-time, face-to-face classes, with White children far more likely than Black, Hispanic or Asian American students to be attending in person.

The data suggests the nation is both close to a goal set by President Biden for a return to school and a considerable distance to a full return to normalcy.

The survey also raised questions about the quality of education being delivered to those learning from home. About one-third of schools offer two hours or less of live instruction per day for those learning either full or part-time at home. Some offer none.

The survey results include a representative sample of schools serving fourth- and eighth-grade students, the first attempt by the federal government to assess the state of education since schools closed en masse a year ago. The report also offers the first demographic and regional breakdown of in-person learning.

Biden has made reopening schools a key goal for his early presidency and says he wants a majority of K-8 schools open for full-time, in-person classes by his 100th day in office, at the end of April. The survey, which covered January and, in some cases, February, suggests he’s likely to hit that target. It found 47 percent of schools serving fourth-graders and 46 percent serving eighth-graders were open for full in-person instruction.

But the survey also found millions of students still don’t have full-time school available while others opted for remote education.

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.

Civics: The U.S. Intelligence Community, Flouting Laws, is Increasingly Involving Itself in Domestic Politics

Glenn Greenwald:

A report declassified last Wednesday by theDepartment of Homeland Security is raising serious concerns about the possibly illegal involvement by the intelligence community in U.S. domestic political affairs. 

Entitled “Domestic Violent Extremism Poses Heightened Threat in 2021,” the March 1 Reportfrom the Director of National Intelligence states that it was prepared “in consultation with the Attorney General and Secretary of Homeland Security—and was drafted by the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and Department of Homeland Security (DHS), with contributions from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA).” 

The big post-pandemic educational mess and what it will take to solve it

Morgan Polikoff:

When states shuttered public schools for in-person learning last March, almost no one imagined that some of them would remain closed for a full year or more. As time passed, concerns about a limited “learning loss” grew into worries about a “lost generation” of students. Projections of lost achievement were massive.

But when student performance data started trickling in during the fall, the results were not as terrible as many had envisioned. Yes, performance seemed to be dipping, especially for the most vulnerable, but the magnitude of the decline appeared smaller than the direst predictions.

As a result, some education scholars and activists decided they’d been too pessimistic. Now they began arguing that “there is no such thing as learning loss.” When the Biden administration called on states to actually test their students to gauge the impact of the pandemic, there was intense resistance to even measuring what the pandemic hath wrought.

Immigrants and the Educational Performance of U.S. Born Students

David N. Figlio, Paola Giuliano, Riccardo Marchingiglio, Umut Özek & Paola Sapienza:

We study the effect of exposure to immigrants on the educational outcomes of US-born students, using a unique dataset combining population-level birth and school records from Florida. This research question is complicated by substantial school selection of US-born students, especially among White and comparatively affluent students, in response to the presence of immigrant students in the school. We propose a new identification strategy to partial out the unobserved non-random selection into schools, and find that the presence of immigrant students has a positive effect on the academic achievement of US-born students, especially for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Moreover, the presence of immigrants does not affect negatively the performance of affluent US-born students, who typically show a higher academic achievement compared to immigrant students. We provide suggestive evidence on potential channels.

Milwaukee Teachers union: ‘Very irresponsible’ if school board approves in-person plan

Matt Smith:

Milwaukee Public School teachers would return to the classroom next week ahead of a phased-in return of students learning in April under a plan that will go before the school board Tuesday evening.

The plan calls for in-person instruction four days a week, with Wednesdays set aside for cleaning when students would remain learning virtually.

“We are just very clear – it would be very irresponsible for any school board member to vote yes to what the administration has put forward,” Amy Mizialko said Monday evening, president of the Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association.

Mizialko said the administration has failed to put together a comprehensive safety plan despite teachers having access to the COVID-19 vaccine.

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 incarcerati

One City Schools expands – in Monona (Governor Evers’ proposed budget would once again abort this school, by eliminating the UW charter office)

Logan Wroge:

With a $14 million donation from American Girl founder and philanthropist Pleasant Rowland, One City Schools announced plans on Tuesday to purchase an office building in Monona that will become a new home for the fast-growing independent charter school.

One City will use the donation to buy a 157,000-square-foot office building on the campus of WPS Health Solutions for $12 million and transform it into a school.

Kaleem Caire, founder and CEO of One City, also said the school received conditional approval earlier this year from its charter authorizer — the University of Wisconsin System’s Office of Educational Opportunity — to start teaching middle- and high-schoolers in the fall of 2022.

“This is huge, having Pleasant Rowland’s support like this,” Caire said in an interview. “It’s a sign that the opportunity’s here for us to do something great, there are a lot more people that want to do great things for our children and the schools that we’re creating.”

Hard Road

Caire said securing the building and charter expansion to operate a full-fledged 4K-12 school feels like “vindication” nearly a decade after a bitter battle to open a charter school failed.

As then-president of the Urban League of Greater Madison, Caire approached the Madison School Board to operate Madison Preparatory Academy — a charter geared to low-income minority students in response to slow progress on closing Madison’s longstanding, yawning racial achievement gap.

But the School Board rejected the proposal during a lengthy December 2011 meeting, prompting Caire to eventually seek a charter through the Republican-created method of authorizing charters independently of local school boards.

“Just because it was a charter school, people just lost their minds,” Caire said of the Madison Prep debate. “To see where the community is now, we’ve gotten a lot more support.”

2011: A majority of the Madison School Board aborts an independent charter school: On the 5-2 Madison School Board No (Cole, Hughes, Moss, Passman, Silveira) Madison Preparatory Academy IB Charter School Vote (Howard, Mathiak voted Yes)

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.

“Teachers taking the backseat — that flies in the face of white Western thought, right?

Commentary on Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district current governance practices, in light of long term, disastrous reading results.

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.

Redefining Racism in Madison Schools

Maciver News:

Everything you thought you knew about education is being redefined as racist in Madison Schools. During this workshop last week, Madison schools teamed up with UW-Madison to root out anything they consider to be “white, western thought” and talk about how they’re replacing it.

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 incarcerat

11.1% of families are homeschooling

Joanne Jacobs:

Homeschooling has more than tripled since schools closed a year ago, reports the Census Bureau. About 3.3 percent of U.S. families with school-aged children were homeschooling pre-pandemic. That rose to 5.4 percent in the first week of April. By the first week of October, 11.1 percent were homeschooling.

For Black families, the change was even more dramatic: 16.1 percent of Black families were homeschooling their children in the fall; the rate for Hispanics was 12.1 percent.

Black and Hispanic families are the most likely to be in all-remote districts.

“A clarification was added to the school enrollment question to make sure households were reporting true homeschooling rather than virtual learning through a public or private school,” reports the Census.

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 amidst lockdown policies

John Tierney:

Now that the 2020 figures have been properly tallied, there’s still no convincing evidence that strict lockdowns reduced the death toll from Covid-19. But one effect is clear: more deaths from other causes, especially among the young and middle-aged, minorities, and the less affluent.

The best gauge of the pandemic’s impact is what statisticians call “excess mortality,” which compares the overall number of deaths with the total in previous years. That measure rose among older Americans because of Covid-19, but it rose at an even sharper rate among people aged 15 to 54, and most of those excess deaths were not attributed to the virus.

Some of those deaths could be undetected Covid-19 cases, and some could be unrelated to the pandemic or the lockdowns. But preliminary reports point to some obvious lockdown-related factors. There was a sharp decline in visits to emergency rooms and an increase in fatal heart attacks due to failure to receive prompt treatment. Many fewer people were screened for cancer. Social isolation contributed to excess deaths from dementia and Alzheimer’s.

We Can’t Address Systemic Racism If We Can’t Discuss It Without Backlash

Jonathan Zimmerman:

Do Black students receive lower grades in law school? If so, why?

It has now become dangerous to ask those questions. And that’s very bad news for anyone who cares about systemic racism — or freedom of speech — in the United States. We’ll never solve America’s glaring racial inequities unless we can also talk about them.

That’s the real take-away of last week’s imbroglio at Georgetown Law School, where adjunct professor Sandra A. Sellers was fired for saying that her Black students often underachieve academically. “I hate to say this,” Ms. Sellers told fellow adjunct David C. Batson, apparently unaware that she was still being recorded after a virtual class. “I end up having this angst every semester that a lot of my lower [students] are Blacks … You get some really good ones. But there are also usually some that are just plain at the bottom. It drives me crazy.” …

What, precisely, was inappropriate about Ms. Sellers’ remarks? Some viewers objected to her jocular tone and to her use of the term “Blacks,” as opposed to Black students. But her statement reflected an important social fact: On the average, Black Americans get lower grades in law school than other racial groups do. They’re also less likely to pass the bar exam on the first try.

The Acceleration Imperative: A Plan to Address Elementary Students’ Unfinished Learning in the Wake of Covid-19

Fordham Institute, via a kind reader:

In school districts and charter school networks nationwide, instructional leaders are developing plans to address the enormous challenges faced by their students, families, teachers, and staff over the past year. To help kick-start their planning process, we are proud to present The Acceleration Imperative, an open-source, evidence-based document created with input from dozens of current and former chief academic officers, scholars, and others with deep expertise and experience in high-performing, high-poverty elementary schools. It has four key design principles:

Beer making for credit: Liberal arts colleges add career tech

Jon Marcus:

A Yale-educated evolutionary biologist and a member of the faculty at Catholic, liberal arts-focused Sacred Heart University, Geffrey Stopper also oversees one of its newest courses: Advanced Craft Beverage Brewing.

Sacred Heart is launching career-focused programs like this to give its students vocational credentials that can speed them into their first jobs while expanding the university’s market to older adults who are hoping to get new ones.

After all, there are 115 breweries in Connecticut, according to the Connecticut Brewers Guild, employing about 6,000 people. But there are no other formal training programs in the state to cover such things as brewery management and brewing theory.

“You need to know how enzymes work and how acids work and apply equations to what you’re doing,” Stopper said of the program, standing on a catwalk overlooking fermentation tanks and repurposed wine and whiskey barrels filled with beer in the cavernous warehouse of Two Roads Brewery, where the course is taught.

Lockdowns Prompting Devastating Levels of ‘Psychological Distress’ Among Young People

Pew Research:

Most young people are at little risk of dying from the coronavirus. But a new Pew Research survey shows that they are disproportionately bearing the consequences of heavy-handed pandemic lockdowns and isolating government restrictions.

Pew finds that an astounding 32 percent of young adults aged 18 to 29 report experiencing high levels of “psychological distress.” An additional 31 percent say they’ve experienced a medium level. Notably, women and lower-income are even more likely to have experienced serious psychological distress within this young subgroup.

Meanwhile, 45 percent of respondents under 30 reported being “nervous, anxious or on edge” at least “occasionally or a moderate amount of time.”

What’s the root cause of this widespread distress among young adults? Well, reports often attribute it to “the pandemic” or “COVID,” but in actuality, it’s largely attributable to the lockdown policies and government restrictions, not the virus itself. 

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.

31% Have Experienced Positive Benefits From the Pandemic

Mike Antonucci:

A majority of only one group was able to cite some positive benefits.

“Those who work at a school or college are far more likely than other government employees to report positive benefits from the pandemic,” Rasmussen reports. “By a 60% to 36% margin, those who work in education report positive benefits.”

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.

Civics & Ideological Rents

Megan McArdle:

Substack became an appealing sanctuary for media’s heterodox refugees because people are most likely to pay for a newsletter that offers them something they can’t get from other outlets. Ironically, thanks to the cancellation artists, viewpoint diversity is one thing that’s getting harder to find in bigger places with more resources.

That’s not the only thing people look for on Substack — newspapers also don’t provide 1,500-word missives on the history and preparation of craft cocktails, which is why my husband, a political writer, runs a successful cocktail newsletter on the side. But viewpoint diversity is obviously profitable. So profitable, in fact, that one wonders why woke capital doesn’t do what capital normally does and go after a lucrative economic niche.

Recently, economist Cameron Harwick suggested one possibility: We actually are witnessing woke capital do what capital normally does, if the capitalist controls a monopoly. That is, extracting excess returns from the market — what economists call “rents.”

Companies with valuable monopolies typically force higher prices from customers, a.k.a. “economic rents.” Labor monopolies, however, often prefer fringe benefits to straight cash. And woke capital, Harwick argues, is actually the creation of a labor cartel: the highly progressive monoculture of professional workers. To keep them happy, institutions that employ a lot of professionals have been pressured toward a narrow ideological consensus, corresponding to the views of roughly the left-most 8 percent of the American electorate. It’s a hidden fringe benefit that Harwick dubs “ideological rents.”

Migration, Taxpayer funded governance and policy outcomes

Douglas Newby:

I have left for last this tax advantage, which is the most obvious economic reason Fortune 50 companies and individual families are moving from Los Angeles to Dallas. A fourth generation Angelenos family who belongs to the most prestigious Los Angeles beach club, have their children in the finest preparatory schools, and live in a beautiful home told me they will enjoy escaping the high taxes, but it is the quality of life Dallas offers that they are really seeking. They are excited about schools that are open, restaurants they can go to, friendly, optimistic neighbors, blue skies, a sense of freedom and robust opportunities.

The pandemic brought everything into hyper-focus. Californians who a few years ago were tempted to leave for economic reasons decided to leave now to live in a city their family would enjoy. Those arriving in Dallas are not coming here with doubt or trepidation, but with excitement and enthusiasm to begin life in Dallas that offers so much of what California offered families moving there a generation or two ago.

For the next 30 years Dallas will be the city that leads the way in Organic Urbanism and the aesthetic and economic opportunities it provides. The pattern of migration to and from cities has evolved for 200 years. Technology increases the fluidity of where people live and simultaneously allows a greater intimacy and connectivity with neighbors and the community.

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.

A year into the pandemic, Wisconsin residents still aren’t being told where COVID-19 spread

Matt Piper Madeline Heim:

Even though the state budgeted $75 million to trace the virus’ path, its health department chose from the earliest days of the pandemic to reveal little about outbreak locations.

Then, during last fall’s surge, the state’s most powerful business and manufacturing group sued to make doubly sure nobody but the state could access those records.

So once the wave crested, there was nothing public at the state level to answer claims like those from the head of the Wisconsin Restaurant Association on Nov. 30, who said there was no data that proved people were more likely to contact the virus in restaurants.

The same was true for data about bars, churches, stores, meatpacking plants or manufacturers. 

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.

Civics: FBI Seized Congressional Cellphone Records Related to Capitol Attack

Ken Klippenstein, Eric Lichtblau

Within hours of the storming of the Capitol on January 6, the FBI began securing thousands of phone and electronic records connected to people at the scene of the rioting — including some related to members of Congress, raising potentially thorny legal questions.

Using special emergency powers and other measures, the FBI has collected reams of private cellphone data and communications that go beyond the videos that rioters shared widely on social media, according to two sources with knowledge of the collection effort.

In the hours and days after the Capitol riot, the FBI relied in some cases on emergency orders that do not require court authorization in order to quickly secure actual communications from people who were identified at the crime scene. Investigators have also relied on data “dumps” from cellphone towers in the area to provide a map of who was there, allowing them to trace call records — but not content — from the phones.

The cellphone data includes many records from the members of Congress and staff members who were at the Capitol that day to certify President Joe Biden’s election victory. The FBI is “searching cell towers and phones pinging off cell sites in the area to determine visitors to the Capitol,” a recently retired senior FBI official told The Intercept. The data is also being used to map links between suspects, which include members of Congress, they also said. (Capitol Police are reportedly investigating whether lawmakers helped rioters gain access to the Capitol as several Democrats have alleged they did, though Republican officials deny this.)

Academic “Ghost-Writing”: The Cheating Scandal No One Will Discuss

Stewart Lawrence:

Getting a good college education turns out to be a lot easier than it used to be. It’s not that the courses have gotten any easier, but academic cheating has, and most schools seem powerless to stop it.

In recent months much of the media has focused on the high-profile college admissions scandals involving Hollywood celebrities like Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin. But that’s just the tip of the ice berg.

While getting students into prestige schools is one way parents and their children “game” the college system, it’s what they do afterwards that may be even more shocking.

I spent weeks interviewing unemployed writers and assistant professors who say they are earning a lucrative side income by writing student term papers and essays for a fee – sometimes posing as these students online and taking an entire load of semester courses anonymously on their behalf.

It turns out that academic “ghost-writing” isn’t illegal but it is highly unethical. Schools have “intellectual integrity” guidelines in place that require students to do their own work or risk being expelled.

13-1 Special interest $pending for Wisconsin DPI Superintendent Candidate Jill Underly

Wisconsin Democracy:

Liberal groups are winning the money race in the so-called “nonpartisan” state school superintendent race, where Pecatonica Area School Superintendent Jill Underly faces Deborah Kerr, a retired Brown Deer schools superintendent.

Three groups that generally back Democratic candidates in partisan elections – A Better Wisconsin Together, Wisconsin Education Association Council (WEAC), and Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin – have doled out $766,425 to support Underly or oppose Kerr.

American Federation for Children, a pro-voucher outfit founded by Betsy DeVos that generally backs Republicans, has spent $56,500 to oppose Underly.

That’s a 13 to 1 advantage for the liberal groups backing Underly.

Two weeks out from the April 6 spring elections, eight special interest groups have topped $1 million combined in outside election spending on the state school superintendent race and two special legislative elections.

Commentary on the taxpayer supported Madison School District’s hiring and layoff practices

Scott Girard:

The Madison School Board is expected to vote Monday on a controversial proposal that would minimize the importance of seniority in layoff and reassignment decisions.

Madison Metropolitan School District administrators have pushed for the change, which would prioritize culturally responsive practices and student learning outcomes instead of the experience-based system in place now. They see it as among the ways to diversify the staff and avoid putting recently hired staff of color at the most risk for layoff or reassignment, while also keeping the best teachers in the classroom.

Madison Teachers Inc. supports diversifying the workforce but believes the district’s proposed guidelines would allow for too much subjectivity — potentially hurting those same staff of color.

Based on a review of research and news articles from school districts around the country and interviews with experts on the topic, they’re both right.

“It’s sort of a no-brainer, sure, let’s keep the best,” said Richard Ingersoll, a professor of education and sociology at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education. “It turns out it’s easier said than done.”

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.

As U.S. schools shuttered, student mental health cratered, Reuters survey finds

Benjamin Lesser, MB Pell and Kristina Cooke:

A few weeks after San Francisco’s school district moved to remote learning last year in hopes of halting the spread of the coronavirus, Kate Sullivan Morgan noticed her 11-year-old son was barely eating. He would spend days in bed staring at the ceiling.

The mother formed a pod with three other families so the students could log on to their online classes together. That helped, but her eldest remained withdrawn and showed little interest in his hobbies, such as playing piano and drawing. Then her younger son, then 8, started to spiral down.

“He would scream and cry multiple times per hour on Zoom,” she said. “It was all really scary and not in keeping with his personality.” She scaled back her job as a healthcare regulatory attorney to be there for her sons.

In December, with schools in San Francisco still closed, the family packed up and moved more than 1,700 miles, to Austin, Texas, so the children could attend school in person. “Kids are resilient, but there is a breaking point,” Sullivan Morgan said.

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.

LA and Oakland teachers: Vote “No” on the deadly deals to reopen schools!

WSWS.org:

The West Coast Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committees call for Los Angeles and Oakland teachers to vote “no” on their unions’ sellout agreements and refuse to return to classrooms until conditions are completely safe. The efforts of the politicians and teachers unions across the West Coast to return students and staff to schools under deadly conditions must be resisted in order to save lives.

We reject the governmental attempts to classify teachers as “essential workers” in the midst of the deadly coronavirus pandemic in order to push them back into unsafe classrooms. Despite the recent decline in case numbers with a small but slowly increasing minority of the population having been vaccinated, coronavirus infections and deaths are poised to increase. More infectious variants of the virus are now circulating with state and local governments instituting drastic rollbacks of lockdown measures that will guarantee a renewed explosion of infections and deaths.

Social isolation during COVID‐19 lockdown impairs cognitive function

Joanne Ingram, Christopher J. Hand and Greg Maciejewski:

Studies examining the effect of social isolation on cognitive function typically involve older adults and/or specialist groups (e.g., expeditions). We considered the effects of COVID‐19‐induced social isolation on cognitive function within a representative sample of the general population. We additionally considered how participants ‘shielding’ due to underlying health complications, or living alone, performed. We predicted that performance would be poorest under strictest, most‐isolating conditions. At five timepoints over 13 weeks, participants (N=342; aged 18‐72 years) completed online tasks measuring attention, memory, decision‐making, time‐estimation, and learning. Participants indicated their mood as ‘lockdown’ was eased. Performance typically improved as opportunities for social contact increased. Interactions between participant sub‐groups and timepoint demonstrated that performance was shaped by individuals’ social isolation levels. Social isolation is linked to cognitive decline in the absence of ageing covariates. The impact of social isolation on cognitive function should be considered when implementing prolonged pandemic‐related restrictive conditions.

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.

Who Wants Good Advice?

Robin Hansen:

Many people, including myself and Bryan, think it is a shame that so many seem worse off from making poor lifestyle choices, and so are inclined to recommend that good advice be spread more widely. However, what if most everyone who makes poor choices is actually well aware of the usual good advice when they make their poor choices? And what if they like having the option to later pretend that they were unaware, to gain sympathy and support for their resulting predicaments? Such people might then resent the wider spreading of the good advice, seeing it as an effort to take away their excuse, to blame them for their problems, and to reduce their sympathy and support.

Collections: This. Isn’t. Sparta. Part I: Spartan School

Bret Devereaux:

This is Part I of a seven part series (I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII) comparing the popular legacy of Sparta (embodied in films like 300) with the historical ancient state. Today, we’re going to start by looking at the sources of our information on Sparta, and then begin at the beginning: the Spartan rearing and training system, the agoge.

I knew we’d go here eventually (a critique of 300 in particular has been a fairly common request), but I decided to move this up in the calendar after reading the dueling articles in the New Republic about the value of Sparta. I don’t think either article was really as comprehensive as it could have been, and I felt one of them was deeply mistaken – it will soon be very obvious which one.

Sparta’s legacy in American popular culture has always been prominent, but it seems particularly so now. You see the Spartan lambda (the Λ for Lacedaemon, the name of the territory of Sparta) on t-shirts. Sparta is invoked in fitness motivational posters. Famous Spartan witticisms (like molon labe – “come and get them”) are turned into modern political slogans. There’s an entire, popular series of obstacle course runs called ‘Spartan race’ (an unfortunate phrasing if ever I’ve heard one).

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school District continues to resist open records requests

Chris Rickert:

Fourteen districts eventually responded with at least some of the data. The county’s two largest and most racially and socioeconomically diverse, Madison and Sun Prairie, required the newspaper to file public records requests for the data. To date, they remain unfilled.

In Madison, students could be marked present simply by exchanging messages with “the homeroom teacher and any specials teacher they are scheduled to receive instruction from that day.” In Verona, “two-way communication” with a teacher of staff had to occur at some time during the 24-hour day when the class occurred for the student to be marked present.

By contrast, the Marshall School District expected students to show up for each online class just as they had to show up for each in-person class pre-pandemic. It saw its rate of chronic absenteeism rise from 7% to 12% from the first semester of the last school year to the first semester of this one.

Seven school districts in Wisconsin, including three in Dane County — Madison, Sun Prairie and Mount Horeb — dispensed with enforcing state attendance laws altogether. The law identifies actions districts have to take when students are regularly absent without valid excuses.

Madison, the county’s largest district, did not respond to multiple requests for comment on why it sought the waiver.

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 Supreme Court Has Unfinished School-Choice Business

Michael Bindas:

The Supreme Court went a long way toward protecting the right of parents to direct the education of their children in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue (2020). But the court’s opinion left a critical constitutional question unresolved. As a result, students are still being denied the opportunity to attend the schools that will best meet their needs. Fortunately, the justices have a chance to finish the job.

In Espinoza, the court held that if a state provides aid for students to attend private schools, it can’t single out religious schools as ineligible and bar students from using the aid to attend them. To do so violates the Constitution’s Free Exercise Clause.

But in his majority opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts stressed that the religious exclusion at issue turned on the religious status of the excluded schools—not the religious use to which a student’s scholarship might be put. He left open whether the state could, in making exclusions, delve into whether a student’s scholarship might be used for religious activity.

Chief Justice Roberts didn’t say a religious-use-based exclusion would have been constitutionally permissible; if anything, he suggested the opposite. But as he commonly does, he opted to take an incremental approach and concluded that the court didn’t need to deal with the religious-use issue in Espinoza.

Civics: Using FBI data, I computed black and white perpetrators of hate crimes as a percentage of men 18 to 44 years old in their populations

Robert Cherry:

Using 2019 FBI statistics — the most recently available data — I computed black and white perpetrators of hate crimes as a percentage of men 18 to 44 years old in their populations. The black rate was 40 percent, 76 percent and 303 percent higher than the white rate for hate crimes against the Asian/Pacific Island, Latino and LGBTQ communities respectively. Even more troubling, black rates for hate-crime assaultswere 94 percent higher while for property destruction and vandalism, they were 14 percent lower than white rates. 

Evidence from Los Angeles verifies the limited reach of white supremacist actions, particularly with regards to violent crimes and those perpetrated against Asian/Pacific Island, Latino, or LGBQT communities. Its Human Rights Commission found:

‘After declining for two years, white supremacist crimes…accounted for 22 percent of all [2019] hate crimes. Seven out of 10 white supremacist crimes involved vandalism and more than half targeted persons from the Jewish community.’

Disproportionate black behaviors extended to all violent crimes. For 2019, black arrests per male for murders and all violent crimes were, respectively, 4.94 and 2.73 times white arrests per male. And these numbers are before the unprecedented 2020 homicide spike.

Additional commentary via Joshua Chaffin:

Please use the sharing tools found via the share button at the top or side of articles. Copying articles to share with others is a breach of FT.com T&Cs and Copyright Policy. Email licensing@ft.com to buy additional rights. Subscribers may share up to 10 or 20 articles per month using the gift article service. More information can be found at https://www.ft.com/tour.
https://www.ft.com/content/55160d62-5e2b-4eee-9851-c894dc660eae

Discrimination against Asians in America was legislated as far back as the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, which prohibited immigration by Chinese workers.

Yet many Asian Americans complain that they are overlooked in the discussion of America’s racial injustices. “In the popular imagination, Asian Americans inhabit a vague purgatorial status: not white enough, nor black enough; distrusted by African Americans, ignored by whites, unless we’re being used by whites to keep the black man down,” writes Cathy Park Hong, the poet and critic, in her recent book of essays, Minor Feelings.

Asian Americans are often regarded as a “model minority” for the economic success achieved by some of their members. It is a label that Hong and others argue is deployed as a means to downplay their suffering.

It certainly does not fit the circumstances of the women murdered in Georgia, four of whom were of Korean descent. Massage parlours often rely on undocumented labourers with few rights or protections.

Wikipedia Is Finally Asking Big Tech to Pay Up

Noam Cohen:

Today, the Wikimedia Foundation, which operates the Wikipedia project in more than 300 languages as well as other wiki-projects, is announcing the launch of a commercial product, Wikimedia Enterprise. The new service is designed for the sale and efficient delivery of Wikipedia’s content directly to these online behemoths (and eventually, to smaller companies too).

Conversations between the foundation’s newly created subsidiary, Wikimedia LLC, and Big Tech companies are already underway, point-people on the project said in an interview, but the next couple of months will be about seeking the reaction of Wikipedia’s thousands of volunteers. Agreements with the firms could be reached as soon as June.

“This is the first time the foundation has recognized that commercial users are users of our service,” says Lane Becker, a senior director at the foundation, who has been ramping up the Enterprise project with a small team. “We’ve known they are there, but we never really treated them as a user base.”

A Mathematical Theory of Cryptography

Claude E. Shannon:

In 1948, Claude E. Shannon published the paper A Mathematical Theory of Communication, which is seen as the foundation of modern information theory.

In 1949, Shannon published Communication Theory of Secrecy Systems which relates cryptography to information theory, and should be seen as the foundation of modern cryptography.

Both papers derive from a technical report, A Mathematical Theory of Cryptography, written by Shannon in 1945. In this report, Shannon defined, and mathematically proved, perfect secrecy.

Get Woke Or Get Laid Off: Madison’s taxpayer supported schools

Bill Osmulski:

The Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) is planning to make sweeping changes to how it handles teacher layoffs, and wokeness could become the biggest factor in who stays and who goes.

All teachers would be scored in five weighted categories, according to the school board’s current draft proposal. Most of the weight would be given to a teacher’s “Cultural Responsive Practices,” which could make up 40% of their score.

“Teachers should understand and be able to articulate the systems and beliefs that may lead to inequitable outcomes for students of color, and adapt instruction to meet the needs of each student,” according to the draft.

Sample layoff rubric provides examples of unacceptable practices and attitudes including: taking the color-blind approach, focusing on equality instead of equity, failing to understand one’s own implicit bias, and being reluctant to participate in race and equity professional development.

“If you’re a teacher and you cannot distinguish systems and beliefs that lead to inequitable outcomes for students, you should not be in MMSD,” School Board Member Ananda Mirilli said.

Instead, teachers must “[seek] out opportunities to uncover implicit biases and [take] action to ensure equitable learning environments for all.”

The next category would be “Student Learning Objective” with a weight of 30%. That focuses on academic growth rather than achievement. It is measured subjectively. Teachers with the best outcomes would have “in collaboration with focus group students and/or colleagues analyzed the outcomes of the SLO process and reflected on the growth achieved throughout the cycle.”

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.

A way to ease student loan debt without sticking taxpayers with the bill: How about a trade?

Marguerite Roza:

While last week’s $1.9T federal relief plan did not forgive student loans, it did include a provision that would make future debt cancellation non-taxable. Senator Warren and others released a celebratory statement suggesting that the law “clears the way for President Biden to use his authority to cancel $50,000 in student debt.”

But student loan forgiveness is far from a done deal. That’s because there are legitimate concerns about cost, equity and fairness that come with any of the current plans to waive student loans. President Biden knows that, and that’s likely why he hasn’t done it.

But, there’s a better way to relieve the pain of student debt that addresses these concerns while costing taxpayers nothing.

Instead of waiving away the debt and sending the bill to taxpayers, this would be a trade: in return for each $10,000 in debt relief, recipients delay eligibility for federal retirement benefits by a year. In exchange for up to $40,000 now to pay off student loans, recipients would postpone Social Security and Medicare benefits for up to 4 years. The trade would be completely optional and open to all Americans for generations to come. Best of all, it costs taxpayers nothing.

From Phonics to Reading

William H. Sadlier, Inc. | Series Overview:

The instructional materials reviewed for From Phonics to Reading Kindergarten, Grade 1, and Grade 2 meet the criteria for alignment to standards and research-based practices for foundational skills instruction. The instructional materials use a synthetic approach to phonics. Materials include a scope and sequence that clearly delineates an intentional sequence in which phonological and phonics skills are to be taught. Instructional materials include explicit instruction in letter identification and formation and provide instruction in general concepts of print. Materials provide systematic and explicit instructions for phonological awareness and frequent student practice opportunities (K-1). Instructional materials include systematic and explicit instruction in phonics skills with repeated teacher modeling located with in the Teacher’s Edition and Instructional Guides. The materials provide frequent opportunities for students to decode phonetically spelled words using phonemes and/or syllables. The materials include partially meet the criteria of application and encoding of phonics in activities and tasks. While the student practice is frequent, there are missed opportunities for teacher instruction and modeling of encoding. Materials include recurring instructional routines explicitly model and teach both reading and spelling of high-frequency words, primarily using the Read-Spell-Write routine. Materials provide explicit instruction in phoneme/grapheme recognition, syllabication and morpheme analysis using the Word Study routines and when introducing new sound-spelling patterns in the Blend It exercises. Materials include explicit instruction in fluency. Explicit instruction in and modeling of phrasing, expression, intonation, rate, and accuracy is included in the From Fluency to Comprehension: Routines and Minilessons guide. Materials include decodable readers that align to the phonics and high-frequency word scope and sequence. Materials also regularly and systematically provide a variety of assessment opportunities over the course of the year to demonstrate student progress toward mastery of all foundational skills; however, specific guidance to the teacher for next steps after assessments have been administered is limited.

Wisconsin Superintendent candidate Jill Underly accused of ‘hypocrisy’ for sending her children to private school

Daniel Bice:

No one has been a bigger promoter of public schools during the race for state school superintendent than Jill Underly. 

That was, no doubt, a large part of the reason that Underly, the Pecatonica school superintendent, has won the endorsement of state and local teachers unions.

But back when it was her decision to send her two children to school when she lived in Madison, Underly went private. 

Her campaign has confirmed that she chose to send her kids to St. James Catholic School in Madison during the 2013-’14 and 2014-’15 terms rather than Leopold Elementary, the low-performing neighborhood school in Fitchburg. 

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 One-Year Anniversary of Lockdowns

Edward Peter Stringham:

One year ago, between March 13 and 16, 2020, began what most of us would agree were the most difficult days of our lives. We thought our rights and liberties were more or less secure or could only be hobbled on the margin. We took certain things for granted, such as that our governments would not – and could not – order us to stay home, close most businesses and schools, shut down travel, padlock churches and concert halls, cancel events, much less lock down society in the name of virus control. 

All that changed with a federal document issued March 13, 2020, and declassified three months later. It was the lockdown guidelines. Over the following days, governors panicked. People panicked. Bureaucrats were unleashed. All the powers of the state at all levels of society were deployed not on the virus but on the people, which is all that governments can really control. The lockdowns were nearly universal, implemented around the world but for a few holdouts, one of which was in the US (South Dakota). 

A year later, most states are opening up while those still clinging to lockdowns can no longer control people. Regardless of warnings from the top that going back to normal life is too dangerous, most people have decided to be done with the whole dreadful episode. 

All year we’ve asked ourselves the question: why did this happen? Pathogens are part of life now and always have been. For the better part of a century, social and economic outcomes from new viruses were ever less disruptive. Public health had a settled consensus that disease is something to mitigate through doctor-patient relationships. Taking away people’s rights was out of the question. The last time that was tried in very limited ways in 1918 demonstrated that coercion only distracts, divides, and delays. This is why lockdowns were not attempted for another hundred years. Wisely so. 

In the severe pandemic of 1957-58, officials explicitly said: ‘‘[T]here is no practical advantage in the closing of schools or the curtailment of public gatherings as it relates to the spread of this disease.’’ It was the same in 1968-69, 2006, 2009, and 2012-13. 

Then came 2020 and SARS-CoV-2. The 24-hour news cycle and social media kicked in. Shocking images from China – people dropping dead in streets, police dragging people out of their homes or otherwise sealing whole apartment units – were blasted onto cellphones the world over. Then a part of Italy seemed to erupt. To many, it felt like a plague, and a primitive disease panic took over political culture. 

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