Politics vs Students in Racine

Libby Sobic:

Wisconsin parents have spent the last year scrambling to help cover learning loss created by the pandemic. For students living in Racine, any learning loss is particularly harmful considering the district was a low-performing school district prior to the pandemic. Despite this unfortunate reality, local leaders in Racine continue to purposefully confuse parents and make it as difficult as possible for families to access the educational options available to their students.

The first thing the district did was update their website to refer to its own public-school options as the “School Choice” program. Of course, the phrasing of this option is misleading for parents when the state has long referred to the Racine, Wisconsin and Milwaukee Parental Choice Programs as the “choice programs.” In fact, the Department of Public Instruction’s (DPI) website for parents to complete applications is called the “private school choice programs.” The district is actually referring to the public school options available to its students within the district that are not assigned to students based on their address.

Racine has a good reason to highlight options for its families. Racine Unified was rated as “meets few expectations” by the state for the 2018-2019 school year. According to DPI, nearly 50% of the district’s students were not proficient in English Language Arts or math on the state’s test for 2018-2019. Without a doubt, students are in a crisis in Racine and deserve access to as many high-quality educational options as possible.

But while imitation is the best form of flattery, in this case, Racine Unified is purposefully misleading parents and confusing the options available to them. In a time when students are struggling academically and families are trying to determine the best options for their kids, Racine’s actions make it needlessly harder.

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

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

Molly Beck and Madeline Heim:

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Assembly against private school forced closure.

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

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

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

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

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

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