What comes next? Federal and state governments are funneling unprecedented amounts of new money into public education, and the teachers unions have plenty of ideas on how to spend it.
Watch a TV news segment or read an article about school reopenings and you’re bound to hear American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten speak to what she thinks schools need. But she won’t be making those decisions, not even for her members. AFT’s local unions will tailor their stances to their conditions and political realities.
Local unions in the nation’s four largest school districts — New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago and Miami-Dade County — each handled school closings in a different way, and they each will handle post-pandemic relations with school districts in different ways.
Unions in New York and Miami reached agreement on reopening last fall, while Chicago’s union didn’t come to terms until March. The Los Angeles union didn’t come to terms until April, and most LA schools won’t reopen until this fall. Some asked for additional staff to address mental health issues and learning loss, while others went further afield, wanting an end to standardized tests.
Some demands, however, are universal. Each union wants smaller class sizes, which means more teachers, and more support employees to occupy various new programs.
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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.
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