Civics: commentary on the Dane County Madison Public Health mask mandate, that lacks elected an official vote

Allison Garfield and Natalie Yahr: The resolution seeks to dismiss the current emergency order — which was issued by Public Health Madison & Dane County on Dec. 20, 2021 and extends the mask mandate through Feb. 1, 2022 — until public input and “consent of the governed” had been achieved. The previous emergency order had … Continue reading Civics: commentary on the Dane County Madison Public Health mask mandate, that lacks elected an official vote

Political Posturing, interests and “adult employment” on taxpayer supported Dane County Madison public health ordering schools closed

Wisconsin Supreme Court: For the respondent, there was a brief filed by Remzy D. Bitar, Sadie R. Zurfluh, and Municipal and Litigation Group ̧ Waukesha. There was an oral argument by Remzy D. Bitar. For the petitioners Wisconsin Council of Religious and Independent Schools, et al., there was a reply brief filed by Richard M. … Continue reading Political Posturing, interests and “adult employment” on taxpayer supported Dane County Madison public health ordering schools closed

Dane County Madison Public Health drops complaint against dance studio, will incorporate allegations into counterclaim in related lawsuit

Ed Treleven: Attorneys representing Public Health Madison and Dane County have asked to withdraw the health agency’s 119-count complaint against an Oregon dance studio over alleged COVID-19 public health order violations, but only to allow consolidation of the alleged violations into a related lawsuit. In a court filing Tuesday, Madison Assistant City Attorney Marci Paulsen wrote … Continue reading Dane County Madison Public Health drops complaint against dance studio, will incorporate allegations into counterclaim in related lawsuit

Teachers to get priority for COVID-19 vaccine, Dane County Madison public health department says

Chris Rickert: While many public schools in Dane County began reopening in recent months to some in-person learning, and many private schools have been in-person since September, Madison public school students won’t begin returning to the classroom until March 9, when kindergartners go back. First- and second-graders are set to return March 16 and 4-year-old … Continue reading Teachers to get priority for COVID-19 vaccine, Dane County Madison public health department says

Dance studio cited for its ‘Nutcracker’ performance joins lawsuit against 140+ employee Dane County Madison public health department

Ed Treleven: An Oregon dance studio that last week drew a 119-count complaint from the joint Madison and Dane County public health department for alleged COVID-19 health order violations is suing the department, joining a lawsuit that challenges Dane County’s indoor gathering limits. A Leap Above Dance, which faces nearly $24,000 in fines for alleged … Continue reading Dance studio cited for its ‘Nutcracker’ performance joins lawsuit against 140+ employee Dane County Madison public health department

State Supreme Court puts pause on Dane County Madison public health order barring in-person school

Scott Girard: Schools in Dane County that want to open for in-person education can do so immediately for all grades after the state Supreme Court temporarily blocked enforcement of the Public Health Madison & Dane County order requiring virtual learning for grades 3-12. The court’s conservative majority issued the 4-3 ruling [PDF document], which combined … Continue reading State Supreme Court puts pause on Dane County Madison public health order barring in-person school

Dane County Madison Public Health issues hundreds of warnings for alleged COVID-19 order violations

Chris Rickert: Since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been 5,568 cases of COVID-19 in Dane County, including 41 new cases reported Wednesday and 40 documented deaths. Statewide there have been 77,129 cases and 1,142 deaths. SSM Health, which owns St. Mary’s Hospital, was sent warning letters on Aug. 7, 13 and 19 for … Continue reading Dane County Madison Public Health issues hundreds of warnings for alleged COVID-19 order violations

Dane County Madison Public Health amendment allows in-person instruction for students with disabilities

Scott Girard: Students with disabilities who need some in-person instruction will be allowed to go to schools this fall after Public Health Madison & Dane County amended its previous order Tuesday. PHMDC had announced on Friday, Aug. 21, that no students beyond grades K-2 were allowed for in-person instruction until certain metrics were met. After a challenging spring for … Continue reading Dane County Madison Public Health amendment allows in-person instruction for students with disabilities

Dane County Madison Public Health Slides (late Friday) on Schools; “activity tracker”

Dane County Madison Public Health: The Wisconsin Department of Health Services’ (DHS) Activity Tracker, Harvard guidance, COVID-local and COVIDActNow served as the main sources of the targets used for determining in-person instruction by grade level. Related: Catholic schools will sue Dane County Madison Public Health to open as scheduled Notes and links on Dane County Madison Public … Continue reading Dane County Madison Public Health Slides (late Friday) on Schools; “activity tracker”

Lawsuits challenge Dane County Madison Public Health’s authority to close private schools

Scott Girard: Two separate lawsuits are seeking to block a new public health emergency order that allows only a fraction of elementary school students to attend classes in person in Dane County. The legal challenges come days after Public Health Madison and Dane County officials in their ninth emergency order restricted in-person schooling to grades K-2 and … Continue reading Lawsuits challenge Dane County Madison Public Health’s authority to close private schools

Parents, private schools ask state Supreme Court to toss Dane County Madison Public Health order limiting in-person school

Chris Rickert: A group of parents and private religious schools is asking the Wisconsin Supreme Court to void a Dane County order barring in-person school for most students, saying the order issued in response to the COVID-19 pandemic infringes on the right to worship and to an education. “This case challenges the authority of one … Continue reading Parents, private schools ask state Supreme Court to toss Dane County Madison Public Health order limiting in-person school

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

David Blaska: Shortly after normal office hours on Friday (08-21-2020) Madison/Dane County Public Health issued an order closing down in-school education for students above second grade at private schools for the upcoming school year — matching the voluntary stance taken by area public schools. “This is clearly about making sure private schools aren’t allowed to … Continue reading Catholic schools will sue Dane County Madison Public Health to open as scheduled

Public Health Madison and Dane County reports that as of Thursday, it knows of no COVID-19-related deaths or hospitalizations linked to in-person learning in the county.

Chris Rickert: The smaller number of F’s stands in contrast to the experience of almost all of the 15 other school districts completely or predominantly within Dane County. Fourteen districts saw more failing grades once instruction went online; only the McFarland district saw fewer failing grades in fall 2020 than in fall 2019. Meanwhile, the … Continue reading Public Health Madison and Dane County reports that as of Thursday, it knows of no COVID-19-related deaths or hospitalizations linked to in-person learning in the county.

Lawsuit filed against head of Public Health Dane County madison over emergency order requiring virtual start to school year

Sarah Gray: A lawsuit was filed in Wisconsin’s Supreme Court on Tuesday arguing that Janel Heinrich, the Public Health Officer of Madison and Dane County, does not have the legal authority to keep children home from school. Public Health Madison and Dane County issued Emergency Order #9, which went into effect Monday. It orders all … Continue reading Lawsuit filed against head of Public Health Dane County madison over emergency order requiring virtual start to school year

Madison schools head says schools need ongoing community help to support students

Scott Girard: “This time, I’m going to the business community, to the churches and saying, ‘Hey, let’s start anticipating together, scenario planning, so if something happens, we can be a model for how you do it,’” he said. “Keep it rolling and keep safety first and then the rest of the stuff.” That “rest of … Continue reading Madison schools head says schools need ongoing community help to support students

‘The greatest casualty of the pandemic era is, without question, America’s public education system’

Jesse Kauffman: The greatest casualty of the pandemic era is, without question, America’s public education system. Shuttering public schools in the first panicked days of March 2020 was perhaps understandable. However, many schools—such as those my children attend in Ann Arbor, Michigan—failed to open the following year. Schools closed in defiance of any reasonable accounting … Continue reading ‘The greatest casualty of the pandemic era is, without question, America’s public education system’

Madison School District’s Early Literacy Task Force Report

104 Page PDF: The Early Literacy and Beyond Task Force was established in December 2020, charged with analyzing promising approaches to literacy education and making recommendations to Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) and the teacher education programs at the University of Wisconsin -Madison School of Education (UW-SoE) to improve literacy outcomes and reduce gaps in … Continue reading Madison School District’s Early Literacy Task Force Report

Ehud Qimron’s Powerful Letter to the Israeli Ministry of Health

Shared via brownstone: Two years late, you finally realize that a respiratory virus cannot be defeated and that any such attempt is doomed to fail. You do not admit it, because you have admitted almost no mistake in the last two years, but in retrospect it is clear that you have failed miserably in almost … Continue reading Ehud Qimron’s Powerful Letter to the Israeli Ministry of Health

Notes on Madison area K – 12 taxpayer supported school attendance

Scott Girard: MMSD spokesman Tim LeMonds told the Cap Times in an email Tuesday the district’s attendance rate Monday was 80.6%. That’s below the average of more than 90% throughout the 2020-21 school year, according to attendance data received through an open records request. Other area school districts, which all returned from winter break as … Continue reading Notes on Madison area K – 12 taxpayer supported school attendance

Commentary on Closed taxpayer supported Madison Schools (no achievement discussion)

Scott Mildred (and others) Our community didn’t let the district’s tardiness slide without a stern warning. That’s because missing in-person classes for the last week (with two days of online school) badly disrupted people’s lives, especially working parents who don’t have easy options for emergency child care. The district’s spokesman had told the State Journal on Dec. … Continue reading Commentary on Closed taxpayer supported Madison Schools (no achievement discussion)

Civics: Milwaukee votes on health policy while Dane County continues unelected administrative mandates

Corrinne Hess: At the urging of Milwaukee Public Schools and area restaurants, a Milwaukee Common Council committee moved forward an ordinance Friday for a city-wide mask mandate. Under the plan, a face covering would be required for anyone 3 years old and up inside a public building whenever the rate of transmission of the COVID-19 virus … Continue reading Civics: Milwaukee votes on health policy while Dane County continues unelected administrative mandates

Milwaukee Public Schools are staying virtual for now, and none of the reasons involve improving student education

Alan Borsuk: This all said, MPS is in a small club of school districts that have switched to all-virtual schooling during the current surge. The vast majority of American schools are staying in-person, even if it’s a struggle. One board member, Megan O’Halloran, suggested that schools that were reporting comparatively few COVID cases among teachers … Continue reading Milwaukee Public Schools are staying virtual for now, and none of the reasons involve improving student education

$5M in Grants to save Chicago Public School Children

STOP Award More than 340,000 Chicago Public School students have been forced to stay home by self-interests who dominate the Chicago Public School system. The failure of Chicago’s leadership to open school even after receiving more than $1.5 billion from the federal government in the past year to ensure they are always open safely to … Continue reading $5M in Grants to save Chicago Public School Children

Notes on administrative mandates vs elected official votes: Dane County Edition

Allison Garfield: Authored by county Supervisor Jeff Weigand, who represents District 20 just east of Sun Prairie, the resolution has been before the city and county’s joint public health committee twice, once in September and once in December. Most recently, on Dec. 1, the resolution was indefinitely postponed in committee. But the resolution made its way before … Continue reading Notes on administrative mandates vs elected official votes: Dane County Edition

Private temporary classroom for taxpayer supported Madison k-12 students

Scott Girard: It was their temporary classroom for MMSD’s second day of virtual learning amid a delayed return from winter break. Madison offered up her organization’s space on the Capitol Square hours after the district’s Dec. 30 announcement that winter break would be extended through Wednesday, Jan. 6, with virtual learning to close out the … Continue reading Private temporary classroom for taxpayer supported Madison k-12 students

Commentary on statements to open Madison’s closed taxpayer supported K-12 schools

Scott Girard: That percentage is well below the unfilled percentages in the last months of 2021: 49.81% in October, 47.37% in November and 43.56% in December. In its press release Thursday, the district acknowledged that closures of schools or classrooms could still be coming this semester. Elizabeth Beyer: “We recognize this week has affected our … Continue reading Commentary on statements to open Madison’s closed taxpayer supported K-12 schools

Changing our metrics to suit our narratives has caused confusion, frustrated the honest, and destroyed public trust, or The Graveyard of Common Knowledge

Matt Shapiro: This kind of pronouncement was meant to imply that vaccination rates were responsible for low rates of COVID at Harvard, not the fact that Harvard is in a region that was at a COVID nadir last September. Now that the region is having a COVID outbreak, Harvard has, despite mandatory vaccines (and mandatory … Continue reading Changing our metrics to suit our narratives has caused confusion, frustrated the honest, and destroyed public trust, or The Graveyard of Common Knowledge

Madison’s taxpayer supported closed schools: 2022 edition

Emily Hamer: Heinrich also said that “while it is challenging to determine exactly where transmission occurred,” her agency was not aware of any deaths from COVID-19 linked to in-person schooling in Dane County “but it appears that there have been a small number of hospitalizations that appear to be linked to in-school transmission.” Jenkins confirmed … Continue reading Madison’s taxpayer supported closed schools: 2022 edition

Commentary on Madison’s taxpayer supported closed K-12 schools

Scott Girard: Wednesday’s meeting, which begins at 5 p.m., includes a public comment portion, a chance to summarize written public comments and an “update on safe return to school buildings for in-person learning.” The last item will be a discussion, but will not include a vote of any kind. Those interested in speaking during the meeting … Continue reading Commentary on Madison’s taxpayer supported closed K-12 schools

Milwaukee, Madison School Districts Refuse to Follow the Science

Brett Healy: Further proving that we have learned absolutely nothing from the last 22 months, both Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) and the Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) announced plans to scrap students’ return to the classroom following Christmas break. Neither sounded particularly optimistic that this would be a temporary move. “While it is our goal … Continue reading Milwaukee, Madison School Districts Refuse to Follow the Science

Notes on taxpayer supported Madison K-12 School District Crime and achievement governance

David Blaska: Neighbors here on the SW side are outraged that the so-called safety coordinator for our public schools blows off police trying to track down kids showing off their illegal firearms in a stolen car a block away from Madison East high school. Doesn’t return their phone calls. Refuses to share photographic evidence with … Continue reading Notes on taxpayer supported Madison K-12 School District Crime and achievement governance

Parents vs taxpayer supported Madison K-12 school district administration

Elizabeth Beyer: It’s a complaint echoed by parents across the district Monday, on a day most expected to see their children back at school, as they were elsewhere in Dane County (but not in the state’s largest district, Milwaukee, which also went back to online learning temporarily). Several parents said they didn’t object to the … Continue reading Parents vs taxpayer supported Madison K-12 school district administration

Taxpayer supported Madison School District once again closes schools

Here is the full press release announcement. Press conference tomorrow morning. https://t.co/BQWW4mAjyf pic.twitter.com/xi94AlnBe8 — Scott Girard (@sgirard9) December 30, 2021 Mandates, closed schools and Dane County Madison Public Health. The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic” 2017: West High … Continue reading Taxpayer supported Madison School District once again closes schools

Mandates, adult employment and children’s mental health

School closings and “remote learning” have caused a massive mental health crisis among teenagers. This, and the disruption to their intellectual development, will be enduring and severe.https://t.co/Q3mtWJ9MnR pic.twitter.com/ONrnYIWBPI — Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) December 26, 2021 I think about whenever I (frequently) see children running around outside, masked. Notes and links on Dane County Madison Public … Continue reading Mandates, adult employment and children’s mental health

Wisconsin Supreme Court to Hear WILL Challenge to Dane County Health Orders (without elected official votes)

WILL: The News: The Wisconsin Supreme Court granted a motion to bypass in Becker v. Dane County, meaning the Wisconsin Supreme Court will hear and decide the case brought by two Dane County residents and a Dane County business challenging the authority of the county health officer to issue sweeping orders without approval by the Dane County Board. The … Continue reading Wisconsin Supreme Court to Hear WILL Challenge to Dane County Health Orders (without elected official votes)

Civics: “the County Board doesn’t have the power to end the mask mandate”

Emily Hamer: The mask resolution, which was authored by conservative-leaning Sup. Jeff Weigand, 20th District, would urge Public Health Madison and Dane County director Janel Heinrich to pull back the masking order until the county gets more feedback on whether residents want the mandate in place. It also seeks a public hearing on the mask … Continue reading Civics: “the County Board doesn’t have the power to end the mask mandate”

Mandates for thee but not for me: Snapchat shows UW-Madison chancellor indoors without wearing mask in violation of COVID mandate

Jackson Walker: Not wearing a mask indoors is a direct violation of two campus indoor masking orders, both for Camp Randall Stadium and the university at large. Asked for comment, a university spokesperson told The College Fix via email on Saturday that “Chancellor Blank supports campus indoor masking policies, including those for indoor spaces in UW Athletics facilities.” “During several … Continue reading Mandates for thee but not for me: Snapchat shows UW-Madison chancellor indoors without wearing mask in violation of COVID mandate

Masks likely to remain in MMSD beyond public health mandate

Scott Girard: The Madison Metropolitan School District expects to continue its mask mandate at least through the end of its second quarter Jan. 21. Superintendent Carlton Jenkins sent a quarterly health and safety update to parents Thursday afternoon outlining that and other guidance updates. That would put the requirement nearly two months beyond the anticipated end of Public Health Madison & … Continue reading Masks likely to remain in MMSD beyond public health mandate

K-12 Health Governance: We failed to find that countries or U.S. states that implemented SIP policies earlier, and in which SIP policies had longer to operate, had lower excess deaths than countries/U.S. states that were slower to implement SIP policies.

Virat Agrawal: As a way of slowing COVID-19 transmission, many countries and U.S. states implemented shelter-in-place (SIP) policies. However, the effects of SIP policies on public health are a priori ambiguous as they might have unintended adverse effects on health. The effect of SIP policies on COVID-19 transmission and physical mobility is mixed. To understand … Continue reading K-12 Health Governance: We failed to find that countries or U.S. states that implemented SIP policies earlier, and in which SIP policies had longer to operate, had lower excess deaths than countries/U.S. states that were slower to implement SIP policies.

Covid: Loneliness a ‘bigger health risk than smoking or obesity’

Catherine Evans: NHS prescriptions for gardening and dancing are “vitally needed” to help tackle rising levels of loneliness after lockdown, people suffering from isolation have said.Social prescribing has been included in the Welsh government’s list of priorities for the next five years. A Mind Cymru pilot project is looking into its impact on mental health. … Continue reading Covid: Loneliness a ‘bigger health risk than smoking or obesity’

Opting Out: Enrollment Trends in Response to Continued Public School Shutdowns

Will Flanders: Research has found that fall 2020 school district reopening decisions appear to be driven more by politics and teachers unions than by the local presence of COVID-19. But what are the implications of those decisions for enrollment trends? Using recently released enrollment data from the state of Wisconsin, this study goes further to … Continue reading Opting Out: Enrollment Trends in Response to Continued Public School Shutdowns

Teacher Union sues the taxpayer supported Madison School District

BREAKING: Madison Teachers Inc. leaders, including union president Michael Jones, have filed a lawsuit against @MMSDschools over the ongoing teacher contracts dispute. Here’s a story from yesterday updating where things were: https://t.co/eiyGBlS8Ps — Scott Girard (@sgirard9) June 9, 2021 Lester Pines (Pines Bach law firm) has long represented local and state Teacher unions. Related: Catholic schools will sue … Continue reading Teacher Union sues the taxpayer supported Madison School District

San Francisco schools see enrollment drop as families flee the district (Madison?)

Jill Tucker: Yet it’s clear many families vowed to leave after losing faith in the district because of the slow reopening of classrooms and ongoing drama among district leadership. That includes an $87 million lawsuit filed by board member Alison Collins against five colleagues after they removed her from the vice presidency and committee positions following the … Continue reading San Francisco schools see enrollment drop as families flee the district (Madison?)

“Our children are experiencing unprecedented levels of pediatric mental health issues,”

Carina Julig: He teared up while discussing a conversation he had with the father of a high school boy who had attempted suicide. “Our kids have run out of resilience,” he said. “Their tank is empty.” Chief nursing officer Pat Givens said that the hospital system does not have enough capacity for the number of … Continue reading “Our children are experiencing unprecedented levels of pediatric mental health issues,”

Commentary on the Taxpayer Supported Milwaukee Public Schools

Jordan Morales: Switching now to MPS, we see that according to the Department of Public Instruction’s 2018-19 Report Card, 71% of Black or African-American students had a “Below Basic” score in mathematics. Indeed, only 10% of Black students had either a proficient or advanced understanding of mathematics. Meanwhile, only 30% of white students scored “Below … Continue reading Commentary on the Taxpayer Supported Milwaukee Public Schools

Commentary on Incumbent school board member election losses (unopposed in Madison…)

Samantha West, Alec Johnson and Rory Linnane: Tricia Zunker said she knows school board presidents sometimes have a target on their backs. It’s part of the job, she said. But as Zunker led the Wausau School District board over the past year, she said, “People were so cruel, you’d think I personally brought the pandemic … Continue reading Commentary on Incumbent school board member election losses (unopposed in Madison…)

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

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

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

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

We asked Wisconsin high schools how many students failed a class during first semester. It’s not pretty. Madison?

Samantha West: In one Wisconsin school district, two in five high school students failed a class during first semester. In another, the fall failure rate was four times what it had been in recent years. Almost all of the 60 school districts responding to a USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin survey reported that more high school students failed … Continue reading We asked Wisconsin high schools how many students failed a class during first semester. It’s not pretty. Madison?

National poll: Pandemic has negatively impacted teens’ mental health

University of Michigan: For teens, pandemic restrictions may have meant months of virtual school, less time with friends and canceling activities like sports, band concerts and prom. And for young people who rely heavily on social connections for emotional support, these adjustments may have taken a heavy toll on mental health, a new national poll … Continue reading National poll: Pandemic has negatively impacted teens’ mental health

Commentary on Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school remote and in person perspectives

Elizabeth Beyer: Mark Wirtz, a third-grade teacher at Hawthorne Elementary, said he was a bit frightened to return to the classroom. “I’m really concerned about fellow staff members, really glad we are getting vaccinated, but I’m concerned about how my fellow staff members are feeling,” he said before being whisked away for his injection. “I … Continue reading Commentary on Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school remote and in person perspectives

Parents are abandoning troubled NYC public schools for private education

Doree Lowak: “But, unfortunately, teachers who opted [to work remotely] still aren’t coming in, so kids go in to learn on Zoom while wearing a mask,” she said, referring to the teachers who received permission in September to be remote for the whole year. “They could have a math teacher ‘watching’ the class while the … Continue reading Parents are abandoning troubled NYC public schools for private education

K-12 Tax & Spending Climate: Madison’s property & business climate

Mitchell Schmidt: Officials with the World Dairy Expo, the largest convention and exposition in Dane County, are exploring venue options outside the Madison area for this year’s event, due to local COVID-19 restrictions. Currently, Dane County, which has been home to the event for more than 50 years, remains the planned host for the expo. … Continue reading K-12 Tax & Spending Climate: Madison’s property & business climate

Madison Teachers, Inc. Work Stoppage Plans

Empower Wisconsin: An email from MTI faculty representatives urged teachers to report to the district before 8 a.m. last Thursday that they had COVID-19 symptoms. “I’m sure we all feel exhausted, or have consistent headaches, not really feeling our usual energetic selves. Are you picking up what I’m putting down here?” the email states. “We need them … Continue reading Madison Teachers, Inc. Work Stoppage Plans

Commentary on a review of Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 schools COVID-19 precautions

Emily Hamer: An independent review of COVID-19 mitigation measures at Madison School District buildings found that the steps taken are “more than adequate” to create a safe environment for students, staff and parents. The 176-page report was posted to the district’s website Tuesday. McKinstry, a local building company, conducted the Feb. 26 analysis of the … Continue reading Commentary on a review of Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 schools COVID-19 precautions

Madison teachers union faces lawsuit over planned illegal “sick out”

WILL: Attorneys at the Liberty Justice Center and Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) are warning Madison Teachers Inc. that they face legal repercussions if they move forward with an illegal sick out on Monday. “Madison Teachers, Inc. leaders are asking their members to falsely call-in sick in order to shut down in-person learning,” said Daniel Suhr, … Continue reading Madison teachers union faces lawsuit over planned illegal “sick out”

Madison’s Taxpayer Funded K-12 Governence Commentary; 2021 Edition

Scott Girard: Superintendent Carlton Jenkins shared the data from the family survey that went out Feb. 17 with the School Board this week. He said about 65% of families — or about 7,790 families — with a student in those grades, which will be among the first to return in a phased reopening process, had … Continue reading Madison’s Taxpayer Funded K-12 Governence Commentary; 2021 Edition

Who is running Madison’s schools? Chicken Little?

David Blaska: What are we missing here? Madison’s public schools refuse to reopen its 52 school buildings for in-classroom teaching. They’ve been largely shuttered since last March. What teaching remains is conducted on-line, via computer. Madison is expecting four inches of snow today 02-04-21, so classes have been cancelled.  Huh?! You heard right. MMSD is canceling … Continue reading Who is running Madison’s schools? Chicken Little?

Madison’s Taxpayer Supported K-12 Schools Cancel Virtual Learning on 4 February 2020

Virtual Learning is canceled for Thursday, February 4, and all MMSD facilities will be closed Thursday due to winter weather. — Madison Schools (WI) (@MMSDschools) February 4, 2021 Here’s a story on the explanation from @MMSDschools on why today was a snow day but last week was not. This quote more or less sums it … Continue reading Madison’s Taxpayer Supported K-12 Schools Cancel Virtual Learning on 4 February 2020

Three staff members vying to become next Madison Teachers Inc. president

Scott Girard: Three Madison Metropolitan School District staff members are vying to be the next Madison Teachers Inc. president. One week after the most contentious presidential transition in generations, a much friendlier race is playing out with millions fewer voters. “It is actually a very healthy part of our union to have these sorts of … Continue reading Three staff members vying to become next Madison Teachers Inc. president

St. Paul, Minnesota begins teacher vaccinations…. Madison?

Roy Wlikins Auditorium is set up to vaccinate 15,000 teachers and child care workers over a 5-day period. Vaccinations begin tomorrow. #wcco pic.twitter.com/EYaEXTwVik — John Lauritsen (@JDLauritsen) January 27, 2021 Meanwhile, Fairfax County, VA: We are pleased to share that more than 22,000 Fairfax County Public Schools teachers and employees have already been able to … Continue reading St. Paul, Minnesota begins teacher vaccinations…. Madison?

Dane County Madison health department files 119-count complaint against studio over ‘Nutcracker’ performance

Chris Rickert: It does not include specific regulations for art or dance studios, and Nemeckay said her business was among about 20 studios that collectively tried to get answers from Public Health Madison and Dane County about what they were allowed to do, but that the agency either gave them conflicting information or refused to … Continue reading Dane County Madison health department files 119-count complaint against studio over ‘Nutcracker’ performance

Chicago Teachers Union votes to refuse in-person work, defy Chicago Public Schools’ reopening plan

Nader Issa: Chicago Teachers Union members have voted to defy Chicago Public Schools’ reopening plans and continue working from home Monday because of health and safety concerns. City officials had said in recent days they would view the collective refusal of in-person work as a strike, but in response to Sunday’s vote results said they … Continue reading Chicago Teachers Union votes to refuse in-person work, defy Chicago Public Schools’ reopening plan

WILL Files Lawsuit Challenging Dane County Health Department’s Authority to Enact COVID Restrictions

WILL: The News: The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) filed a lawsuit in Dane County Circuit Court, on behalf of two Dane County residents, challenging the Dane County health department’s legal authority to issue sweeping restrictions on all aspects of life in Dane County. This lawsuit is substantially similar to an original action WILL filed with … Continue reading WILL Files Lawsuit Challenging Dane County Health Department’s Authority to Enact COVID Restrictions

Madison’s well funded K-12 schools remain closed; online only

Not a surprise, but the Facebook comments on @MMSDschools‘ post about the decision to remain virtual are hotly divided between people supporting the decision and others saying the decision is a failure: https://t.co/MnD2Q3W3qj — Scott Girard (@sgirard9) January 8, 2021 Commentary one and two. Related: Catholic schools will sue Dane County Madison Public Health to open as … Continue reading Madison’s well funded K-12 schools remain closed; online only

‘Bizarre, disorganized’: Wisconsin behind most of Midwest on COVID-19 vaccinations; some health care workers say they’re in the dark

Molly Beck, Mary Spicuzza and Bob Dohr: Wisconsin lags nearly all of its Midwest counterparts in getting its health care workers and first responders vaccinated against COVID-19 and has received fewer doses than other states of its size.  The state is 10th lowest out of 12 states in the Midwest in getting a first dose of the vaccine … Continue reading ‘Bizarre, disorganized’: Wisconsin behind most of Midwest on COVID-19 vaccinations; some health care workers say they’re in the dark

Closer look at fall enrollment shows decrease in public schools, increase in charter schools

Matthew Cash: A recent study completed by Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty shows school districts across the state saw a dramatic decline in fall enrollment as educators navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. Fall enrollment numbers collected in October shows districts saw an average of 2.67% decline in enrollment. For districts that started the school year … Continue reading Closer look at fall enrollment shows decrease in public schools, increase in charter schools

Madison Teachers Union opposes return to classroom; district says little about child care program

Chris Rickert: Public Health in August issued an order barring schools in Dane County from holding in-person classes for all but grades kindergarten through second grade, but the Supreme Court blocked it from taking effect and many private and religious schools in the county have been open to in-person learning since the start of the … Continue reading Madison Teachers Union opposes return to classroom; district says little about child care program

Public health bodies may be talking at us, but they’re actually talking to each other

Megan McArdle: If you watch the YouTube video of the now-infamous November meeting of the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, you’ll hear Chairman José Romero thank everyone for a “robust discussion.” Shortly thereafter, the committee unanimously agreed that essential workers should get vaccinated ahead of the elderly, even though they’d been told this would … Continue reading Public health bodies may be talking at us, but they’re actually talking to each other

Two Madison Parents: Why reopen MMSD schools now, and at what cost?

Sarah & Ben Jedd: On March 15, when the Madison Metropolitan School District shuttered buildings and sent students home, Dane County had eight cases of COVID-19. On Dec. 17, when MMSD superintendent Carlton Jenkins hosted a forum via Zoom to discuss reopening our schools, the county had over 3,000 positive cases this month alone. Nevertheless, … Continue reading Two Madison Parents: Why reopen MMSD schools now, and at what cost?

Affluent Families Ditch Public Schools, Widening U.S. Inequality

Nic Querolo and Leslie Patton: One is thriving after switching from online public school to in-person private education. The other is struggling, stuck in her virtual classroom. The lives of these two girls, Ella Pierick and Afiya Harris, encapsulate the growing divide in U.S. education as more affluent parents flee public schools. In Connecticut, enrollment fell 3%. Colorado reported … Continue reading Affluent Families Ditch Public Schools, Widening U.S. Inequality

Americans’ Mental Health Ratings Sink to New Low

Megan Brenan: • 34% say their mental health is excellent, down from 43% in 2019 • Democrats, frequent churchgoers show least mental health change • Reports of physical health stable, slightly more positive than mental health Americans’ latest assessment of their mental health is worse than it has been at any point in the last … Continue reading Americans’ Mental Health Ratings Sink to New Low

Commentary on the Closed Taxpayer Supported Madison K-12 Schools

Bill Minser, Regis Miller and more: I found last Sunday’s State Journal editorial, “Fauci sends a message to schools,” disingenuous and dangerous. Schools should have opened in September. Commentary. 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 … Continue reading Commentary on the Closed Taxpayer Supported Madison K-12 Schools

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 system releases “metrics” for reopening, new website detailing process

Scott Girard: The Madison Metropolitan School District launched a website Wednesday to keep families updated on reopening plans as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, including metrics that will be used to determine if and when schools will open for in-person instruction. MMSD is expected to announce its plan for the third quarter, which begins Jan. 25, by Jan. … Continue reading Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 system releases “metrics” for reopening, new website detailing process

Madison Schools’ Safety and Security Ad Hoc Committee November Meeting Documents

Administration slides: 1) Call to order 2) Approval of minutes dated Nov. 5, 2020 3) Review Charge Statement/Purpose & Timeline 4) Update of responses to questions & comments 5) What we heard from last meeting? a) Successful Implementation of RJ Practices & MMSD- Critical Response Teams 6) Partnering with Law Enforcement- Flow and Guidance 7) … Continue reading Madison Schools’ Safety and Security Ad Hoc Committee November Meeting Documents

“Why are Madison Schools Closed?”

https://www.reopenourschools.org. 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 … Continue reading “Why are Madison Schools Closed?”

In San Francisco, Closed Public Schools, Open Private Schools

Amelia Nierenberg: In San Francisco, restaurants, movie theaters and museums are open at reduced capacity. The share of coronavirus tests that come back positive in the city has stayed low since a surge over the summer. But as some of San Francisco’s private and parochial schools have begun to reopen their doors, its public school … Continue reading In San Francisco, Closed Public Schools, Open Private Schools

Madison K-12 budget proposals don’t include raise levels pushed by union

Scott Girard: As the Madison School Board is set to consider a vote on two 2020-21 budgets next Monday, the final proposals do not include the maximum base wage increase Madison Teachers Inc. has pushed for. The board must approve two spending measures: a $495.7 million version in case the Nov. 3 operating referendum passes … Continue reading Madison K-12 budget proposals don’t include raise levels pushed by union

UW study: High school sports have not spread the coronavirus (Madison K-12 Students are stuck at home)

Todd Richmond: new study from the University of Wisconsin-Madison suggests that the state’s high school sports have not caused an increase in COVID-19 infections among athletes. The UW School of Medicine and Public Health released the study Thursday. Researchers led by Dr. Andrew Watson surveyed 207 schools that restarted fall sports in September, representing more … Continue reading UW study: High school sports have not spread the coronavirus (Madison K-12 Students are stuck at home)

Covid-19 and Madison’s K-12 World

Hi, I’m cap tines K-12 education reporter Scott Gerard. Today. Our cap times IDFs panel will discuss how will COVID-19 change K-12 education. I’m lucky to have three wonderful panelists with me to help answer that question. Marilee McKenzie is a teacher at Middleton’s Clark street community school, where she has worked since the school was in its planning stages.

She’s in her [00:03:00] 11th year of teaching. Dr. Gloria Ladson billings is a nationally recognized education expert who was a U w Madison faculty member for more than 26 years, including as a professor in the departments of curriculum and instruction, educational policy studies and educational leadership and policy analysis.

She is also the current president of the national Academy of education. Finally dr. Carlton Jenkins is the new superintendent of the Madison metropolitan school district. He started the districts top job in August, coming from the Robbinsdale school district in Minnesota, where he worked for the past five years, Jenkins began his career in the Madison area.

Having worked in Beloit and at Memorial high school in early 1990s before moving to various districts around the country. Thank you all so much for being here. Mary Lee, I’m going to start with you. You’ve been working with students directly throughout this pandemic. How has it gone? Both in the spring when changes were very sudden, and then this fall with a summer to reflect and [00:04:00] plan, it’s been interesting for sure.

Um, overall, I would say the it’s been hard. There has been nothing about this have been like, ah, It’s really, it makes my life easy. It’s been really challenging. And at the same time, the amount of growth and learning that we’ve been able to do as staff has been incredible. And I think about how teachers have moved from face-to-face to online to then planning for.

Lockdowns Intended To Preserve Our Health Are Making Us Poorer and Angrier

JD Tuccille: The U.S. economy may be slowly pulling itself out of the doldrums inflicted by social distancing and government lockdown orders promoted as efforts to stem the spread of COVID-19, but many Americans continue to suffer. Half of Americans who lost their job because of the pandemic are still out of work, and the … Continue reading Lockdowns Intended To Preserve Our Health Are Making Us Poorer and Angrier

Commentary on Taxpayer supported Madison Schools’ compensation practices (and budget)

Scott Girard: The budget vote this summer took place in a June 29 public meeting, and district spokesman Tim LeMonds pointed to a mention in the June 26 staff newsletter, which he called “the primary mechanism used for communicating to all staff.” In that newsletter, a “Budget Update” section on page two includes a mention … Continue reading Commentary on Taxpayer supported Madison Schools’ compensation practices (and budget)

Run for Office – 2021 Spring Elections: Dane County Executive

“I am particularly unhappy about the fact that Dane County has chosen some very low numbers of case limits to decide whether to allow K-12 to start back up again in person” – University of Wisconsin-Madison Chancellor Becky Blank. This post begins a series on local offices that govern (and in theory work for us) … Continue reading Run for Office – 2021 Spring Elections: Dane County Executive

Dane County Board continues to duel with the University of Wisconsin; budget assumes status quo (!)

Kelly Meyerhofer: Brenda Gonzalez, director of community relations at UW-Madison who spoke during the County Board meeting in opposition of the resolution, said testing and protocol put in place should keep the number of positive cases on campus low. She said Public Health Madison and Dane County is monitoring possible transmission of cases from campus … Continue reading Dane County Board continues to duel with the University of Wisconsin; budget assumes status quo (!)

“I am particularly unhappy about the fact that Dane County has chosen some very low numbers of case limits to decide whether to allow K-12 to start back up again in person”

Will Cioci: “I am particularly unhappy about the fact that Dane County has chosen some very low numbers of case limits to decide whether to allow K-12 to start back up again in person,” she said. “I have asked that the county should revisit some of those K-12 limits.” One particular area of concern with … Continue reading “I am particularly unhappy about the fact that Dane County has chosen some very low numbers of case limits to decide whether to allow K-12 to start back up again in person”

Madison School District Staff Cannot Lie or Deceive Parents About Gender Transitions at School

WILL: WILL sued MMSD for violating parental rights with gender identity policy The News: Dane County Circuit Court Judge Frank Remington issued an injunction last week in a WILL parental rights lawsuit that forbids Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) employees from lying or deceiving parents about the gender identity that their child may have adopted at school. The lawsuit … Continue reading Madison School District Staff Cannot Lie or Deceive Parents About Gender Transitions at School

UW-Madison fires back at Dane County for proposing online classes, sending students home

Kelly Meyerhofer: The best way to reduce the number of infections, Blank said, is “not by issuing press releases calling for students to leave, but to partner in developing collaborative solutions for the benefit of all residents.” She warned that the county is unlikely to see a rapid decline in cases until agencies with jurisdiction … Continue reading UW-Madison fires back at Dane County for proposing online classes, sending students home

Madison estimated to lose 400 students this fall; continuing to seek a new school building via 2020 tax & spending increase

Scott Girard: Ruppell estimated Monday that the district would see a 400-student drop in enrollment this school year, though that won’t be finalized until the state certifies enrollment numbers in early October. That’s up nearly 350 students from the estimated drop of 51 pre-COVID, which is why the district implemented a hiring freeze over the … Continue reading Madison estimated to lose 400 students this fall; continuing to seek a new school building via 2020 tax & spending increase