Earlier today, the Michigan Senate's education committee held a hearing on the impact of school closures on Michigan's kids. As a parent of two kids in Ann Arbor public schools, I was honored to testify (I show up at the end, 1:21.47). misenate.viebit.com/player.php?has…
The key point that I made -- and the one that I hope landed -- is that the Michigan legislature has to make a choice about how much discretion school districts should be given to deal with COVID for the 2021 to 2022 school year.
Especially after teachers and staff are vaccinated, there's no excuse not to go back to five days of face-to-face instruction. But I have no confidence at this point that district leadership and the school board share that belief.
Why do I think that? Here's a bill of particulars. It could be expanded.
For the fall, the legislature should adopt three simple guidelines to make sure that school boards don't continue to neglect the concerns of their students. Nothing about this should be controversial; it's just a return to something like normal.
Without guidelines like these, I fear that school boards to continue to dismiss the concerns of parents who witness, every day, the toll that continued isolation and online education is having on their children. /fin

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More from @nicholas_bagley

23 Feb
Earlier today, the Biden administration filed a motion asking the Supreme Court to get rid of the two work requirement cases that are now pending. I have thoughts! supremecourt.gov/DocketPDF/20/2…
To bring you up to speed: New Hampshire and Arkansas received waivers from HHS allowing them to require some Medicaid beneficiaries to work a certain number of hours a month or lose their coverage.
Some beneficiaries challenged those waivers on the ground that they didn't advance the objective of the Medicaid statute, which is to provide health coverage to poor people. The D.C. Circuit agreed, putting the kaibosh on work requirements in every state.
Read 16 tweets
18 Feb
At midnight, after hours of confusing back and forth, the Ann Arbor School Board voted to modify the district's reopening plan so that, for most kids, schools wouldn't reopen for in-person learning *at all.* mlive.com/news/ann-arbor…
The Board did so after hearing hours of comments from anguished parents who are desperate to get their kids back into the classroom. The Board did so without even *surveying* parents to find out what they thought.
The refusal even to pretend to take seriously the concerns of parents who have been stretched past the breaking point is galling. The dereliction of responsibility to our kids is tragic.
Read 12 tweets
16 Feb
So I woke up today to learn that the @A2SchoolsSuper has called a snow day. After a four-day weekend. And with tomorrow an "asynchronous" day (i.e., no real school again).

Which might sound reasonable after a storm, except -- there IS no in-person school in Ann Arbor.
In her email, @A2SchoolsSuper said that COVID-19 means "we have missed many of the simple joys that make our time together memorable."

Simple joys? You mean, like seeing friends? Actually learning in a classroom? Heck, like learning at all?
Or having your parents not be quivering messes because they haven't had their kids in school for nearly a year and are at the ends of their ropes? Or not waking up in the middle of the night worrying if the district is ALSO going to limit or suspend in-person school for the fall?
Read 10 tweets
13 Feb
News! The Biden administration has informed states *both* that it's withdrawing Medicaid work requirement waivers and* that it won't follow a letter from the outgoing administration saying that no waivers could be withdrawn for at least nine months. medicaid.gov/medicaid/secti…
This is a big deal, and not only because the Biden administration is ending work requirements. We knew that was coming. It's a big deal because the Biden administration is signaling that it's going to move quickly to withdraw the waivers -- sooner than nine months.
Why? Because the Supreme Court is poised to hear a case about the legality of Medicaid work requirements. Lower courts have said they're not. But if the Supreme Court says they're legal, the next Republican administration could quickly reimpose them.
Read 9 tweets
28 Jan
Did the Pause to Save Lives here in Michigan actually, y’know, save lives? The counterfactual is tricky, but modeling from @MarisaEisenberg at @UMich suggests that it did. news.umich.edu/strict-public-…
Just how many lives? "[B]etween Nov. 15 and Jan. 8, about 109,000 cases were prevented. Based on Michigan’s rate of fatality of 2.6%, that translates to 2,800 lives saved." That's an *enormous* effect for an intervention that lasted less than two months.
One way to get a sense of the effectiveness of Michigan's response is to compare it to other midwestern states, which did not tighten up over the holidays.
Read 6 tweets
27 Jan
I think @BlakeProf's point is well-taken. But it gets at a deep problem with public discourse around law.

@jdmortenson and I have heard privately that we have shaken some originalists from their priors. Which is great!
But there's not much incentive for them to go public with their views. Why bother? Nick Parrillo and @jdmortenson and me have made the argument. Plus, doing so might alienate friends, mentors, and people who might think about giving you a job the next time the wheel spins.
That's a problem on both the left and the right. I can say from personal experience that the shit you get from your own team for bucking the party line is way worse than the shit you get from the other team, which is already priced in.
Read 9 tweets

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