School Opening Follies

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Mark Zaccaria applies that ol’ Rhode Island intuition to the questions of whether public schools should… and will… open.



  • Lou

    Golden Showers is trending.

    Congratulations, Republicans. The party of family values, God and morality.

    • Rhett Hardwick

      I assume you are referring to the book about to be released. As I understand it, it reports prostitutes peeing on an unoccupied bed. This does not represent “Golden Showers” as typically understood.

  • Rhett Hardwick

    While somewhat confused by Lou’s post, this does come to mind. It occurs to me that the famous “Woodstock” occurred during a pandemic (Hong Kong Flu?). I do not recall any reports of an upsurge in illness.

    • Lou

      “The disease was allowed to run through communities virtually unhindered until a vaccine became available to stop it about four months after it surfaced.”

      Susan Craddock, a professor at the Institute for Global Studies of the University of Minnesota told the WSJ that mortality rates for the 1968 pandemic were much lower than current mortality rates from COVID-19.

      • Justin Katz

        Your second paragraph raises an interesting point. In 1968, only 9.6% of the population was over 65. In 2019, the percentage was 16.3%. Of course a pandemic would have higher mortality in an older population.

        In 1968, those under 18 (who are largely unaffected by COVID-19) made up 35.4% of the population; now they account for just 22.8%. I wonder what the numbers would look like if that were still the case.

        • Lou

          Considering that “no stay at home orders were enforced…the concept of social distancing was not yet accepted practice among public health experts and the 1968 flu pandemic was not as deadly as other diseases. Lawmakers also did not face serious public pressure to slow the virus, as the nation’s attention was focused elsewhere.” I’d love to see you spin it into a pandemic of COVID proportions.

          • Justin Katz

            I think it would be more accurate to suggest that COVID is a pandemic of 1968 proportions. For young folks, it’s barely a threat, so the different demographics of the ’60s could account for most of the difference in outcomes. As to the public reaction, that’s arguably a function of politics, not epidemiology.

      • Rhett Hardwick

        “mortality rates for the 1968 pandemic were much lower than current mortality rates from COVID-19.” Possibly so, but what of the “infection rate” resulting from close contact. You don’t get mortality, without infection.

  • Joe Smith

    If the state was paying 100% of the bill (or close to it after Federal Title I/II and IDEA money), then the state should be dictating (like Central Falls and some other districts).

    If a local taxpayers are funding 80-85% of the costs, seems to me they should have way more say in how to execute the decisions. Some statewide items make sense (like perhaps a single calendar), but as we see in Warwick, what’s Gina going to do if she says one thing but the local community tells her to stick it?

    Gina is being guided first and foremost by her national ambitions, which is leading her to say the public point of “in school for everyone” but privately letting the Democratic key groups (teacher unions) drive the actual decision.