Saturday, January 30, 2021


Jennifer Jennings used to come to ICE meetings around the time she became a thorn in Michael Bloomberg's side as Eduwonkette. She's now a Princeton University professor. Great to see Professor Jennings make a big splash in this PIX11 news story about COVID-19 in NYC schools. 

NEW YORK CITY — New York state numbers tell the story confirming there is coronavirus spread in schools and teachers are at risk, according to one education policy expert.

Jennifer Jennings is a sociology and public affairs professor at Princeton professor working on education policy.

“The number of positive New York City Department of Education staff cases doubled in the first three weeks of January, compared to total cases reported between September and December,” she said.

The student population is also seeing an increase.

“For all New York City kids 5 to 17 years old, over the same four month period, we had approximately 21,000 cases; we’ve added 12,500 new cases since the beginning of January alone," she said.

Jennings' findings found elementary school teachers have gotten infected at higher fractions compared to high school teachers.

The only difference, based on Jennings' research, is that elementary schools have been open.

Jennings has these strong soundbites in the PIX story:

"Teachers are more likely to get it because schools are open, period full stop."

"There's been much much higher fractions of elementary teachers who have gotten it than have high school teachers and the only difference when I first looked at this data was 19 days of school."

My son's elementary school building goes back and forth between being open, then closed, and then open again, and now closed again due to multiple COVID-19 cases (my son is fully remote). My daughter's middle school which is about twice the size of my son's school has had one case all semester. The building has been closed since November.

I can't quite figure out why the elementary and D75 educators just continue to take this and don't rebel en masse.


Anonymous said...

As students eat lunch unmasked, yell account the room, walk around unmasked, I have to say, duh.

Even adults refuse to follow the necessary precautions. Asking and watching students like a hawk to follow rules that may improve safety is a pipe dream.

And the 7pm and 9pm notices that the school is closed for quarantine is insulting to parents.

Anonymous said...

So is this just additional evidence of malfeasance by the mayor and governor?

Also, I should mention, according to NPR, the Cuomo team undercounted the number of Covid related nursing home deaths by as much as 50%.

So my question to those who are concerned, how much teachers and other school employees died as result of becoming infected with Covid last March and April?

Anonymous said...

@ 9:58 pm

The depressing reality about mayoral control is the malfeasance of the mayor during the pandemic. The Democratic party has De Blasio and Cuomo at the helm in NY city and state.

As commentator Glenn Greenwald recently told Tucker Carlson about the Democrats, “They’re trying to harness corporate and monopoly power to silence everyone who disagrees with them, the very hallmark, the epitome of the fascism they claim to be fighting, but which in reality they embody.”

Anonymous said...

Honestly, when I was going to school in person, no kids were showing up. On C days, we maybe had 3-5 kids show up. Most kids chose to be remote and a lot of students opted out.

However, we should be open for those kids who want to attend in person as long as protocols are followed. I go to restaurants and gyms and have traveled and always wear the mask. I do believe in the virus, but I don’t believe living in fear.

Follow the numbers. Home gatherings increase cases. Schools, gyms, and restaurants do not increase cases.

I’m for opening the buildings as long as protocols are adhered to.

Anonymous said...

Cuomo fudged the nursing home deaths and I am 100% sure him and DiBlasio are covering up the elementary teacher/D75 teacher Covid numbers. Hazard pay? Won't happen. Mulgrew making a push to close? Won't happen. Mass walkouts by teachers? Won't happen. (They need the money and you can bet your ass that the DOE WOULD TOTALLY press charges if a Chicago style move happened here)

Anonymous said...

7:12, You see the numbers right in front of you. Schools that are open have more COVID-19 than schools that are closed but you don't want to deal with solid numbers. Why not?

Anonymous said...

712 here.

Having a few kids in a classroom isn’t a ‘high risk’. The city must do better for those who care. Those kids who care I want to do well for. Those are the families who have given up on remote learning. They need a positive experience be it academically or more importantly, socially.

Honestly, the social part is more important than the academic part.

I’m not the best teacher, but I fit in with colleagues and have a good working relationship with normal supervisors. The admin who is insane I don’t get along with. Kids need socialization.

Families that opt in deserve better from this mayor. He has failed the families that care.

As a teacher, to the kids that don’t care, they mean next to nothing to me. I’ll push them through the system and won’t fight battles I can’t win. And to those who are bleeding hearts, knock yourselves out.

The city needs to test and let kids opt in who want to be there.

I’ll say it again: 3-4 kids in a room with a mask on is not high risk

Anonymous said...

Unions won’t open schools until Democrats pay their ransom demand of $500B in Biden’s COVID “stimulus” package. Public employee sector the only industry unharmed by lockdowns but their hand is out once again. My explainer here:

George said...

I spoke to a higher-up in the uft, they said we will never get paid for spring break. When we get the next contract in 2022-20223, they will tell us that the spring break money is included in whatever raise we get. Feel better? I'm so happy that the dem president helped our profession so much. I feel so respected.

Anonymous said...

Good luck with spring break pay...
Teachers are a joke. Dues well spent.

Anonymous said...

3 more students, with the term over, who are no shows, emailed me about getting work to pass. My admin is silent. Guidance sent them to me.

Anonymous said...

As in an in person elementary teacher I want to tell every single parent in NYC that THERE IS NO SOCIALIZING FOR KIDS IN OUR BUILDINGS! They literally sit 6 feet apart at their desks all day. No sharing, no groups, no nothing. So the argument to open schools so kids can have a sense of socialization is total bullshit.

Bronx ATR said...

Almost anytime (unless it’s something that is non-existent in the population at large (ie, prehistoric bubonic plague)) you’re comparing two samples in a delineated environment, one with a population sample and one with none, you’re going to have one that comes in at zero and one that comes in with numbers. So if you’re comparing the flu at the high school level as opposed to the elementary level, the elementary level will 100% win the flu prize. It will be the same for almost anything - obesity rates, anorexia, excellent study habits, terrible study habits, promiscuity, abstinence, drug use, etc.. I agree that NYC schools should be closed, but sorry this is another creative use of statistics - nothing unusual about that in and from the NYCDOE and Mayor deBlasio.

James Eterno said...

Bronx ATR, This is as obvious as it gets. Opening school buildings leads to more COVID-19 than if the buildings are closed. My daughter's middle school is closed and has still reported one COVID-19 case. My son's open building has reported many. What infectious disease numbers have to do with any of those other statistics I do not know. Jennifer knows her stuff.

Anonymous said...

Especially when the vaccine gets lost.

"It’s A Mess’: Team Biden Loses Track Of 20 Million COVID-19 Doses: Report

Anonymous said...

@10:05 AM

Did you read the comments section of this article? Way to pick an article that clearly is biased against teachers and is pro teacher bashing.

I always respond to these people with one statement: if you think it is so easy and so great, become a teacher.

Seriously. I am so sick of people bashing us because of the benefits of our job. No one ever bashes tech workers in Silicon for raking in 6 figures for work that barely makes an impact on those who are at their lowest in our society.

No one ever bashes the school administration who receives similar benefits to us and also make 6 figures in the 200-400K range.

Honestly, I can't control the decision of school opening or closing. I am rolling with whatever my employer decides to do. No need to bash me about something I can't control.

As far as children's education and falling behind - we all know 90% of NYC students never cared about their education pre-covid and don't care post-covid. That is not my problem, that is a cultural issue because Americans generally don't care about school. They think schools are either a waste of time or brainwashing institutions.

Little do these folks know that the education in America is not to be taken for granted. In my home country, the public schools were scraped by private schools and now the working class can't afford the education. Is that what Americans want - because pro-choice and charter schools would result in just that - lowest of our society not being able to access education.

Anonymous said...

I went out to eat last night and went to a bagel cafe this afternoon. These places were not operating at 50% capacity. They were both packed, so the schools are doing a pretty good job at social distancing.

Anonymous said...

Nicely done.

New York Post
Biden administration unaware of location of 20M COVID-19 vaccine doses: report

nerd said...

One day in the somewhat near future .this argument.debate will switch to whether we want unvaccinated students in our schools or not.Then there will be the argument over the fate of teachers who refuse to get vaccinated. Just the beginning.

Anonymous said...

Maybe I am not a smart man but I do not understand the argument that "there is less transmission of Covid in schools compared to the community". Well, SCHOOLS ARE IN THE FRIGGIN' community.

Anonymous said...

Mike Mulgrew sucks again. My kids are all off for an actual snow day(2nd so far this school year) The teachers union where my kids go to school fought it and won. Why do we always get screwed with Mulgrew?

High winds are supposed to happy if there is no power there will be no school.

Anonymous said...

Makes me wonder if we should just invite everyone into the school buildings, you know, since they're safe.

Bronx ATR said...

What I’m saying James is if you compare an empty room, devoid of people, to a room with people you’re going to have more of anything you’re looking for in the populated room. (If high school teachers are staying home, they’re going to catch much less of any type of infectious disease than those going into school.) That doesn’t mean her findings are incorrect, its just so obviously simple that I’m amazed it had to be stated - no dispersions on Princeton or it’s faulty intended. Likewise, people who drive cars are much more likely to have car trouble than those who don’t own cars. Nudists are less likely to use dry cleaners than those who wear clothes and remote learning is much more successful than in person learning (watch out for that one).

James Eterno said...

Got it Bronx ATR.

Anonymous said...

7:12. I actually agree with you that the SMALL number if students that would actually want to go to school should be able to. In my school there is an equally SMALL Number of faculty and admins that think we should be in school right now. So match those groups up. Ask for volunteers (my school would have at last 10 from my count and probably more). If you think it’s safe YOU GO! But don’t think that you are in a position to lecture/demand that everyone goes back. Because you aren’t.

Anonymous said...

So a Princeton professor has the opinion that schools should remain closed. What a shocker. As soon as the article identified her as a Princeton professor, I considered everything she had to say as null and void.

Anonymous said...

How come 7:39... What's the tea on Princeton?

James Eterno said...

These statistics on COVID-19 do not have a political bias. There are more cases if students and staff are in school buildings. It is clear.

Anonymous said...

Sorry James but you're not entitled to your own facts. You pick and choose what and who you believe according to your own predetermined bias. You should at least be honest with yourself

James Eterno said...

She got the data from publicly available sources that she linked to on Twitter. More COVID-19 in school buildings that are open rather than remote is so obvious but doubt all you like because Jen works at Princeton.