One week ago I referred to Education Secretary Dan French as “the Inspector Clouseau of the Scott cabinet.” Today, on advice from our crack legal team, I am unreservedly apologizing to the memory of the good Inspector, his descendants, and especially his lawyered-up estate. Because good God, the man is starting to make Clouseau look like a paragon of efficiency and organization.
The past two Fridays brought us (1) a sudden and complete reversal in school Covid policy, abandoning contact tracing and Test to Stay in favor of A Policy Yet To Be Named, and (2) the unveiling of said policy, “test at home,” in which parents would do the testing instead of school staff.
And only a few days later, as VTDigger reports, we learn that the schools don’t have anywhere near enough test kits to actually conduct “test at home.” Yep, French’s latest policy was a disaster from conception to unveiling to pratfall.
Got a question. How the blue Hell did French’s agency not realize that tests would run out? School officials realized it within a couple of days.
The basic problem with “test at home” is that it burns up tests at a much faster rate than in-school testing. Here’s a handy little chart prepared by VTDigger’s Erin Petenko that shows how a test shortage was inevitable.
Did anybody in French’s One Hundred Monkeys Policy Shop bother to do this basic math? It would seem not. Either that, or they launched a policy they knew was doomed to fail.
The failure of “test at home” means the schools are reduced to flying blind without instruments. And this was supposed to reduce stress on school personnel. Feh.
But wait! The Edjacashun Agency has the answer to all their problems!
Ted Fisher, a spokesperson for the Agency of Education, said state officials expect the demand for rapid tests in schools to drop in the coming weeks, as the Omicron wave recedes.
“In the coming weeks.” Christ on a cracker.
The agency has nothing to offer the schools except this shot across the bow.
If a school district runs out of tests, state education officials advise against shutting schools.
There might be some collateral damage to be sure, but you’d damn well better keep that Cradle to Career assembly line running. Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!