Found in Education: more teacher housing, charter policy, and a little community

Back in September, I reported about a proposal by the Oakland Unified School District to build affordable housing for teachers.  In the San Francisco Bay Area (where I live), affordable housing is scarce.  In San Francisco: 
"The starting teacher salary is just over $50,000, but the average rent in the city — $3,000 for a one-bedroom — would eat up most of those earnings." (SF Chronicle) 

Several districts are considering (or already have) housing options for teachers.  Santa Clara School District in the center of Silicon Valley, built affordable housing for teachers back in 2000.  They opened 30 spots in 2005 and 40 more in 2009, but that isn't nearly enough.  Some debate if creating housing is the best way to attract talent.  The teachers union in Oakland opposes the housing because they feel the money would be better spent on raising teacher salaries.  Oakland teachers have some of the lowest salaries among Bay Area school districts.  You can read more on this issue here.

Also, found in education this week, The New York Times reports that Success Academy in Brooklyn, the strict rules make it difficult for energetic students to succeed.  Says reporter Kate Taylor, Success Academy "has long been dogged by accusations that its remarkable accomplishments are due, in part, to a practice of weeding out weak or difficult students."  The article reveals evidence that the administrators are singling out students who have "got to go" in a systematic way to keep the high test scores of the school up.  Charters still are public school, and it is offensive that they can bully students into leaving the school. 

And finally, a thought from Halloween.  We get about 600 - 800 tricker treaters in my neighborhood every year.   Our neighborhood is pretty quiet, but on Halloween it is like an enormous block party.  People drive here just for Halloween.  And what struck me most this past Halloween is the broad diversity of people that I saw and of course, how friendly and welcoming everyone is to all.  The fact that most of the people who trick or treat here don't even live in this neighborhood doesn't bother people.  And yet, when it comes to policy related to the "other" group (those who don't live in our neighborhood), people are rather unwilling to share.  I wish there were more ways to build a community that went beyond our streets.  I think if we all mixed more, it would be good for all of society and education as well.  Schools used to do some of that but with increased segregation in schools there seems to be little mixing, and in the end, that will hurt everyone.

Found in Education (F.I.E.) is a weekly blog post on education policy, teaching tips, products, and stories related to education that I find over the week.  See something I should know about? Please send your ideas.  Comment here or leave me a message on Facebook, on Twitter, on Pinterest, or at the store.

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