Uneven pay among the region’s teachers threatens the stability of some school systems

EDUCATION | There are an incredible number of factors that influence the success of the public education systems in our regions. One of the leading ones is teacher effectiveness. Unfortunately, some local jurisdictions are struggling to retain their best educators as other jurisdictions offer higher wages (WaPo, 5/12):

Discrepancies in teacher pay across the region are large, and the recession has sharpened the divide, sending some teachers looking for better deals. Beginning teachers in the Washington area make between $42,800 and $51,500 — a difference of 20 percent — and average salaries range from $58,500 to $77,500, a 32 percent difference. Parents and school officials worry that if such disparities in teacher pay deepen, districts that are already struggling to stay competitive will fall further behind as their best teaching talent moves elsewhere.

– Every year, a huge number of school-aged teens drop out and take the GED rather than finishing high school. In Prince George’s County, for example, a third of GED test takers are under 18. This loophole is generating calls for stricter access to the test, which was designed to give adults a pathway to higher education. (WaPo, 5/13)

– Here’s an interview with Fight for Children’s Skip McKoy, who is the newly elected chairman of the DC Public School Charter Board. (Examiner, 5/13)

WRAG | We live in hectic times in a very busy region, so it’s easy to rush past important things that are right in front of us. In her latest column, Tamara reflects on something she’s rushed past for the last six years – a quilt in WRAG’s office commemorating the life of Reggie Blaxton. Who was he? Find out! (Daily, 5/13)

YOUTH | Ed Davies, president of the Children and Youth Investment Trust Corporation, outlines the 2013 DC One City Summer Initiative. The initiative will build on successes from the past two years, which have included a major reduction in violence (WashTimes, 5/10):

One of the most tangible successes of the summer initiative so far is that we have seen a reduction in crime in some of the neighborhoods targeted during the summer for intensive programming. We believe if we increase programming, and not just police presence, youth will opt to engage in constructive activities, and not crime. Violent crimes declined in the target areas with homicide down 70%, robbery down 15% and armed burglary down 25%. Juvenile arrests for select violent crimes decreased by an average of 40% in the target areas. That is a true summer success story.

AGING | Here’s a look at how house call programs can help seniors age in place. (WAMU, 5/13)

EQUITY | Income Inequality: It’s Not Just for Older People Anymore (Time, 5/13) This knight perfectly articulates how I feel about the findings in this article.

Though I frequently refer to my office as a cave, it has nothing on these super cool houses that are built into real caves. Then again…my office does have two action figures from Tron and an electric stapler. So my cave wins after all!

On another note, LET’S GO CAPS! The Washington Capitals, not capital letters. Sorry, I can see how that might have been confusing.