Re: "Good" schools and urban cohousing.
From: Elizabeth Magill (
Date: Thu, 16 Feb 2017 06:14:10 -0800 (PST)
Just want to note that often "good schools" is code in the real estate
world for "primarily white schools".

On the question of whether coho kids go to the nearby public schools,
one frustration of some folk in our town is that we said "lots of our
kids will not go to the public school" which was true, but also, lots
of our kids also *do* go to the public school. So many, and of the
same age, that the (tiny) school had to add another class in one
grade, and then the next grade the next year, etc.

Liz Magill
Mosaic Commons Cohousing in Berlin, MA

On Wed, Feb 15, 2017 at 12:37 PM, Katie Hymans <haikaili [at]> wrote:
> I can only speak for our specific situation, but it hasn't been much of an
> issue here. In part because folks tend to move in before their kids are in
> school. But also in part because the neighborhood school concept is so
> destroyed at this point that most people are driving all over the place to
> where their kids go to school. We live on the edge of our city, at the
> border of a neighboring town (a suburb, I guess). The suburb has the
> reputation of 'good' schools, but there are many of us here who absolutely
> won't send our kids to that district, for a variety of reasons, because our
> measure of 'good' is wildly different from theirs. (i.e. The test scores in
> the suburban district are higher, but the teachers are un-unionized, there
> is very little diversity, the district utterly prides itself on its
> conservative values to the point of discriminatory rules that require a
> threat from the ACLU to put a halt to, etc.) There is an elementary school
> two blocks from us in the 'good' district, and none of the kids who live
> here go there. Our website boasts proximity to the 'good' school district,
> but only a handful of kids who live here are in that district. The rest of
> us do the application for a work-based transfer (i.e. a parent's workplace
> is within the urban school district) and take our kids to one of those
> schools (admittedly, many here to various charters within the district).
> So I think it depends on the rules within your school district about the
> need to live in the neighborhood where the schools are.
> ~ Katie
> Fresno, CA
> On Wed, Feb 15, 2017 at 9:16 AM, John Richmond <johnrichmond50 [at] 
> wrote:
>> Hi everyone - last night in a land search committee meeting we had
>> something of a side discussion on what we think of the importance of "good"
>> public schools in the zone where we finally select our site. Our
>> conventional wisdom has been that "good" public schools are essential to
>> our goal of a multigenerational community. They are seen as the only way to
>> attract and keep families who have children of various ages.
>> One of our members pointed out a well-founded belief that few families
>> will uproot their kids from their existing schools to live in cohousing, no
>> matter how "good" the schools where we build are. Her thought is that we
>> will mostly attract homeschoolers, private school kids l, and refugees from
>> "bad" public schools.
>> The struggles of urban and some rural schools in the US are well-noted -
>> How have the surrounding school districts or school zones influenced the
>> number of kids you have in your communities over time?
>> (As a teacher I've come to believe that "good" schools are mostly defined
>> by easily measurable metrics of varying objectivity, including test scores,
>> graduation rates, percent of teachers with advanced degrees, suspension
>> rates, etc. This ignores the idea that some schools that do poorly on these
>> measures may actually be doing more with the kids that come in their doors
>> than the "good" schools are.)
>> John Richmond
>> Richmond Cohousing VA
>> Sent from my MetroPCS 4G LTE Android device
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(The Rev.) Elizabeth M. Magill
Minister to the Affiliates, Ecclesia Ministries

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