By Alyson Klein
President-elect Donald Trump has tapped Betsy DeVos, a longtime school choice advocate and Republican mega-donor, to be his education secretary, he announced Wednesday.
DeVos is best known in the school choice world as the chairwoman of the American Federation for Children, an advocacy and research organization that champions school vouchers and tax-credit scholarships. And just hours after her selection, DeVos sent a tweet making it clear that she adamantly opposes the Common Core State Standards, which Trump also has denounced.
“Betsy DeVos is a brilliant and passionate education advocate,” said President-elect Trump in a statement announcing the pick, which is still subject to U.S. Senate confirmation. “Under her leadership we will reform the U.S. education system and break the bureaucracy that is holding our children back so that we can deliver world-class education and school choice to all families.”
Source: School Choice Advocate Betsy DeVos Named Ed. Sec.: What Does That Mean? – Politics K-12 – Education Week
By Pat Maio
A new report from ACT, the Iowa-based college admissions testing company, has mixed results for California, showing that the state’s 2016 high school graduates had greater interest in pursuing STEM-related college majors or career opportunities than the national average but minimal interest in teaching the subjects.
The ACT report, “The Condition of STEM 2016,” found that 53 percent of graduates in California expressed an interest in STEM majors or careers, compared with about 48 percent nationally.
Interest in STEM majors or careers was determined by the number of students who provided profile and survey information when they enrolled for the test. In the survey, the students picked subjects related to science or math from a list of 294 college majors and occupations as areas of future study and work. About 2.1 million students took the ACT test, including 127,225 in California.
Source: California students outpace U.S. average in pursuit of STEM study and careers | EdSource
By Jasmine Weis
In 1636, Harvard University was founded, earning itself the epithet as “the oldest institution of higher education in the United States.” And while there is still controversy surrounding the validity of this claim, with the University of Pennsylvania and College of William & Mary also vying for the coveted title, there is no denying that universities have had a significant presence in American society for centuries.
Colleges have evolved from exclusive institutions reserved for wealthy white men to a a socially accepted and expected rung in the educational ladder. While there is still a wide racial gap in the amount of people obtaining college degrees, more high school graduates are enrolling in universities than ever before. And while the spike in students pursuing higher levels of education should be applauded, more people applying to colleges translates to fewer openings. This inevitably leads to increased competition, so it’s no surprise that these days applying to college feels like playing the most intense game of musical chairs ever.
Source: From a high school senior’s perspective: The college application process
By Daily Republic Staff
Staff, faculty, board of trustees members, students and donors gathered Oct. 4 at the Vacaville Center to honor Solano Community College’s 2016 scholarship recipients.
By the end of the evening, $142,600 and 156 scholarships had been awarded to 95 students. The 44th Annual Scholarship Awards Presentation was sponsored by the district’s Scholarship Foundation board of directors and the Educational Foundation board of directors.
Source: Good News: Solano College honors scholarship recipients
By Daily Republic Staff
Students at Solano Community College can now earn a bachelor’s degree in biomanufacturing.
The college announced that its bachelor of science program has received approval from the state’s Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges.
“We are delighted about this program,” Superintendent-President Celia Esposito-Noy said in a statement. “This will give our students the opportunity to learn state-of-the-art skills and prepare for exciting careers in biomanufacturing.”
Source: Solano College offers new 4-year biotech degree
By Richard Bammer
It is an autumnal rite at Vacaville Unified governing board meetings: the annual enrollment and staff update, a detailed snapshot of the district in numbers, many of them showing good-news increases over the years.
In a slide presentation Thursday in the Educational Services Center, Janet Dietrich, assistant superintendent of human resources, laid out the picture, from districtwide enrollment to class-size averages to employee numbers.
As of November, the district, across 16 campuses and programs, has 12,396 students, including 6,272 in elementary schools, 1,758 in two middle schools and 4,366 at five high school campuses, she said.
The district, like so many others in Solano County and elsewhere in California, has incurred declining enrollments in the last half-dozen years.
Source: VUSD human resource leaders lay out the numbers
The Nirasaki Sister City Program is looking for local high school students with an interest in Japan to be part of next summer’s three-week student exchange visit to Fairfield’s sister city.
Interested students and their parents are invited to attend one of the special information meetings at 7 p.m. Wednesday and at 7 p.m. Dec. 4.
Both meetings will be held in the Fairfield City Council Chamber, located at 1000 Webster St., Fairfield (next to City Hall).
Any high school student in the Fairfield – Suisun Unified School District or Travis School District is eligible to apply to be part of the summer exchange delegation, as well as high school student residents of Fairfield attending schools outside of the district.
Source: Summer exchange student program to Japan
By Ryan McCarthy
A two-minute video that generated about 3,000 views on her Facebook page was possible because of the Fairfield-Suisun Unified Teachers Association contribution to her campaign, Ana Petero said.
“It was really effective,” Petero said of the professionally produced video.
One of the three school board candidates in the Nov. 8 election to receive a $1,000 contribution from the teachers union, Petero trails incumbent John Silva by 145 votes in Trustee Area 6 based on updated elections results posted late Friday afternoon.
Source: Candidates: Teachers union support got their messages out
By Todd R. Hansen
Solano County Superintendent of Schools Jay Speck is scheduled to give his “State of the Schools” report to the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.
The report is actually a legislative requirement that is the result of the Williams Case Settlement, a class action suit filed in San Francisco against the state in 2000.
Settled in 2004, the state allocated $138 million more for educational materials to certain qualifying schools, plus additional funding for oversight and facility repairs. The Legislature then required each county office of education to complete reports on the areas of concern in the lawsuit.
Source: Solano supervisors to get ‘State of the Schools’ report
By Susan Hiland
Slow Food Solano held its final fundraiser for the year at Il Fiorello Olive Oil Company with a small gathering Sunday evening.
“I thought it would be neat for people to see the milling process,” said Cynthia Huddleston, chairwoman of Slow Food Solano. “Also, it’s nice for the tribe to get together.”
The evening included a tour of the mill, tasty hors d’oeuvres made by Il Fiorello’s Kitchen at the Grove and wine tasting.
“Ann and Mark Sievers are big supporters of Slow Food,” Huddleston said. “People talk about doing it but they actually put it into practice.”
Source: Slow Food event raises money for school grants
By Marcus Lomtong
For the first time in it’s 125-year school history, Armijo High will be represented as a team at the California Interscholastic Federation cross country championships at Fresno, Saturday.
All because of a group of guys that work hard and gel together as a unit – on and off the course.
The Armijo boys cross country team will be heading to the CIF state championship on Saturday, led by Sac-Joaquin Section Division I individual winner, Luis Grijalva. The boys joining him are Brendan Erwin, Nixon McKenzie, Zakari Wahid, Michael Emerson, Ryan Dix and Nate Oriate.
Source: Armijo ready for State cross country championship
By Daily Republic Staff
Dramatic readings of “A Christmas Carol,” a holiday gift bazaar and tours of the historic Pena Adobe will be part of the Pena Adobe Historical Society’s Old Fashioned Christmas Bazaar from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.
Armijo High School Drama Club students will read excerpts of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” The Pena Vaca families arrived and built their adobes in Lagoon Valley in 1842, a year before Dickens published his popular novella.
The bazaar will offer local authors’ books, such as Fern Henry’s “My Checkered Life,” Francie Vicondoa’s “Spanish Doors, Dishes & Dreams,” Brian Irwin’s “Vacaville Then & Now” and Jerry Bowen’s “Images of America: Vacaville.” Wendy Schackwitz from the Napa-Solano Audubon Society will talk about the book “Breeding Birds of Solano County.”
Source: Fairfield high schoolers help bring holidays to Vacaville’s Pena Adobe
By Nick Morrison
The classroom is one of the most hotly contested frontiers in the tech war, and a new survey suggests that Google is closing the gap on Apple.
A bigger slice of a market that is worth around $68 billion, according to technology analysts Gartner, is clearly a strong motivation for the tech giants to steal a march on their rivals, but it is not the only, or even the most important, factor.
Students who take a shine to a particular device while at school may become lifetime loyalists, and possibly even brand evangelists.
Source: Google Is Closing The Gap On Apple In The Classroom#4fd37a7d661e
By Elissa Nadworny
Is preschool worth it? Policymakers, parents, researchers and us, at NPR Ed, have spent a lot of time thinking about this question.
We know that most pre-kindergarten programs do a good job of improving ‘ specific skills like phonics and counting, as well as broader social and emotional behaviors, by the time students enter kindergarten. Just this week, a study looking at more than 20,000 students in a state-funded preschool program in Virginia found that kids made large improvements in their alphabet recognition skills.
So the next big question to follow is, of course, Do these benefits last? New research out of North Carolina says yes, they do. The study found that early childhood programs in that state resulted in higher test scores, a lower chance of being held back in a grade, and a fewer number of children with special education placements. Those gains lasted up through the fifth grade.
Source: A Lesson For Preschools: When It’s Done Right, The Benefits Last : NPR Ed : NPR
By John Glidden
A discussion about race and representation of African-American students in Vallejo took place Wednesday night as two departing school board trustees were honored for their service to the district.
Both Vallejo school board trustees Hazel Wilson and Ward “Ace” Stewart expressed concerns about all the district’s students being represented by the incoming school board.
While commending Stewart’s nine years on the Vallejo City Unified School District Board of Education, Wilson asked if her grandsons, who are African American and attend schools in the district, will continue to have a voice after Stewart’s departure.
Source: Departing Vallejo trustees express concerns about race
By Richard Bammer
To place a troubled child on path to success “really does take a village,” the director of the Desert Mountain Children’s Center said at the official opening Thursday of a new county testing and evaluation program for children suffering from ongoing developmental, social, emotional, behavioral and communication challenges.
Speaking to a group of 40, mostly school district superintendents, educators and behavior specialists, Linda Llamas called the “partners” who helped to open the Solano Comprehensive Assessment Research and Evaluation (CARE) Clinic in Fairfield “agents of change” for troubled youngsters and their families who seek services at the clinic, which is housed in a building behind Child Haven, at 801 Empire St., Fairfield.
Source: Child Haven officially opens testing, evaluation clinic
By Kathryn Nieves
One of the biggest problems I encounter as a resource room teacher is the self-esteem of the students in my classes. After years of disappointing academic experiences, their confidence is low and their motivation has declined. Combine those points with the peer pressure, bullying, and stresses of middle school, and the students do not have a positive outlook on their education.
In my classroom, technology is a tool for empowerment—it creates a collaborative and innovative space for all students. Along with over 50 million educators and students, I am primarily using Google’s G Suite for Education. The suite is a bundle of Google’s key products, such as Drive, Docs, Slides, and Forms, along with new tools like Google Classroom. While I used these applications in a middle school classroom, the following strategies are appropriate for any age from upper elementary students to high school seniors.
Source: Using Technology to Empower Students With Special Needs | Edutopia
Education was not a major theme in the Trump for President campaign. Among his few specific proposals: eliminate the Common Core standards in English and math, and establish a $20 billion program to expand school choice for low-income children. Last week, President-elect Trump posted a two-paragraph statement framing his position on education on a new website, greatagain.org. Clearly, many details have yet to be fleshed out.
EdSource asked 16 leaders in their respective fields or organizations in California to anticipate possible change in education during the Donald Trump presidency. Their voices are not intended to be representative of the education community in California, or of all political points of view. EdSource did approach Californians thought to be in touch with the Trump transition team, but they did not wish to express their ideas publicly. We will add other perspectives in the days and weeks ahead.
Source: Education leaders contemplate what Trump presidency means for California education | EdSource
By Nick Sestanovich
Gender equity remains a commonly discussed issue in today’s society. Attendees of tonight’s free program at Solano Community College’s Vallejo campus will learn about the subject as it applies to K-12 and postsecondary education and how to address gender bias when it occurs.The forum, hosted by the Benicia-Vallejo branch of the American Association of University Women, will specifically discuss Title IX, a section of the United Stated Education Amendments of 1972, which states that people should not be excluded based on sex from participating in or receiving benefits from programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance.
“Our mission is to make sure we support the equity and education for all women and girls,” AAUW member Suzanne Antone said.
Source: Benicia-Vallejo AAUW to host gender equity forum at SCC Vallejo campus
By Richard Bammer
An update on the recent voter-approved Measure Q bond and the “sunshining” of the governing board’s initial wage-and-benefit proposal to teachers are on the agenda when Dixon Unified leaders meet tonight in Dixon.
Superintendent Brian Dolan will update the board about the measure, a $30.4 million bond passed by voters Nov. 8.
Nearly 60 percent of district voters cast “yes” votes, well more than the 55 percent needed for passage. It passed by relatively wide margins in all but a handful of precincts.
When it takes effect, residential property owners will be assessed $40 per $100,000 of valuation. For the median-priced Dixon home of $250,000, it translates into $100 to $115 per year.
Source: Measure Q update, teacher wage-and-benefit proposal on Dixon Unified agenda