Vanden decathletes share how program changes lives – Daily Republic

By Mayrene Bates

The best part of being a school board trustee is visiting as many schools and programs as possible throughout the year.

Long before I became a school board trustee, I followed the Vanden High School Academic Decathlon team and their outstanding coach, David Kenyon. Vanden has been a top decathlon winner for approximately 13 years. Academic Decathlon programs in Solano County, in contrast to some of the award-winning ones out of Southern California, run on very limited budgets. It’s probably why not all of our high schools participate in the program.

It’s really a year-round endeavor, as Kenyon and the Vanden team well know, if you expect to be competitive with other counties throughout the state. The regional competition for our area occurs in late January in Fairfield, and the state competition in March in Sacramento. I know for sure that Kenyon has already planned some summer study sessions.

via Vanden decathletes share how program changes lives Daily Republic.

Implementing Common Core: A work in progress – Daily Republic

By Mayrene Bates

“Education, then, beyond all other devices of human origin, is the great equalizer of the conditions of men – the balance-wheel of the social machinery.”

– Horace Mann, renowned U.S. educator

Horace Mann’s premise is no less true today. As the daughter of a sharecropper, I can’t imagine my life, though with access only to a very inferior education in segregated schools in the South, is still so much better than it would have been otherwise. I remain forever grateful for educators and others who encouraged me, no matter how difficult it would be, not to give up on getting an education.

via Implementing Common Core: A work in progress Daily Republic.

Volunteers give boost to Academic Decathlon – Daily Republic

By Mayrene Bates

Our big North Bay Region Academic Decathlon has come and gone yet another year.

It takes a host of volunteers to make this big event for high school students from four North Bay counties happen. These dedicated volunteers from all walks of life get up bright and early to volunteer on two consecutive Saturdays and they always come through for us. Some will go on to work at the state competition in Sacramento in March.

via Volunteers give boost to Academic Decathlon Daily Republic.

School bus safety deserves our attention – Daily Republic

By Mayrene Bates

This delightful verse by Scottish novelist and poet Robert Louis Stevenson reminded me that we recently rolled our clocks to return to standard time. I often wonder about this, especially when I see children walking to school or waiting for the school bus, sometimes in the dark.

This time of the year reminds me of the years that I had to rise very early on dark, chilly mornings to ride not a school bus but a shirt factory workers’ bus many miles to my high school. There are somethings that one seems never to forget. My high school bus riding days could make another column quite unto itself, but not this time around.

via School bus safety deserves our attention Daily Republic.

Will cursive go way of horse and buggy? – Daily Republic

By Mayrene Bates

There’s quite a bit of controversy swirling around these days about whether cursive writing should be taught in public schools or abolished in favor of keyboarding.

Those I have interviewed feel strongly that cursive writing should be a requirement in today’s public schools. Since I failed to interview any younger people, I’m inclined to believe that their viewpoints would be quite different from those of my peers.

via Will cursive go way of horse and buggy? Daily Republic.