Fairfax extremely selective in hiring

The hiring rate for a teaching position in Fairfax County schools this year was lower than the admission rates at several Ivy League schools, including Yale and Princeton.

The school system hired 1,841 teachers this fall after sifting through 26,823 applications. The hiring rate, 6.9 percent, shows how competitive the job market is in the county, regarded as one of the nation’s top school systems.

During a Washington Post-sponsored panel discussion at Fairfax High School last week, George Becerra, chair of Fairfax County’s minority student achievement oversight committee, equated a job offer from Fairfax to an acceptance letter from Harvard University. That comparison isn’t far off: According to U.S. News and World Report, Harvard had the lowest acceptance rate in the nation for the fall of 2012, admitting only 6.1 percent of applicants.

T. Rees Shapiro

Rhodes Trust receives major gift

A Canadian philanthropy has announced a gift of about $117 million to the Rhodes Trust to expand a program famed for sending young scholars to the University of Oxford.

The gift from the McCall MacBain Foundation, established by John and Marcy McCall MacBain, was described as the biggest since Cecil Rhodes established the scholarship in 1903.

One-third of the gift is a grant, another third is a challenge grant to obtain matching donations and the rest will be intended to expand the global reach of the scholarships. Each year, 83 scholars are chosen from various countries, including the United States.

Nick Anderson