Everyone Likes Choice, and So Does Betsy DeVos

In a recent LA Times op-ed, “Why not give Betsy DeVos and school vouchers a try?”

http://www.latimes.com/opinion/readersreact/la-ol-le-devos-vouchers-20170218-story.html, Jerry Glass astutely challenges hysterical accusations that Betsy DeVos’s appointment to President Trump’s cabinet is a “threat to democracy”. Although the school system is not an actual democracy, what is more democratic than letting parents and guardians make choices about their child’s education?

As a retired educator, I have taught in public schools and later in my career, in a school of choice. It’s evident that Ms. Devos’ championship of vouchers is a real threat–but only to some tenured teachers who just want to do the minimum and ride out their time till retirement gossiping in the teacher’s lounge. It’s also a matter of money. Failing public schools are terrified of losing funding, and teacher’s unions are scared of losing power. The truth is that when parents have choices everyone wins, particularly the child who benefits from a better investment in his or her future.

Ms. DeVos knows about the importance of investing in education. She and her husband, Dick DeVos, have used their foundation (dbdvfoundation.org) as a vehicle to promote Charter School education. Some notable causes that have received funds are Success Academy Charter Schools and GREAAT Schools, Inc. a management company that oversees Charter Schools.

Betsy DeVos speaks out about the flaws in some of the traditional policies that have left many a child behind in the name of doing the opposite. Education is should be a synergistic cooperative involving all stakeholders.

It’s true that the DeVos’ have donated funds to support private universities and Christian schools, however, they have also supported The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Having served as a board member, Betsy DeVos understands the importance of fostering the arts in education. You don’t have to teach for twenty years to see what is working and what hasn’t in our current system.

The DeVos foundation has also helped support Institute for Justice, a legal firm involved in school choice lawsuits. For too long, parents without private funds have been excluded from making informed school choices for their children. This is particularly true for minority students and children living in disadvantaged conditions. If their schools are failing, something is wrong. We can’t hide our head in the sand and hope these problems sort themselves out. There isn’t time–our children’s futures teeter in the balance.

If we fear honest conversations and unbiased evaluations to our current education system, then Betsy DeVos’ appointment as Secretary Of Education is indeed a threat. If we look ahead to serving 21st-century students in an inclusive setting where teachers, parents and other stakeholders are challenged to do their best, then she is indeed a great choice. Follow Betsy on Twitter.

Securus Advertises Honestly, According To BBB

Prison telecommunications companies have been getting a bad rap lately. This is mostly due to the unethical business dealings of a company called Global Tel-Link. This telecommunications company secures government contracts to be the sole provider of telephone services to a particular prison through a bidding process. A part of their bidding process includes a commission, otherwise known as a kickback gleaned from the telecommunications profit given back to the prison itself. This forces Global Tel-Link to raise prices on the prison population and their families. The most vulnerable population in the United States becomes abused in the name of profit.

I would like to focus on a prison telecommunications company that is doing good. Securus Technologies recently achieved the prestigious Better Business Bureau’s accreditation. The telecommunications company went out of its way to score this sought after award. They subjected themselves to an eight-point inspection concerning ethics, honesty and transparency. They also paid the BBB for this inspection. That is one serious commitment to ethical business dealings, trust building and authenticity.

The second point in the eight-point inspection concerns honesty in advertising. A lesser company, like Global Tel-Link, would conduct business among the prison population incredibly dishonestly. Global Tel-Link is often criticized for an entire menu of hidden fees. The company’s per minute telephone call rate is already astronomically high. But to take further advantage of the situation, the company also charges fees to initiate an account or phone call, put money into an account or to close an account. All of these fees can cost a family over $300 per week.

Securus carries an upfront pricing structure. The BBB accredited business also provides a superior product. The telephone call quality is much better than its competition, and the company also provides services such as video chat. Securus — advertising honestly even when they don’t have to.


The growth of Eucatex into a giant in the manufacture of construction material under Flavio Maluf’s Leadership

When the founder of Eucatex started the company in the early fifties, he must have hoped for some level of success, but Flavio Maluf would be impressed by the fact that it has now grown into a household name in Brazil. Anyone that has managed or owned a construction has at some point used products from this company. Their selling point is the fact that they incorporate environmental comfort in everything that they produce. They use eucalyptus, one of the fastest growing trees in the manufacture of products such as tiles, panels and ceilings.

The current CEO of Eucatex, Favio Maluf joined the company more than 30 years ago when he was just a mechanical engineering expert. Through the years, he has travelled through the ranks to his current position. Flavio Maluf has always believed that sustainability will be achieved when all production processes are done in a manner that conserves the environment. Flavio Maluf graduated from FAAP in Sao Paulo and did his post graduate studies in administration from NYU.

When the company was starting, it was known as Fiberboard and was just a tiny industrial unit. For the next ten years, the company grew and created branches in different parts of the country, a step that expanded their customer base on Odiario.com. The company had crossed borders by 1965 and established an office in Argentina. This greatly improved their production capacity, and they started venturing into European markets and the other neighboring countries.

The growth process that has spanned 5 decades has seen the company set up many other processing plants. They even brought up a second manufacturing unit in Salto at https://www.mundodomarketing.com.br/noticias-corporativas/conteudo/108970/conheca-com-flavio-maluf-algumas-dicas-para-administrar-uma-empresa-familiar. As part of their strategic growth, they decided to branch out and include non-wooden products. This is how their paint and varnish manufacture business came up. They built their own paint development labs and specialized in streamlining their products into what the industry wanted.

The products they have been creating have received tons of awards and recognition. The company on segs.com also received ISO certification more than 10 years ago and has also been recognized b the Forest Stewardship Council. They celebrated their 60th anniversary in 2010 and with the pace they have set, one can only expect better from them.

Squaw Valley Issues Statement Regarding Contamination Scare

On Nov. 8, the Placer County Health Department issued a statement regarding the detection of bacteria and E-coli found in Squaw Valley water wells.


It was reported that the drinking water in Squaw Valley’s upper mountain region tested positive for traces of E-coli and coliform. The findings pose a potential environmental health risk to visitors and area wildlife.


Despite the fact that the water has been deemed undrinkable, Placer County Health Department ruled not to close Squaw Valley. Visitors, however, will be fed only prepackaged foods and beverages until further notice. There will also be signs posted throughout the grounds informing visitors of the situation.


On Nov. 30, Squaw Valley Public Relations Director Liesl Kinney, released a response outlining what steps are being taken to resolve the issue and preserve public safety.


It was reported that unusually heavy rains soaked the area and inundated Squaw Valley’s water system. The upgraded water systems at High Camp and Gold Coast were particularly affected. Testing showed that no other areas within the site were contaminated.


Once the contamination was found, Placer County Health Department was contacted immediately. Other experts were called in to consult. Although the situation is being addressed, water quality is not at normal levels. The situation will be monitored around the clock. As soon as the water reaches an acceptable level, Squaw Valley will continue with its current safety measures.


Kinney stated that the health and safety of the public was their primary concern. Updates will be given until the situation is corrected.