Betsy DeVos Moves Into The Education Mainstream

In February 2017, Betsy DeVos made the move from education reform activist to a part of the new mainstream in U.S. politics, which is a move I believe could lead to a new era of growth and success in the American public school system. Ever since my own children reached school age I have begun to take an active interest in the education system and became an actively interested parent fighting for education reform in my own state; even in the early days of my own interest in education reform the name Betsy DeVos was a name I heard on many different occasions as the groups she financially backed and headed moved to help students achieve as much as possible.Before President Trump appointed Betsy DeVos to the position of Secretary of Education I had already been impressed by the level of success she had achieved as a reformer seeking to develop school choice and voucher systems that placed the power of choice in the hands of parents and families of individual students.

As I began my own research into the education reform movement and began looking at areas where charter schools and school choice programs were in place I was impressed with the high level of programs already in place as early as 2013 when more than 15 states had already begun their own school choice and voucher programs.Like most parents, I first became aware of the limitations of the U.S. public school system when my own children were born and I learned the zip code we were located in playing a major role in where my own daughters would attend school.Much like Betsy DeVos, I believe my children should not be limited by the location of our home and forced to attend a school that may not provide the best educational experience for my family.

As the name, Betsy DeVos kept on popping up as I fought to give my own children the best options available to get the best possible education I decided I should discover more about the woman fighting to assist my children in becoming as educated as possible.The information I discovered shocked me as I was not aware of the many years of educational experience Secretary DeVos has completed in her life. Mrs. DeVos’ mother was herself a public school teacher and inspired the Holland, Michigan born heir to the Prince Industries brand to become an in-school advocate for at-risk students within the Michigan public school system; the development of the Detroit-based charter schools system that has improved results for students on a regular basis since its inception a few short years ago.

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Former Atlanta Hawks Owner, Bruce Levenson…Does Good

On-campus higher education has been lacking a certain practicality in their curriculum for a long time. This lack of practicality may be one of the reasons why alternative learning environments are on the rise. An alternative education program can offer more emphasis on smaller sized classrooms, closer and more productive relationships between students and teachers, and in some cases…a sense of community. The University of Maryland’s Do Good Institute, founded by Former Atlanta Hawk’s owner, Bruce Levenson serves as an outstanding model for this higher education paradigm.

Levenson knows a lot about both business and philanthropy. He began his career in the late 1970’s when he and a friend started UCG in Levenson’s Maryland apartment. In 2004, he acquired the Atlanta Spirit LLC; this team eventually became the Atlanta Hawks. Levenson sold the Hawks in 2014, see Forbes’ report on this. As a successful businessperson, Levenson has always been heavily philanthropic throughout his career. He is a founding donor of the U.S. Holocaust Museum in D.C. and in the past, has served as the Washington Chapter President of I Have a Dream Foundation, which helps low-income children pursue higher learning. With the Do Good Institute, Levenson is redefining philanthropy by assembling groups of idealistic students and producing future pioneers who will spearhead innovative projects and ventures that will change the world and better the lives of those who live in it.

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ClassDojo Creator Embraces the Change His App Brings

It is often said that the best way to sell a product or a brand is to use it yourself, and really make it a part of your lifestyle. This can be said of ClassDojo co-founder and creator, Sam Chaudhary, who created the app with his best friend after working within classrooms for several years. There are many issues that face education environments, and many ideas out there that teachers themselves have. Chaudhary used his own research, and then reached out to teachers for their concerns about issues that they have with students and parents.

At the top of everyone’s list is the issues of community and communication, the development of which both relies on the other. Chaudhary knows that in order to foster a happy and healthy learning environment between students, and teachers, there needs to be community and concern for every student, by every student. In creating his app, Chaudhary knew that teachers needed as many chances to communicate with their parents as possible, and the app provided an easy and fun way to do so without requiring huge expense.

ClassDojo is an education based app that is available to teachers and the parents of their students to use. Set up as a communication platform, the app helps create community through creating a positive culture with classrooms and schools. Security and privacy are a huge concern for teachers, parents, and schools, so a classroom specific app is better able to connect everyone so that items and information regarding the goings on in the classroom can be shared between all parties. The app is free for teachers to use, but there are additional products and features within the app that are available at a reasonable price.

The app has been widely used and shared across classrooms and school districts, both within the UK, the United States, and now globally. At present, the ClassDojo app creators have indicated that 2 in 3 schools are using the app year over year, proving that the app has value for teachers. Not only does the platform bring together parents and teachers, but it helps create ground-up change that can completely change the atmosphere between parents and teachers in the student’s best interest. It is this change in education that the company is most interested in creating and fostering, and new ideas and ways to share information are slowly being introduced within the platform.


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