The Good And Bad of Public Education

Education in New Orleans is not known for its high level of quality. In fact, for years, failure has been the norm in this city, and Hurricane Katrina did nothing to help this. Parents, educators, and others who care about the future of the city’s children and the outlook for the city as a whole need to do something about the problem, and they need to do so quickly.

Failure Cannot Pass
Prior to Hurricane Katrina, over 60 percent of all students receiving an education in New Orleans were attending a failing school. That staggering statistic shows why so many students dropped out of school instead of completing the program and earning a degree. Parents now feel that this situation has gone on long enough. They feel that all students, whether they attend charter schools or traditional schools, deserve the chance to have a quality education in a high-performing school.

Of course, changing from failures to success will not happen overnight. The first step is holding all city schools to high performance standards, and holding the leadership accountable if they do not bring forth continuous improvement.

Proper Funding
It takes money to provide the education New Orleans school children need. That money needs to be sufficient for the need and needs to be allocated properly. Students should be funded no matter what their needs may be and what school they may be attending. It is unfair for a school to receive less money for a student simply because it is a failing school. That student has not been given just treatment.

To accomplish this, schools need to be funded based on their enrollment. This in turn will cause the most successful schools to have more money, because school choice will allow parents to select that school. However, each individual student should be funded the same amount. Schools and their leadership should then operate within a budget, not spending more than the funding they receive through state funding and any grants.

School Choice
One positive in the world of education in New Orleans is the fact that parents and students have the ability to choose their own schools. Schools are not assigned arbitrarily. This creates healthy competition and should fuel a desire to put forth a quality product. Schools should continue to offer this option in order for parents to be in control of their children’s educational endeavors.

Of course, in order for school choice to succeed, parents need a way to get their children to the school they choose, even if it is a distance away. To make this possible, schools need to provide parents and students with workable transportation options.

Education in New Orleans may be problematic, but it is not a problem that cannot be fixed. If administrators, teachers, other school personnel, parents, and students learn to work together, these schools can succeed and start producing a quality educational product that makes the rest of the country stand up and take notice.

Home Business Blueprint: Tips That Create Success For Your Home Business Blueprint

About forty to fifty years ago, a lot the family homes looked the same. The father went to work from 9 to 5, the mother stayed home all day, cooking dinner, while the kids went off to school, came home and completed their homework before supper time. As you know, today is a whole new world. Today, women, moms and wives work… and the standard working hours are not 9 to 5 anymore. Today, there is more stress, more work and more costs associated with living our everyday. These are only a few of the reasons as to why the home business industry revolution is sky-rocketing. There are several words of advice in navigating through the treacherous home business blueprint.

Women have taken the proverbial “bull by the horns” within the home based business revolution. Company’s like Rodan & Fields and Nerium have created an enormous business opportunity for women to not only create additional cash, but to catapult their family into financial freedom. Men have taken notice and joined the home based business club, moonlighting at night, so they can create additional funds for their families. Whether you are a mom, dad, or single, you need to adhere to the home business blueprint.

1. Do You Like It?

When looking for a home business, the biggest question people ask is “what’s my income”? This is most definitely an important aspect of a home based business-I mean, that’s why we’re working, right? You also need to consider if this business is meant for you. Is this fun? Do I like the product or service? Personally, being a 34 year old male, I am not interested in beauty products… I’m more of a sports or travel guy. Pick something that is right for you and pick something that you will really love within your home business blueprint.

2. Is This A Scam?

Always, always, ALWAYS do your research. The internet is huge… and I mean really huge. Enormous. There are plenty of great things you can find on the internet. You can also get yourself into a lot of TERRIBLE things. Scams and people trying to take advantage of you are everywhere you look. If you come across a potential opportunity, check out the company and the person that is recruiting you. Ask the right questions and make sure to confirm everything in writing before you make any decisions-this will be a big first step when embarking on your home business blueprint.

3. The Dubya, Dubya, Dubya

The Internet is THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT TOOL for home based businesses. There wouldn’t be a home based business industry without the internet. With Internet, you can do everything and anything, from anywhere. You can work virtually from anywhere. With two main elements of Internet – email and websites, you can interact locally and internationally and correspond with others, instantly. The internet will be required for anything and everything as you progress through your home business blueprint.

4. Uh Yea, We’re Gonna Need Some Backup, Over

Whether you’re trying to start your home based business full time or part time, you are going to need someone to help. If you are a mom or dad wanting to do this part time, you are going to need someone to watch the kids while you focus your efforts at night. If you are a recent college graduate, you are going to need the funds to at least house you, a computer and a phone right off the bat. Depending on how fast you pick things up and how hard you work, people start generating those residual incomes within the first months of your home business blueprint.

5. It’s Your Baby, So Take Care of It!

This is a business and your business needs your attention. Treat this like any other entrepreneur starting a brand new business. How fast and how far you go is ultimately up to YOU. It takes hard work, persistence and a little creativity. The harder you put all of those things together, the faster you will ascend to financial freedom. Make sure to keep up with the recent trends in the industry and ADAPT when needed. Look, the concept of this industry is extremely easy. Anyone can do this. It just takes hard work and the will to succeed with your home business blueprint.

There are a lot of things you need to consider when deciding to take the plunge into the home based business industry. The most important things are that you work hard and continue to persevere. Like any business, you are going to have your ups and downs, but just stay positive and stay motivated. If you can weather the storms of life, you will ultimately reach the financial freedom you have been looking for on your journey through the home business blueprint.

5 Potent Shoestring Marketing Tips

A few days ago, I was out to lunch with my friend and small business owner, Betty. Even though she runs a fairly successful small business, Betty gets bogged down with the marketing side of things. Actually, forget about “bogged down,” it’s more accurate to say that Betty’s marketing is usually at a full-fledged, screeching halt.And, her non-existent marketing campaign is the direct result of the “Busy-Betty” syndrome. Betty is hard at work running her small business and can barely keep her head afloat, much less spend time on marketing.But, Betty knows that when she doesn’t market, she can’t bring visitors to her website, create leads or make new sales. More importantly, Betty knows that if she is going to bring her small business to the next level, she absolutely must get busy marketing. So, Betty asked me to lunch because she wanted the “skinny” on my favorite marketing tips. She wasn’t interested in the long-drawn-out and expanded marketing report. Betty wanted the Reader’s Digest version of marketing.So, for all of you “Busy Betty’s” out there, here’s the abbreviated adaptation of my top five favorite Shoestring Marketing tips:

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Flaunt your uniqueness. In the marketing world it’s called your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) and it’s an indispensable part of your small business. With small business competition at a premium, small business owners need to clearly differentiate themselves within their industry.Your clients and customers need a compelling reason why they are going to do business with you as opposed to everyone else out there who is clamoring for their attention. You must prove to your prospects, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you are the exclusive “go-to” person in your industry.Create massive visibility.In today’s fast-paced world, your prospects need to see your marketing message up to twenty-seven times before they even notice you. That’s why it’s crucial that you create a dominant presence on a variety of marketing platforms.If your prospects read your Tweets, view your Facebook updates, read your online articles and watch your YouTube video, they can’t help but pay attention to you. You want your prospects to ask, “Wow, she is everywhere! Who in the world is she?” Once they ask themselves this question, the natural next step is for them to find out more about your small business.Create a rock-solid business foundation.Most small business owners understand the importance of a web-presence in today’s marketplace. However, small business owners who create a landing page that asks prospects to supply their name and email in exchange for an irresistible free offer are able to build a list.In today’s competitive environment, asking your prospects to sign up for your free newsletter is not appealing enough. To build a robust list of interested prospects, you need to create a tantalizing free offer that your prospects simply can’t refuse. Educate your list.Once your prospects join your “list,” you will need to nurture that relationship. A prospect needs to like, trust and ultimately learn from you before they are ready to make a purchase. So, it’s important that you send them valuable and educational tips, tools and strategies from your industry: articles, videos, podcasts, blog posts and press releases. Education is the fastest way to capture your prospects’ hearts.

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Treat your customers like royalty. Don’t make the all too common mistake of forgetting about your current customers. Too many small business owners make the sale and mistakenly think that their job is done. Your current customers and clients are your most valuable asset. Treat them with a bit of extra TLC by paying extra attention to them, giving them special offers and discounts and rewarding those who are loyal. When you treat your customers well, up to 30% will purchase from you again and again.So, there you have it; the condensed version of my top five favorite Shoestring Marketing tips to help all you “Busy Betty’s” get busy marketing.

The Energy Healing Power of Natural Medicine

Natural medicine is a system that uses a variety of therapeutic or preventive health care practices such as homeopathy, naturopathy, chiropractic, and herbal medicine. Alternative medicine is also known as traditional, naturopathic, natural or holistic medicine. Proponents of alternative medicine are not refuting the validity of discoveries in and the practical uses of conventional medicine, but are merely trying to put some things into perspective. Due to the widespread interest in natural medicine along with the disappointment and disenchantment with Western medicine, many people, especially in the United States and Europe, where conventional medicine has taken a dominant foothold, are seeking the advice and treatment from naturopathic physicians. These practitioners include herbalists, acupuncturists, naturopaths, chiropractors, and others, who advocate preventative health measures as well as recommend wholesome foods and nutritional supplements for their patients and clients. Considering the growing popularity and effectiveness of alternative health treatments and products, certified and licensed professional practitioners of such medical practices should be given their rightful and respectful place in medical society. Natural medicine has been proven not only to be safe, but more effective than Western medicine in treating many chronic illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, asthma and many other diseases as well

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The history of Natural Medicine and its roots can be traced back thousands of years to ancient cultures such as India and China. Ayurvedic (E. Indian) and Chinese medicine, along with their diagnostic and herbal systems, are still used in these countries extensively, as well as in the United States, especially in Europe, where alternative medicine is well respected. Chinese herbal medicine has a documented history of over 2500 years in China, and is now widely used by practitioners all over the world. It has been legally practiced in the United States. since the mid seventies by licensed acupuncturists. Homeopathy is also a well-known form of alternative medicine discovered in the 18th century by German physician Samuel Hahnemann, but was practically stamped out in the U.S. in the late nineteenth century by the American Medical Association. In 1938, though, the U.S. Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act finally recognized homeopathic pharmacopoeia as the legal equivalent of allopathic medicine.Another more contemporary and popular form of herbal medicine, called Western herbalism, can be traced back about two hundred years in America. Samuel Thomson, born in 1769, is considered the father of Western herbalism. He discovered over sixty different medically effective native plants by clinical testing, and on the basis of these findings, devised a theory of disease and botanical drug action. Randy Kidu, D.V.M., Ph.D., writes in his articled entitled A Brief History of Alternative Medicine: “The history of herbal medicine is interesting because herbs have been a part of our diet and pharmacy since man began roaming the earth. Coprophytic evidence (seeds and other plant part(found in preserved fecal pellets) points to herbal use by cavemen. Early herbalists practiced their trade since before recorded history in all parts of the world including China, Egypt, Greece, Rome, Africa, England, the Americas, and Europe. Many herbs are also mentioned in the Bible. Today, based on sheer numbers of folks who use one form of herbal medicine or another, it remains the most-used medicine worldwide.”Twenty-five hundred years after the advent of allopathic medicine, modern medicine is still grappling with the idea that herbal medicine could be an effective treatment, and not just quackery, although thousands of years of recorded history has proved its efficacy. A new model of understanding in medicine needs to be incorporated into the existing allopathic model. Because of the growing popularity and effectiveness of natural medicine, practitioners may eventually be given their deserved place in medical society. The incorporation of natural medical practices into the existing model of conventional Western medicine, including the training of new medical doctors, is now called Complimentary Medicine. In order to solve our health problems, this modern paradigm for treatment in medicine must be promoted. This can only truly emerge when bias, self-interest, greed and discrimination is discarded and diverse medical knowledge is promoted and shared, not only between university trained scientists and medical doctors, but among Alternative Medicine practitioners, philosophers, metaphysicians, and other intelligentsia of society as well.