Betsy Devos: the US Education Secretary

Most people don’t realize this but Betsy Devos, the 11th Education Secretary, has made some significant progress in her campaign for educational choice. While there are still many states that are not partaking in the new programs, she has seen considerable success in states like Florida and Louisiana. These states have adopted the most educational choice programs, particularly in Florida. Devos spoke about the educational choice programs as well as school safety in a “60 Minutes” interview with Leslie Stahl.


Devos has had a rough time since her appointment in 2016. There were not many in the education world who understood her ideas, and she was challenged frequently when she spoke out at high schools and private schools around the country. While she has been very adamant that people who are against educational choice just don’t understand, it’s also been clear that many in the state legislature do not want educational choice.


Why is this the case?


Devos spoke about it in the interview, stating that many people don’t understand how it works and they don’t realize the amount of philanthropy that has supported the movement. In fact, educational choice is supported by donations from Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Sam Walton, and Devos’ Family Foundation. For instance, Florida has its own tuition program that helps students pay for courses at private schools if they are accepted into the program.


Devos doesn’t have much to say about standardized testing and Common Core Math, which has been increasingly problematic for schools to add to the curriculum due to the lack of knowledge around it by parents. Common Core Math has put a strain on America’s education system, but it’s up to education choice to bring students to the schools that they want to go.


With educational choice, students can go into a magnet program at another school, try homeschooling, attend virtual schools, and go to charter schools or private schools. It’s areas like Florida that have the most options with a tuition-based scholarship program that has been funded by philanthropy.


Devos wants to make it clear that funding for educational choice is not paid by taxes but by philanthropy.


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OSI Group Expands Strategically In Toledo, Spain

The OSI Group is one of the world’s largest and efficiently managed food handling companies. Since incorporation in the 1900s, OSI Group has tremendously expanded and improved its operations in order to meet new milestones. The most recent of such renovations and strategic expansions was the company’s entry in the European market. Seen as a strategic mechanism of expanding its presence around the world and harnessing new markets, the expansion has given OSI Group a much-needed European presence including the flagship establishment of branches in Germany and Spain.

Increased demand in the company’s products, primarily chicken, recently gave way to a strategic expansion of its chicken processing facility in Toledo, Spain. The €17 million-worth of expansion and improvement saw a number of overhauls in the production facility. One of the main improvements that the expansion featured included the expansion of the production capacity and the overall output from an annual 12,000 tons to 45,000 tons of chicken, pork, and beef products. The improved production will see more products availed to the market, therefore meeting the annual demand that has been increasing over the years.

Secondly, the expansion would consequently lead to the creation of new jobs as more experienced and well-equipped personnel will be required to man stations within the production facility. According to the company’s strategic evaluation, the newly expanded plant in Toledo, Spain would create 20 new jobs for the locals at the managerial level as well as the casual level. The increased demand in the workforce would therefore consequently benefit the local population as the local economy would be largely revamped.

Part of the company’s expansion also includes the development of new designs and the expansion of existing food production and handling ports within the facility. In this regard, for instance, the company’s refrigeration storage facility would be doubled in capacity while the waste management facility would undergo a proportional expansion. New food handling and production lines will be introduced while packaging and storage areas would be revamped to utilize more space to ensure that the existing demand in the market is proportionally handled and sufficed.

In addition to this, the company’s expansion program would also see an introduction of new cutting-edge energy-efficient machinery that are consistent with the global demand for reduction in greenhouse gas emission. The construction of an energy-efficient facility would, therefore, enable OSI Group to join the league of other multinational companies that have active programs targeting reduction of the volume of carbon produced into the environment.


Ara Chackerian: Nature Conservation as a Passion

Ara Chackerian is the Managing Partner of ASC Capital Holdings, and the co-founder and board member of TMS Health Solutions. He is based in San Francisco, California, where he majors in investment, entrepreneurship and philanthropy. During his career life, he was primarily involved in the development of the healthcare services by employing technology. Previously, he built other healthcare companies including PipelineRX, BMC Diagnostics, and Embion/Provider Links. His keen interest in the environment led to the launching of the Limonapa Teak, an ecological teak farm based in Nicaragua.


The farm has brought about various advantages including job creation for the locals and the enhancement of the ecosystem. Chackerian recently addressed the forestation issue in Japan, noting the considerable reduction in the domestic use of charcoal and firewood in the 1950’s, due to the increased use of fossil fuels as a source of energy. However, there was a rising demand for construction materials such as timber. To meet the requirements, the Forestry Agency launched a campaign for expanding the forests. The mission was aimed at clearing the Buna forest and plant fast-growing trees such as confers, intending to avail construction materials and positively influence the economy.


Chackerian discloses that the government initiative to plant fast-growing trees saw the Japanese artificial forests rise from 27 per cent to 44 percent by 1985. It is essential to acknowledge the significance of forests to both humans and other animals. Destruction of natural habitats renders animals hungry and homeless; hence they roam in search of other places to live and protection from their predators. Presently, the planted forests in Japan have spread from the Hokkaido to the Kagoshima Prefecture. Several municipalities chose confers as their symbol tree and planted them thus embracing their beauty and promoting their growth. For more details you can visit


The tree has some attractive features such as fast growth, logs used in the growth of mushrooms, the source of firewood and energy, production of toys, musical instruments and plywood, and their extensive use in furniture and flooring ventures. The Nature Conservation of Japan launched organizations in a bid to rescue the forests. The organizations played crucial roles in inhibiting further logging and ensuring the full growth of trees to regain their nature. To see more you can visit