US Still Behind in World Education Rankings

A global study that tests and compares 15-year old students’ science, math and reading literacy in developed and developing countries confirms that the United States is still falling behind. The evaluative study entitled Program for International Student Assessment, was first administered in 2000 and was performed again in 2003, 2006 and most recently, in 2009.

In a year that has seen constant scrutiny of the United States’ education system and persistent discussion regarding the need for education reform; the results of the study serve only to exacerbate concern. And, while the U.S. has made “modest gains” in science and math, U.S. students still shrink in comparison to their 15-year old counterparts around the world.

U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, called the results of the study “an absolute wake-up call to America” and urged administrators and lawmakers to deal with “the brutal truth” and “get much more serious about investing in education.” With U.S. students ranking 15th in reading skills, 17th in science and 25th (statistically significantly below the average) in math, Duncan and citizens nationwide have cause for concern. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development which proctors the standardized test, found that countries with the highest-scoring students included: China, Canada, Korea, Singapore and Japan.

The U.S. has reason to worry. Despite the very modest gains that were made, U.S. students have continued to score significantly lower than students in a number of other nations since the test’s implementation in 2000. In fact, U.S. students are barely ranking above the OECD average in reading and science, and fall well below the average score in math- the most noteworthy problem area. Because of this, tackling under-achievement in the U.S. education sector should be a top priority. Not only does under-achievement affect students; the broader reach of under-achievement affects the national economy, global marketplace and larger society as a whole.

So, what are the differentiating factors in student achievement from country to country? What helps set one nation apart from the other so divisively? Primarily, countries that have continually performed well on the Program for International Student Assessment place an extremely high value on education and learning. Report the authors of the study “universal high expectations are not a mantra but a reality and students who start to fall behind are identified quickly, their problem is promptly and accurately diagnosed and the appropriate course of actions is quickly taken.” Additionally, top-performing countries work hard to train and retain the best teachers, often recruiting the top 5-10% of graduates into the teaching profession.

And, while social divisions and social background seem to play a permanent role in quality of education and access to resources and finances in the United States, this is not the case in successful countries (like China and Canada) where traditionally underprivileged students are found to, despite circumstance, perform extremely well.

The results of the most recent Program for International Student Assessment study confirms, once again, that the U.S. education system still has a significant amount of work to do in terms of reform and improving U.S. student’s world education rankings.

Lasit a plus de 20 années d’expérience dans le domaine du marquage laser , avec plus 4200 clients à travers le monde et des centainse de modèles dèveloppès.

Laser Engraving Business – Is It Right for You?

A laser engraving business is a very profitable business you can start from your home. Have you ever thought of it? If you are looking for a way of pulling out of formal employment, laser engraving offers a great opportunity for you to venture into business. If you are so creative, laser engraving business is right for you. Even if you are not naturally a creative person, the laser will enable you to develop your creativeness.

What’s laser engraving?

Laser engraving is simply the marking and cutting of materials using a laser system. A laser system works like a printer. A laser is a raw beam or heat energy directed to a specific area where an engraving is performed. It takes seconds for a laser beam to create a permanent engraving on any material.

There are many companies that manufacture laser engraving machines worldwide. But the best laser systems I have known are made in the USA. That’s where the laser engraving technology started and spread in the rest of the world. If you need a laser engraving system that won’t frustrate you, I recommend buying one from the pioneers of this technology.

What do you need to venture into a laser engraving business?

To start a laser engraving business, you need the following:

1. Business plan.

A business plan is a great way of defining your business and identifying your goals. You should prepare a business plan. Success in any business requires good planning. It helps you to raise money. It also provides you with milestones to gauge your success. It should be the first step in your laser engraving business venture.

2. Laser engraving system.

To venture into an engraving business, you must buy a laser engraving system. Laser systems are costly. Good laser engraving machines range from $8,000 up to over $45,000, depending on the size and energy. That’s not little money at all. It could be a lifetime investment to most people. So you should invest in a system that won’t let you down. The good thing is that it’s a one-time investment. Good laser systems last long.

3. A computer.

You need a good computer in your laser engraving business. You may use a desktop or a laptop. Any Windows 2000 upwards, XP or Vista operating system is recommended.

4. Graphic software.

A designing software program is a must-have in your engraving business. Laser engraving systems are designed to run on most Windows-based graphic software programs like CorelDraw, Adobe and AutoCad. But CorelDraw is what most people use in laser engraving.The laser systems come with drivers that print images from any of these programs.

5. Creativity.

People who flourish most in a laser engraving business are those who are creative, sales-oriented and think outside the box. As an engraver, you must always be on the lookout for offering new products and services. The laser system is a versatile machine. With it, you can only be limited by your imagination.

There are numerous products you can produce and put on the market. To do this effectively, perfecting your designing skill in the software program you are using is important.

6. Marketing.

There is no business that can prosper without effective marketing. You have to do a lot of marketing for your engraving business. Visual advertising is so important. People need to see your engraving and cutting examples to really appreciate them.

You have to determine your signature samples, which you can mass produce and send to prospects. They should exhibit the great engraving and cutting capabilities of your laser engraving equipment. You may also customize them as necessary.

Create strong personal relationships to establish a firm foundation for your laser engraving business. Networking is a very good cost-effective marketing technique. Spread the word about your business through networking.

You may also use trade shows to exhibit your products

and services to your prospects. It’s good to target different types of trade shows with specific related products.

Creating a website for your engraving business is a great way to get customers. By establishing your business online, you expand your client base from your immediate geographical area to the rest of the world.

Using the word of mouth is so effective. It’s cost free. It’s easy. Everyone is capable of trying it out. Do it together with flyers and business cards. I like this marketing technique. It’s good to pick the contacts like a telephone number and email address of the people you talk to for business. You may ask them to send to them a newsletter which may eventually turn them into real customers.

What engraving business opportunities can you tap?

There are a number of laser engraving business opportunities. They include among others electronics engraving, marble and stone etching, wood engraving and cutting, logo engraving, medical part marking, photo engraving and barcode engraving. There are also other opportunities. They include laptop customization, signage, wedding memorabilia, corporate giveaways, glass etching, nameplates, toys and games, laser cut cards and invitations, photo frames and albums, wooden models, jewelry and much more.

Engraving services are needed in various industries, markets or occupations. You can explore the following fields to get customers for your products:

- Clothing designers

- Automobile dealers

- Carpenters

- Churches and other religious organizations

- Hospitals

- Home builders

- Jewelers

- Gift shops

- Manufacturing plants

- Restaurants

- Non-profit organizations

- Zoos

- Libraries

- Recreational centres

- Event centres like stadiums

- Schools of all levels

- Interior designers

- Private businesses

- Architectural design firms

- Individuals… and much more

What materials can you use in your business? Ideally, the laser system can etch and cut on numerous materials. The commonest ones are acrylic, wood, rubber, stone, glass, paper, fabric, ceramic, plastic, marble, tile, press-board, slate, granite and leather. You can explore it’s capability to laser engrave on many other materials around you.

Why should you start an engraving business?

1. Profitability.

It is very profitable. An engraved product costs more than twice the cost of its raw material. Products and services engraved on a laser system are on high demand. Most people pay back the money invested in the laser machine within a year.

2. Creative freedom.

A laser engraving business allows the freedom you will rarely find in any other business. You can create what you want. You are only limited by your imagination. Virtually, anything you can imagine and design can be turned into a real object with a laser system.

3. Flexibility.

You may choose to work part-time while maintaining your full-time job. You can also work the hours you want. If you have a full-time job, this is the time to save money. Invest it in a laser engraving business. You will be able to slowly grow your business right from your home. Finally, it becomes a full-time job

4. Low running costs.

Although laser systems cost much money, running an engraving business does not require high running costs like in other businesses. The laser machine can last a long time without making any repairs. And by the time it gets old, you will have made a lot of money.

5. Small manufacturing plant.

There are many people with laser systems. But very few of them know that it’s a small manufacturing plant. Most people limit themselves to engraving traditional items. These are items like plaques, awards, signage and photo frames. But the laser system can do much more than that. Just explore into its other capabilities. You will live to wonder throughout your life.

Conclusion

Starting a laser engraving business is very profitable. To effectively benefit from it, it’s advisable to invest in a very good laser system. Buy a system with a higher wattage. Speed and working area matter a lot in a laser engraving business. Have a plan to clearly understand your start-up costs, business line and profitability.

What laser system would you recommend for starting a profitable laser engraving business?

Professional Carpet Cleaning Education Tip

Understanding how using a pre-spray during carpet steam cleaning and the follow up steps will help you to choose a qualified company to clean your carpets. To do the best possible job you need to get the dirt and soil to release from the carpet fibers. When using a proper pre-spray it will need some dwell time, usually 5 – 10 minutes for it to release the dirt and soil that is attached/bonded with the carpet fibers. It will emulsify the dirt and cause it to rise to the top of the carpet surface and actually make the carpet look even dirtier temporarily. This is the dirt and soil that cannot be removed with vacuuming the carpet. Vacuuming will only pick up loose granular dirt. Vacuuming is very important to remove the loose dirt so as to minimize the wear and tear of the carpet fibers and add years of life to your carpet.

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Once your per-spray has had proper dwell time you proceed with the actual steam cleaning. The heat helps to remove dirt and soil and the water pressure causes agitation to help release the dirt as well combined with the water pressure setting, usually between 300 – 500 psi. When you are steam cleaning you are actually cleaning and rinsing the carpet at the same time. You can use several different types of water to do this part as well as using a fiber rinsing agent to assist in rinsing out any and all pre-sprays and cleaners to make sure there is no residue left in the carpet. This is very important so as not to attract more dirt that will cause your carpet to get dirty faster. Residue left in your carpet will increase the positive charge already in the fibers by anywhere from five to ten times. With dirt and soil being negatively charged they will bond together, so you can see how important this step is. Otherwise your carpet will get dirtier faster and hold more dirt in it than before they cleaned. There are a lot of carpet cleaners that don’t understand the science involved with cleaning carpets and just go through the motions due to lack of training.

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The next time you want to hire a professional carpet cleaner you can now ask them if they use a pre-spray and watch them to make sure they do, so that you get the best possible cleaning experience for your carpets.

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.