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Businesses Need American Education to Be Great

Posted by Marc Joseph on Mar 1, 2016 10:29:03 AM

Listening to the presidential debates, all the candidates want to make America better than it is today. They want America to lead the world, not to follow. According to Ranking America, we do lead the world with the largest prison population at 2,217,000 prisoners followed by China at 1,657,812 and Russia at 646,085. We also lead the world with the highest divorce rate followed by the UK, and the most lawyers per person (one lawyer for every 265 Americans), followed by Brazil. But the one thing we do not lead the world in is education.

The fact that the United States is ranked the fourteenth best educational country in the world, according to Pearson, is a real wake-up call for all of us in the business world. South Korea is ranked first, followed by Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Finland, the UK and Canada. Pearson found that the top-ranked countries offer teachers higher status in society and have a culture emphasizing education. Society's attitude about education and its underlying moral purpose seems to be stronger in the top-rated countries. And to think that just three decades ago, the U.S. was ranked first in the world, and if we could have hung on to that ranking, education would be a nonissue in this year's elections.

Coincidentally, in 1990, the USA ranked first in the world in four-year degrees attained, but today, America is ranked twelfth, with Australia being first and Iceland second. In 2015, Atlas reported the U.S. government spent $3.7 trillion, of which $154 billion was spent on educational accounts including the Department of Education, school nutrition programs, head start programs, student loan subsidies and veterans educational benefits. Education costs were 4.2% of the total budget. Over 100 other countries spent more than 4.2% of their total budgets on education. We are drifting further and further away from being the best in the world.

The connection between a good education and income is overwhelming. Today's working adults ages 25 to 34 with a bachelor's degree earn $46,900, while those with an associate degree earn $35,700. High school graduates earn $30,000 and the median is $22,900 for those without a high school diploma.

Business leaders recognize that US-based firms cannot compete without an educated populace and a skilled workforce, according to  Harvard Business School. Of the 34 countries that signed the Convention for Economic Corporation and Development, US kids rank twenty-seventh in mathematics, seventeenth in reading and twentieth in understanding science. Our slide to be the greatest nation continues down a slippery slope with these rankings.

How can we reverse this slide? The easy answer is throw more money into education, but that is not the right answer. America is the greatest, most technologically advanced country in the world and we need to put this advantage to work in all schools both rich and poor. All of our schools need to let go of archaic practices and embrace technology to engage students, connect learners with educators and invest in redesigning traditional school models that embrace the Internet and technology. Our own kids are way ahead of us on this. When you see a three year old teaching her grandmother how to use the Internet, you know this new generation is ready for just about any technology our schools can throw their way. Once we wake up and realize that our kids can use modern technology to learn the sciences and math in an engaging, relevant and personalized learning experience, this newest generation will drive us back to being number one in the world. But don't lose sight that technology can only enhance our kids experience because the real keys to strong schools are great teachers and principals who can implement technology creatively and efficiently.

During this election year, we can't count on Congress to help our schools with additional funding in the near future. Our teachers take an average of $513 out of their own pockets for classroom supplies, food for hungry kids in their classroom, instructional materials and books for their students, so we cannot ask for more from these dedicated public servants. So it is up to concerned citizens, parents and business owners to make a difference for our kids. The nonprofit NPower has community corps skill-based volunteering program engaging technology professionals with our schools, so if you are not technologically inclined, you should donate to help them help others. Code.org believes that every student in every school should have the opportunity to learn computer science, so donate to help this cause. And at DollarDays on our Facebook page, we are giving away $5,000 worth of products to help teachers and classrooms enhance the experience of their kids, so please nominate your favorite teacher or school.

One or two business leaders are not going to make a difference in fixing our educational system. It is a country mindset that needs to permeate every school in every city like the attitude found in all the countries now beating us. Our past presidents have set national goals and we, as a country, have risen up to achieve these goals. Think of Roosevelt taking on the Great Depression or Kennedy telling America we will land a man on the moon by the end of the decade. During this upcoming national election, we need a candidate who truly wants to take America back to being the number one educational country in the world. We know that a better educated populace will create new businesses and create higher paying jobs that will lift our entire economy. Every business person I know wants that for their company and for their kids. Read More

Topics: Education

Team Sports are Central to Childhood Development

Posted by Maria Werner on Mar 1, 2016 8:30:00 AM

Team sports are deeply engrained in the culture of Americans, and gathering to watch the football game each week has practically become a tradition. For children, team sports provide an enriching activity that can promote their social, cognitive, and psychological development. Yet, as schools struggle to balance their budgets, extracurricular sports teams are often the first to be cut. Given the tremendous impact sports can have on the developing minds of children, they should remain central to the curriculum of schools, even when finances are tight. 

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Topics: Education

I Quit My Job to Become an Online Reseller: Success Stories from Online Merchants

Posted by Maria Werner on Feb 29, 2016 7:30:00 AM

The 9-to-5 grind is rapidly becoming a thing of the past, as more people abandon the rat race in hopes of working for themselves and controlling their own financial destiny. Online reselling is becoming a popular career, as it enables people to dictate their work hours, while determining their own potential for income. Here are some insider stories of what’s it’s like to be an online reseller.

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Topics: Small Business

A Day in the Life of an Online Reseller: What It’s Like to Be Self-Employed in E-Commerce

Posted by Maria Werner on Feb 23, 2016 7:00:00 AM

Sleeping in, casually sipping coffee on the patio, staying in your pajamas until noon… Everybody longs for the self-employed lifestyle. The opportunity to be your own boss, earn a living from home, and control your financial growth are all appealing aims. But what is it really like to work as on online reseller, and is the job actually sustainable over time? 

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7 Inventory Secrets to Help Small Businesses Thrive

Posted by Maria Werner on Feb 19, 2016 8:00:00 AM

Perhaps the greatest challenge in operating a small business is managing overhead and investment expenses. To keep your profit margin high, you need to maintain lower overhead costs and keep inventory spending to a minimum. You also need to purchase the right quantities of inventory, so as to never over or understock your shelves. Here are the top secrets to inventory management that will help your small business thrive.

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Topics: Small Business

The Corner Drugstore: A Thing of the Past or a Retail Goldmine?

Posted by Maria Werner on Feb 16, 2016 1:39:44 PM

With so many chain pharmacies sweeping the nation, the corner drugstore is thought to be a dating artifact. In fact, the number of independent drugstores has been cut in half over the course of the last 30 years. Yet, despite the decrease in independent drugstores, they still outnumber major chains. As chain pharmacies continue to gain ground, will independent pharmacies be able to prosper? Well, there’s good news and bad news.

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Topics: Small Business

7 Ways to Prepare Your Small Business for Valentine’s Day

Posted by Maria Werner on Feb 5, 2016 2:35:44 PM

Valentine’s Day is the second highest spending holiday of the year, falling just after Christmas, with the U.S. netting nearly $19 billion in sales each year. Businesses large and small can benefit from this spending trend, provided you prepare your store for the love-struck shoppers in advance. Here are some ideas to help organize your store for Valentine’s Day.

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Topics: Small Business

Combine Playtime and Education with These Valentine’s Day Classroom Ideas

Posted by Maria Werner on Feb 5, 2016 1:54:11 PM

Valentine’s Day is an exciting day for children, and it provides them with an opportunity to strengthen friendships and improve their social connectedness. It also offers the ideal occasion for kids to unleash their creativity by crafting a variety of cards and gifts. Here are some Valentine’s Day ideas for the classroom that incorporate learning with craft time and play.

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Topics: Education

America Does Not Have Enough Volunteers

Posted by Marc Joseph on Feb 1, 2016 1:38:01 PM

Unlike the 141 billionaires who have pledged to give away at least half of their wealth to charity through the "Giving Pledge," an effort started by philanthropists Warren Buffet and Bill and Melinda Gates, most of us don't have the big extra dollars to help out our favorite charities. So the vast majority of Americans need to help by volunteering their services instead.

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Topics: Nonprofits

January Facebook $5,000 Merchandise Giveaway Winners!

Posted by Jackie Eldridge on Feb 1, 2016 5:00:00 AM

We are so excited to announce the winners of our January $5,000 Facebook merchandise giveaway winners! 

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You may just think we are the premier online wholesaler, but we do so much more than delivering small business, nonprofits and consumers the best possible margins on over 300,000 wholesale products.

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