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Improving Acadenic Performance in American Schools – Without Sports

Sports have been integral to American education for more than a century, with many believing that athletics supplement or even enhance academics. In recent years, budgetary considerations and other factors have forced many public schools in the United States to curtail their sporting activities, but this may actually be a good thing for academia.

It was a financial crisis that led to the elimination of the athletic program at Premont High School in Texas. This marked a dramatic reversal from the trend in establishing team sports in U.S. schools, a tradition that itself came out of concern that American-born students could not stand up physically to the immigrants who were at the time flooding into the country. More about the history of team sports in the American educational system is available at

In other countries, athletics had already taken a back seat to academic studies. Although many European children play sports at clubs, their activities are removed from their daily schooling. Many children in South Korea play soccer, but their teams meet at lunchtime and are not financially supported by their schools. Many American schools, in contrast, have invested heavily in their sporting programs, but the country has paid the price in other ways. Students in South Korea rank fourth in terms of math scores, or 27 positions ahead of American students.

Some believe that, in addition to providing physical exercise, sports help students in their academic and personal lives. However, this theory was not supported by what took place at Premont High School. The school superintendent noted that the year after the abolition of sports was the most “peaceful” he had ever experienced. Without the distraction of sports, the emphasis was on academic planning and achievement. At the end of the first semester without sports, some 80 percent of the students passed their classes, an increase of 30 percent over the previous year. According to the school’s principal, misbehavior on the part of the students was also down and parent interest greatly up.

Premont has been able to resume some athletic activities that are less expensive, such as basketball and soccer, but its football team never came back. However, one of the team’s cheerleaders was still able to serve her school, this time as class valedictorian.

Are United States High Schools To Easy?

Many people believe that high school students in the United States have it too easy. Interestingly, the United States high school students do not believe that their work is too easy. It is the students who come from other countries. Foreign students report spending less time studying and doing homework.


There has been a push over the past several years to make the United States education curriculum more difficult so that students could compete with people in other countries. Tom Loveless works for the Brown Center on Education Policy. He has stated that great strides have made in order to make the educational curriculum more difficult. However, there is always one group who does not believe that the curriculum is challenging enough.


There was a study done that involved 259 students from various countries. They were asked questions about their educational experience in the United States. Forty-four percent of students stated that they spent much less time on homework than they did when they were in their home country. Sixty-six percent of the students stated that the work is much easier.


The students also felt that the United States places more focus on sports than education. Sixty-four percent of students stated that they felt that sports were much more important than education in America. The kids also believe that people are rewarded more for doing well in sports than they are for doing well in the classroom.


Jack Buckley is the senior president of research and evaluation at the American Institutes for Research. He has criticized the results of the study. He stated that high schools in America are different than high schools in other countries. He also stated that many foreign students come from wealthy families and had the opportunity to go to better schools.


Abdalla Fadhilli Abdalla is a 16-year-old foreign student. He stated that the homework in the United States is less demanding. He also stated that he spends less time on homework. However, he likes the fact that he can enjoy both studies and sports in America.


Equities First Holdings Gives an Alternative to Bank Loans

Individuals and businesses seek credit facilities to expand or start their businesses. Some borrowers need to raise capital quickly; therefore, they seek quick loans. However, banks and other lending institutions have tightened lending criteria. That explains why Equities First has realized more traction margin loans as well as stock-based loans. Equities lending is becoming an alternative in the current economic climate where banks and credit institutes have made their lending policies tight.

Banks have increased interest rates, cut the lending options available to borrowers, and tightened loan qualifications. Al Christy, Jr. is the founder and chief executive officer of Equities First Holdings. According to Christy, loans collateralized by stocks have helped borrowers to seek working capital, and they are an innovative alternative to borrowers. Stock-based loans have fixed interest rates and a higher loan-to-value ratio as compared to margin loans. The features make it easier for borrowers to have certainty throughout the life of the transaction.

Christy noted that stock-based loans offer a hedge unlike a typical two-year loan term since market fluctuations are unavoidable. Stock-based borrowers lower their investment risk in a downside market. Christy noted that the best part about stock-based loans is that they have a non-recourse attribute that enables borrowers to walk away from a stock anytime they feel that the stock’s value is depreciating. The borrower can still keep the initial loan proceeds without further obligation to the lender.

The specialties of Equities First

Equities First Holdings (EFH) was established in 2002. The firm is based in Indianapolis, Indiana and it has a satellite office in New York City. It specializes in securities based lending for individuals and businesses. Equities First Holdings offers loans based on the evaluation of the risk and the future performance related to the treasuries, stocks, and bonds.Borrowers who require capital quickly would benefit most working with this firm since it is a leading securities firm all over the world. High-net-worth people can also access loans from EFH. If you want to expand your business or pay an expensive debt, then you can benefit from working with EFH.

Jacob Lief Makes Good Things Happen Through Ubuntu


Sometimes, what looks good on paper or makes sense form the outside financial point of view really does not make that much of a difference in the way of improving people’s lives. This is especially true when it comes to how monetary donations improve the services offered at charitable organizations. The founder and CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of the Ubuntu Education Fund, Jacob Lief, knows this for a fact from first-hand experience. In fact, he finds himself turning down donations, from time to time, with the reason being that they come attached to restrictions. Surprisingly enough, the organization he heads actually does more good with slightly less money than they did before. The difference is that in rejecting the restrictions attached to the money his hands are now untied.

Even though Jacob Lief’s particular story has a happy ending, the struggles between NPOs (Non-Profit Organizations) and their donors is still a long-standing reality. Like anyone who bankrolls a project, donors what to know that the funds they give are being used appropriately. And like anyone who spends there professional hours and days helping people, organization workers know that people do not always fall into perfect little boxes or categories. At times, these different world views can generate a conflict of interests. Even though everyone involved, from the donor to the client, just wants to the help to flow.

However, there is a middle ground where all parties can meet, be understood and do the most that is available to them. And to see this a happen, there are consultants who function as mediators between donors and organizations. Businesses like Wingo NYC bring those individuals with the cash and concern to give together with other organizations with the helping hands to get things done. In Jacob Lief’s world, these businesses are a live line and stress saver for sure.

There is not always a match between establishments and financial backers, and that is not a problem. It is actually better to build solid and strong relationships through up-front expectations. That way the operations of an organization receiving donations do not suffer down the line from conflicting egos or misunderstandings. At times, it comes down to heads of organizations, like Jacob Lief, simply saying, “No, thank you. We appreciate your offer, but it is not what we need right now.” Fortunately, this up-front deal making is becoming more prevalent in the industry of NPOs and is showing better results that traditional methods of doing business.


Inside The Ubuntu Model

To understand the Ubuntu Model one has to understand Ubuntu itself. For those who are not familiar, The Ubuntu Fund is a nonprofit organization based out of South Africa’s Port elizabeth Township. The group’s primary aim is to help the South African township of Port Elizabeth lift itself up out of the sorry poverty which has, in recent years, devastated the region. The group was founded by Jacob Lief who, with the help of the philanthropic group’s strategic leader, notable businessman, Andrew Rolfe (the current day chairman), who originally employed a plan very similar to most other charity organizations the world over. Seek out the wealthiest donors possible and satiate their whims until they give the go ahead to use their money in the fashion the Ubuntu Fund had originally envisioned. The problem, Mr. Lief quickly discovered, was that the wealthy donors who were brought into the fold would often make so many demands and place so many impositions upon the utilization of their funds that they might as well have not given anything at all. Effectively, many of these early donors were not actually making donations, but where rather purchasing services such as PR, promotion and attempted societal favors rather than actually just giving to the poor.

This problem was circumnavigated by the Ubuntu Model which, instead of seeking out the wealthiest individuals and families, looked to exclusively recruit only those donors who did not seek to impose restrictions upon the usage of their money. Once this new strategy was employed the effect of Ubuntu on the African community was doubled, perhaps even tripled.

From their the charity group moved in a four part campaign, firstly they built up the infrastructure needed for a sustainable and healthy community, second they would seek out community leaders for feedback on their work, next they would focus on heavily investing into the newly built up infrastructure and lastly, Ubuntu worked to employer local citizens of Port Elizabeth to find and maintain successful careers. The Ubuntu Model is just one more way of bettering the world through a commitment to values rather than “image.”


Mike Heiligenstein’s Views Regarding The Traffic Congestion Experienced In Austin

In the viewpoints editorial issue on September 3rd, the American-Statesman discussed the traffic challenges experienced in Austin area. The American-Statesman mentioned that the transportation problem can only be solved by technology. He reiterated on the need to encourage people to walk and cycle. The Statesman outlined that multiple stopovers by drivers and minor breakdowns as the contributing factor to congestion in the region. Responding to these claims, Mike Heiligenstein of the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority (CTRMA) agreed on the need for using technology to solve the traffic menace. CTRMA seeks to provide the populace of Austin area with mobility solutions to their transportation challenge.

The agency partners with the Texas Department of Transportation and other organizations in delivering their mobility solutions. CTRMA is credited for developing notable projects such as the 183A Toll Road in Cedar Park and Leander, and the US 290 toll road connecting Austin and Manor, whose capacity is three times of the previous road. The mobility agency is also constructing the 183 South project between US 290 and the airport which will be embedded with fiber lines. To allow commuters to walk and pedal, they build roads having shared use paths, which include routes that connect with the existing trails such as the 183A in Williamson County.

Riding on their mission to innovate, CTRMA is constructing the new Mopac Express Lanes that will include variable tolling that use advanced technology to manage the flow of traffic. The variable tolling rates will ensure that vehicles on the Express Lane are constantly moving during rush hour, even when other lanes are stuck. The project will enable commuters to get to their various destinations on time. CTRMA have partnered with Metropia to develop an app that is integrated with their traffic monitoring system to ensure that motorists receive real-time alternative routes options. This information was originally reported on My Statesman as provided in the following link

About Mike Heiligenstein

Since 2003, Mike Heiligenstein has been working as the executive director for CTRMA. He has led the multi-modal transportation agency from scratch to become a nationally recognized mobility authority. With over 30 years of experience in public office, Mike has served as an active member of the Round Rock City Council and a County Commissioner of Williamson. In addition, the executive served on the Austin-San Antonio Corridor Council and the Envision Central Texas project. The visionary leader sits on the boards of the Texas Transportation Institute. He is also the president of the celebrated International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association. Mike has spoken on transportation infrastructure in different platforms in Texas and beyond.

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Tammy Mazzocco Has Definite Ideas About Selling Real Estate

Tammy Mazzocco is a professional real estate agent in Central Ohio, specializing in residential properties. Her career has been a profitable and fulfilling one and she enjoys her work. Her highpoint is helping families find the home that will fit their budget and lifestyle the best and sometimes that can take lots of effort.

People are in a somewhat fragile state when they buy a house, as for most of them, this is the largest financial transaction they will every make. Tammy makes every attempt to make it as easy as possible for new home-buyers by really focusing on their needs at the time. She makes it a point to treat them the same way she would like to be treated herself, particularly when it comes to their time and investment.

Tammy is a goal-setter because and she says that is a great way to get on course and stay there. She sets objectives on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis, breaking the goal down into smaller, more manageable steps. They are easier to achieve that way.

Tammy gets to work early to get office duties and paperwork out of the way. Then she can get on the telephone and start scheduling appointments with prospective buyers to show them homes. Most of her new business comes from referrals and repeat business, but she also really likes the leads that come from some of the online services on Google such as Zillow and These are mostly people who are interested in looking at home right away so she follows up on these leads as soon as possible.

She makes it a point to become well-known in the community as well. She makes up gift baskets with a jar of cookies and information and sets them in local teacher’s lounges, firehouses, and police stations. Then she returns periodically to refill them.

For more info, check out her Facebook page.

View her agent profile here:

Anthony Toma discusses the success of Nine9 The UnAgency

Anthony Toma runs a revolutionary talent services company called Nine9 The UnAgency. As CEO and founder, Toma is representing actors and models in a whole new way. His past experiences and connections in the entertainment industry, combined with his entrepreneurial ideas, Toma is ready to continue his successes with Nine9.

Nine9 The UnAgency treats their talent with respect and kindness, allowing them to create strong relationships and encourage success. Nine9 uses the latest technology to ensure that their talent can be found. As a searchable database of all talent gives access to their industry contacts. The energized staff at Nine9 works hard to ensure that clients and talent create strong relationships, and opportunities include television, film, runway, print, gigs, etc.

In a recent interview with IdeaMensch, Anthony Toma discussed his personal experiences and how they affect the success of Nine9 Talent Agency. As an entrepreneur, he begins each day with getting his children ready and taking them to school. Then at work, he finds several ways to boost his productivity. He utilizes the strength of his team by discussing new ideas and trying to think of ways that ideas may fail; as a result, they can prepare for possible downfalls and avoid potential problems. He credits his ability to listen and consider others concerns as the reason he is a successful entrepreneur. See Photos Here .

Toma discussed how important it is to fail, if you want to eventually be successful. Failures are learning experiences. They teach us how to be successful. He emphasizes that failing at something does not mean you are a failure. In fact, it proves that you are reaching and trying new things. Toma felt that his previous experience with a franchise was a failure, but he was able to take that experience and use his newfound knowledge to create the successful business, Nine9. for more.

Kabbalah Centre Bringing Positive Change to the World

Kabbalah centre is a non-profit making organization, founded in 1922 by Rav Yehuda Ashlag. Kabbalah centre has a great impact and has spread worldwide having branches in 40 cities. Furthermore, Kabbalah centre has an online web where they teach interested students. Kabbalah centre makes their student’s life better through their teachers by developing courses, online lectures, classes, books, and audio products.

Kabbalah centre teaches kabbalistic principles and spiritual education, which are understandable and available to interested persons through their freely spread media and schools. Being the first moral school, Kabbalah centre has brought a positive impact to the world in everyday life activities. Kabbalah centre preaches peace and spreads good morals in communities. It has been a credited organization for spiritual education; this has become Kabbalah centre pride throughout the past decade.

Kabbalah has a significant meaning all over the world. It means activation of everybody’s potential. Kabbalah centre, having its free media and education materials, extends its greatness by offering scholarships to people interested in their studies, but life limits them from getting it. Kabbalah centre has created an adorable profile in all its branches. In the provision of advice, Kabbalah centre spreads the gospel of peace and building a great relation between different countries and communities.

The kabbalistic principles, one of the Kabbalah’s centre topics, teach the community about the existence of spiritual laws. In this law, people learn of being kind and obedient to the fruits of holiness. Everybody is equal and has a purpose of living. Kabbalah teaches the principle of fairness and value of our neighbors and that everyone is of great help in our lives. Kabbalah beliefs condemn selfness and encourage sharing, being kind, and respecting others as core values to humanity. Kabbalah teaches that giving and sharing what we owe gives us a reputation of receiving from others.

Kabbalah centre teaches the value of life and humility. Kabbalah educates the community about leaving their comfort zone and work for life and daily bread. Kabbalah Centre encourages the learners and the informed to spread the awareness of treating everyone with integrity and creating miracles to misfortune lives.


Beauty is the Beast


Ok, so maybe you are a writer and you are looking for the perfect female villain name instead of basic bitch names, bad ass female warrior name, or possible you just want a cool name for your new baby girl. Here are some great options from slightly bitchy to all out evil, these are not your typical “girl next door” kind of women.


  1. Breanne- brave and strong.
  2. Jacintha- a beauty and she knows it.
  3. Abhaya- “fearless.”
  4. Dhara- “constant flow” needs to have the last word.
  5. Mara- “bitter”, no pleasing this one.
  6. Aiden- means “small and fiery.”
  7. Iri- “firelight.”
  8. Harley- biker babe, loud and proud.
  9. Devon-hot babe that likes to run with the boys.
  10. Angelina- looks like an angel, acts like the devil.
  11. Bambi- Disney deer, or playboy pin up.
  12. Ruby- hard as stone, yet beautiful as a rose.
  13. Scarlet- Rubies sexy cousin.
  14. Raven- dark haired temptress, think Poe’s poem “The Raven.”
  15. Breandan- “little raven.”
  16. Luna- “moon” all those moods!
  17. Chayse- “huntress.”
  18. Richelle- “powerful ruler.”
  19. Marcella- “warring.”
  20. Andria- “ruler of men.”
  21. Hayley- think comet- comes in blazing.
  22. Serafine- “burning fire.”
  23. Leila- Arabic for “night.”
  24. Adreanna- “dark.”
  25. Daeva- “evil spirit.”
  26. Melantha- “dark violet.”
  27. Morissa- “dark one.”
  28. Blair- think Blair witch, Linda Blair (The Exorcist), Ivy League villain.
  29. Mara- female wraith that causes nightmares.