ClassDojo Brings Beyond School To Its App Features

ClassDojo founders Sam Chaudhary, Liam Don and their team of developers have announced the much anticipated premium content they’ve talked about before is now here. Thanks to a recent $35 million round of venture funding, they will now add Beyond School as an extra purchase feature to their main app. What this will do is add some learning tools for students to use under the guidance of their parents while they’re outside the class and tackle homework assignments. Teachers had been requesting a few extra options like this to cover learning areas that they weren’t quite able to address with students on their time. The latest funding for the Beyond School features now puts ClassDojo at a valuation somewhere near $400 million.

Chaudhary and Don started this app because they believed so much more could be done to improve education in much the same way other apps from Silicon Valley were disrupting major economic sectors. They didn’t know exactly what they should do to make an effective app for teachers, so they visited a convention to get ideas directly from the teachers themselves. Initially what they came up with was a behavior points award system for encouraging good behavior from students, but they started building onto that and in a few years had practically their own classroom Facebook platform. But unlike the issues facing social media companies regarding data privacy and selling it off to advertisers, ClassDojo doesn’t do any of that and they’ve introduced enhanced security protocols to prevent personally identifiable information on students from being compromised. Beyond just being an app of learning assistance and behavior rewarding, ClassDojo has enabled parents and teachers to be in constant communication and even forego parent-teacher meetings.

ClassDojo has remained free and been able to improve its experience because Chaudhary and Don elected not to spend any capital on advertising. To them, as long as people are talking about the app there’s no need to put intrusive ads in it or spend exorbitant amounts of money on TV commercials. There’s also been no immediate pressure from investors to monetize the app, though they are pleased with the new Beyond School addition.

NPRs Article About Rocketship Education Lambasted By Supporters

NPR published an article about Rocketship Education, which many have criticized as unbalanced and loaded with inaccuracies. According to critics, the article did not even present the claim in a fair context. It also failed to completely define what Rocketship Education is all about. Rather, it discussed the challenges that the charter school organization is facing. These challenges are prevalent among many schools including public schools.

The NPR article talked about issues like strict discipline, the intense pressure to succeed academically, the customary and ceremonial classroom practices, and even the long hours spent by students at school. Unfortunately, these are general issues that all schools struggle with and not just Rocketship Education. These issues the writer sighted in the article are also the same issues that drive the students to extremely high test results. Despite these issues, parents remained loyal to the charter school that their children are enrolled.

Another issue that many critics pointed out about the article is the repeated and almost deliberate reference of Rocketship Education as a company. The term company also connotes a business gunning for profit and not non-profit organizations. According to critics, the article failed to mention that nonprofit organizations support for-profit businesses like availing services or purchasing products.

On her Twitter account, the author justified her work by claiming that she used the term company to refer to Rocketship Education to avoid using repetitive words. However, nowhere in her article was Rocketship Education referred to as a non-profit organization. Critics noted that the entire article repeated the term Rocketship 68 times, Rocketship schools 8x, and company 4 times.

About Rocketship Education

Rocketship Education was one of the pioneering charter school systems to heavily utilize various forms of technology in classrooms. Several years ago, the charter school organization realized that they also need to step back a little and have the schools led by teachers. The charter school was founded in 2006 by John Danner and Preston Smith. The organization received various donations from notable people and institutions. It includes a $2 million donation from Netflix’s chief executive officer Reed Hastings. The previous Obama administration also invested $2 million. The Education Department awarded a $250 million grant to Rocketship Education. The charter school changed its name in 2017 and is now called Rocketship Public Schools.

Connect with Rocketship Education here

Dick Devos Makes a Political Name for Himself

Dick DeVos is one of the top men in aviation business these days. The son of Rich DeVos, the Amway co-founder, has been making a name for himself politically. He started out in Michigan. His work with Grand Rapids and the nearby airport has made him famous in the aviation business world. The airport that used to have very little traffic throughout the 1990s now sees over 3.26 million passengers per year.


Since the 1990s, DeVos has been working with businesses in Grand Rapids. He wanted to bring economy back to his town after a slump that lasted from the 1980s until 2000. It was around this time that many projects started to come together in downtown Grand Rapids. This was mostly thanks to Grand Action, a committee formed by DeVos and other business leaders in the area.


Now Grand Rapids is a bustling metropolis with several new buildings downtown, like the DeVos Place Convention Center, DeVos Performance Hall, and Andel Arena. There have been a variety of new developments at the airport as well.


In 1999, the nearby airport changed its name to Gerald R. Ford International Airport and began taking more international flights. The idea was that more people would use the small airport for these smaller, yet longer flights. However, the plan wasn’t working. Many people wanted other destinations that weren’t being added to the flight list.


DeVos jumped in and talked to the CEO of AirTran Airways. The airline owned many terminals at the small airport, and DeVos asked if the airline would open up new flights to more popular destinations, such as Orlando, Vegas, St. Louis, and Denver. These locations had another significance. Business travelers were more likely to travel to these spots due to conferences and conventions.


With the new flights added, the traffic at the airport took off. Now there were new flights to Orlando and Vegas, which allowed people to travel from nearby neighborhoods as well as bring in business travelers looking to connect.


It wasn’t before too long that DeVos converted these business travelers to using the DeVos Place Convention Center as their next business stop.


Now the airport is completing the second phase of the Gateway Transformation Project, which will add more curbside services to the airport’s facilities. DeVos has been working with the FAA as part of the new Management Advisory Council as well.


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The GCPS Foundation Appreciative Role For Aaron Lupuloff


Long term experience in any particular field of work often forges true mastery of that field in people. The same applies to Aaron Lupuloff who has been managing several organizations most of his career. On October 2015, the Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) Foundation created a new position meant for Aaron in the purpose of assisting the company build capital and manage funds.


The GCPS Foundation is a non-profit organization established for the sole purpose of financially supporting and strengthening education in the Gwinnett County Public Schools. Aaron Lupuloff is a Norcross resident who is known for his experiences from forming the Norcross High School Foundation. At the Norcross High School Foundation, Aaron served as the treasurer, vice president, and president. He also was among the members who formed the GCPS Foundation.


GCPS Foundation President David Seago talked of the pleasure they had for getting the new member on board. According to David, Aaron Lupuloff’s devotion to his community through his philanthropic works, his involvement in public education, and his expertise in the management of corporations make him well adapted for this position. Apart from assisting in the management of non-profit organizations, Lupuloff for the last two decades has been involved with several financial service firms.


He served as the senior managing director for Bear Stearns and JP Morgan. At Raymond James, Aaron Lupuloff was the managing director, and later held a managing position at the Fifth Third Street Bank Securities. He was also a past member of the Board of the Georgia Tech Parents Advisory as well as founder. See This Page for additional information.


Aaron Lupuloff’s is a graduate of the University of Alabama with a degree in business administration. After education, Lupuloff pursued several financial service industries since 1982. Along with his wife Jan, Aaron supports the Camp Twin Lakes, Partners Against Domestic Violence and the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation. The two partners were instated in the NHS Foundation Hall of Fame in 2011.


Aaron and Jan have four children, two NHS graduates in 2007 and the other in 2009 and third who by 2015 was a senior at high school. GCPS hopes to give Aaron Lupuloff the best time while serving for the organization.



Betsy DeVos Champions School Choice

Betsy DeVos currently serves as the U.S. Secretary of Education. One of the reasons she was appointed to this prestigious position is that she has dedicated most of her career to fighting for widespread educational reforms. She has been particularly active in the area of school choice for all children and has consistently championed this reform mechanism as a way to ensure that all children have the opportunity to achieve as much as possible through education regardless of their zip code.


DeVos and her husband are about as involved as anyone can be in the issue of school choice. They founded a charter aviation school in their home state of Michigan. They both view charter schools as a valid option in the area of school choice. In addition, school vouchers, homeschooling and private education are all options that DeVos thinks should be available to all children in the U.S. She formerly worked as the chairman of the American Federation for Children to raise awareness of the benefit of school choice for all.


Her devotion to public education reforms started after her personal experience in sending her children to private school. DeVos noticed that many other families struggled and saved to be able to send their kids to the best school around. School tuition caused a serious financial hardship for many families. The DeVos family started a foundation to raise funds for students to attend private schools on scholarship. Her husband served on the Michigan State Board of Education. While all of these efforts were certainly meaningful, DeVos realized that she needed to expand her reach in order to make school choice a reality for the rest of the country.


One of the reasons why school choice has become such a hot button issue is that many parents are witnessing the failings of the public education system firsthand. They cannot confidently say that their children will receive a quality education if they are forced to attend the public school that is slated for their zip code. DeVos has spent more than 30 years meeting with educational experts who have pleaded for higher standards in the public school system. She believes that school choice is one of the best way to almost instantly raise those standards because schools will be in a position to demonstrate excellence in teaching so that they can retain the most desirable students and continue to receive government funding. This type of competition in the public education system will help dispense with mediocrity and keep school administrators and teachers consistently striving for excellence.


The quality that has allowed DeVos to persevere through years of tough battles on her school choice initiatives is her innovative thinking. She constantly looks for new solutions to serious problems and is inclusive in her approach to solving them. DeVos realizes that she needs to build bridges with other politicians and activists who might not initially view school choice as a positive development and is more than willing to engage them civilly to do so.


For updates, follow Betsy DeVos on Facebook.