Operation strategy for a gourmet food Company.



The operation strategy of this particular gourmet food Company aims to make an action plan to reach the goal.  It is a part of the Business plan of this company. This strategy is about making a complete plan on how to use the resources to produce and deliver the gourmet food to the customers. The operation strategy of this company fully supports the overall business strategy by determining where the company is and where it want to be. The operation strategy of this company establishes the budget and a list of activities for each year. However, this strategy of this company contains the factors as below:

  • The operation strategy of this gourmet food Company is directly related to implement business objective.
  • It makes a list of the activities that need to be done to achieve the business goal.
  • Operation strategy measures the quality of the standard of the products.
  • Operation strategy measures the desired outcome.
  • Operation strategy help make a plan regarding the staffing and other resources.
  • The operation strategy sets a timetable and show how the process will be implemented.
  • Overall, operation strategy gourmet Food Company monitors the progress.


Figure: Operation Strategy of a gourmet food Company


College Is Dead. Long Live College! 


Can a new breed of online megacourses finally offer a college education to more people for less money?


On Sept. 17, the Pakistani government shut down access to YouTube. The purported reason was to block the anti-Muslim film trailer that was inciting protests around the world.

One little-noticed consequence of this decision was that 215 people in Pakistan suddenly lost their seats in a massive, open online physics course. The free college-level class, created by a Silicon Valley start-up called Udacity, included hundreds of short YouTube videos embedded on its website. Some 23,000 students worldwide had enrolled, including Khadijah Niazi, a pigtailed 11-year-old in Lahore. She was on question six of the final exam when she encountered a curt message saying “this site is unavailable.”

Niazi was devastated. She’d worked hard to master this physics class before her 12th birthday, just one week away. Now what? Niazi posted a lament on the class discussion board: “I am very angry, but I will not quit.”

In every country, education changes so slowly that it can be hard to detect progress. But what happened next was truly different. Within an hour, Maziar Kosarifar, a young man taking the class in Malaysia, began posting detailed descriptions for Niazi of the test questions in each video. Rosa Brigída, a novice physics professor taking the class from Portugal, tried to create a workaround so Niazi could bypass YouTube; it didn’t work. From England, William, 12, promised to help and warned Niazi not to write anything too negative about her government online.

None of these students had met one another in person. The class directory included people from 125 countries. But after weeks in the class, helping one another with Newton’s laws, friction and simple harmonic motion, they’d started to feel as if they shared the same carrel in the library. Together, they’d found a passageway into a rigorous, free, college-level class, and they weren’t about to let anyone lock it up.

By late that night, the Portuguese professor had successfully downloaded all the videos and then uploaded them to an uncensored photo-sharing site. It took her four hours, but it worked. The next day, Niazi passed the final exam with the highest distinction. “Yayyyyyyy,” she wrote in a new post. (Actually, she used 43 y’s, but you get the idea.) She was the youngest girl ever to complete Udacity’s Physics 100 class, a challenging course for the average college freshman.

That same day, Niazi signed up for Computer Science 101 along with her twin brother Muhammad. In England, William began downloading the videos for them.

High-End Learning on the Cheap

The hype about online learning is older than Niazi. In the late 1990s, Cisco CEO John Chambers predicted that “education over the Internet is going to be so big, it is going to make e-mail usage look like a rounding error.” There was just one problem: online classes were not, generally speaking, very good. To this day, most are dry, uninspired affairs, consisting of a patchwork of online readings, written Q&As and low-budget lecture videos. Many students nevertheless pay hundreds of dollars for these classes–3 in 10 college students report taking at least one online course, up from 1 in 10 in 2003–but afterward, most are no better off than they would have been at their local community college.

Now, several forces have aligned to revive the hope that the Internet (or rather, humans using the Internet from Lahore to Palo Alto, Calif.) may finally disrupt higher education–not by simply replacing the distribution method but by reinventing the actual product. New technology, from cloud computing to social media, has dramatically lowered the costs and increased the odds of creating a decent online education platform. In the past year alone, start-ups like Udacity, Coursera and edX–each with an elite-university imprimatur–have put 219 college-level courses online, free of charge. Many traditional colleges are offering classes and even entire degree programs online. Demand for new skills has reached an all-time high. People on every continent have realized that to thrive in the modern economy, they need to be able to think, reason, code and calculate at higher levels than before.

At the same time, the country that led the world in higher education is now leading its youngest generation into a deep hole. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Americans owe some $914 billion in student loans; other estimates say the total tops $1 trillion. That’s more than the nation’s entire credit-card debt. On average, a college degree still pays for itself (and then some) over the course of a career. But about 40% of students at four-year colleges do not manage to get that degree within six years. Regardless, student loans have to be repaid; unlike other kinds of debt, they generally cannot be shed in bankruptcy. The government can withhold tax refunds and garnish paychecks until it gets its money back–stifling young people’s options and their spending power.

For all that debt, Americans are increasingly unsure about what they are getting. Three semesters of college education have a “barely noticeable” impact on critical thinking, complex reasoning and writing skills, according to research published in the 2011 book Academically Adrift. In a new poll sponsored by TIME and the Carnegie Corporation of New York, 80% of the 1,000 U.S. adults surveyed said that at many colleges, the education students receive is not worth what they pay for it. And 41% of the 540 college presidents and senior administrators surveyed agreed with them.

Arriving at this perilous intersection of high demand, uneven supply and absurd prices are massive open online courses (endowed with the unfortunate acronym MOOCs), which became respectable this year thanks to investments from big-name brands like Harvard, Stanford and MIT. Venture capitalists have taken a keen interest too, and the business model is hard to resist: the physics class Niazi was taking cost only about $2 per student to produce.

Already, the hyperventilating has outpaced reality; desperate parents are praying that free online universities will finally pop the tuition bubble–and nervous college officials don’t want to miss out on a potential gold rush. The signs of change are everywhere, and so are the signs of panic. This spring, Harvard and MIT put $60 million into a nonprofit MOOC (rhymes with duke) venture called edX. A month later, the president of the University of Virginia abruptly stepped down–and was then quickly reinstated–after an anxious board member read about other universities’ MOOCs in the Wall Street Journal.

One way or another, it seems likely that more people will eventually learn more for less money. Finally. The next question might be, Which people?

How the Brain Learns

This fall, to glimpse the future of higher education, I visited classes in brick-and-mortar colleges and enrolled in half a dozen MOOCs. I dropped most of the latter because they were not very good. Or rather, they would have been fine in person, nestled in a 19th century hall at Princeton University, but online, they could not compete with the other distractions on my computer.

I stuck with the one class that held my attention, the physics class offered by Udacity. I don’t particularly like physics, which is why I’d managed to avoid studying it for the previous 38 years. What surprised me was the way the class was taught. It was designed according to how the brain actually learns. In other words, it had almost nothing in common with most classes I’d taken before.

Minute 1: Physics 100 began with a whirling video montage of Italy, slow-motion fountains and boys playing soccer on the beach. It felt a little odd, like Rick Steves’ Physics, but it was a huge improvement over many other online classes I sampled, which started with a poorly lit professor staring creepily into a camera.

When the Udacity professor appeared, he looked as if he were about 12; in fact, he was all of 25. “I’m Andy Brown, the instructor for this course, and here we are, on location in Siracusa, Italy!” He had a crew cut and an undergraduate degree from MIT; he did not have a Ph.D. or tenure, which would turn out to be to his advantage.

“This course is really designed for anyone … In Unit 1, we’re going to begin with a question that fascinated the Greeks: How big is our planet?” To answer this question, Brown had gone to the birthplace of Archimedes, a mathematician who had tried to answer the same question over 2,000 years ago.

Minute 4: Professor Brown asked me a question. “What did the Greeks know?” The video stopped, patiently waiting for me to choose one of the answers, a task that actually required some thought. This happened every three minutes or so, making it difficult for me to check my e-mail or otherwise disengage–even for a minute.

“You got it right!” The satisfaction of correctly answering these questions was surprising. (One MOOC student I met called it “gold-star methadone.”) The questions weren’t easy, either. I got many of them wrong, but I was allowed to keep trying until I got the gold-star fix.

Humans like immediate feedback, which is one reason we like games. Researchers know a lot about how the brain learns, and it’s shocking how rarely that knowledge influences our education system. Studies of physics classes in particular have shown that after completing a traditional class, students can recite Newton’s laws and maybe even do some calculations, but they cannot apply the laws to problems they haven’t seen before. They’ve memorized the information, but they haven’t learned it–much to their teachers’ surprise.

In a study published in the journal Science in 2011, a group of researchers conducted an experiment on a large undergraduate physics class at the University of British Columbia. For a week, one section of the class received its normal lecture from a veteran, highly rated professor; another section was taught by inexperienced graduate students using strategies developed from research into human cognition. Those strategies mirrored those in Udacity’s class. The students worked in small groups to solve problems with occasional guidance from the instructor. They got frequent feedback. In the experimental group with novice instructors, attendance increased 20% and students did twice as well on an end-of-week test.

Minute 8: Professor Brown explained that Plato had also tried (and failed) to estimate the earth’s circumference. Brown did this by jotting notes on a simple white screen. Like all the other videos in the course, this clip lasted only a few minutes. This too reflects how the brain learns. Studies of college students have shown that they can focus for only 10 to 18 minutes before their minds begin to drift; that’s when their brains need to do something with new information–make a connection or use it to solve a problem.

At this point in the Udacity class, three video clips into the experience, about 15,000 students were still paying attention, according to the company’s metrics. But that’s actually high for a MOOC. (Since it requires little effort and no cost to enroll, lots of people dip in and out of these classes out of curiosity. Only 1 in 10 of those enrolled in a Udacity class typically makes it all the way to a course’s last video.) Like most other online classes, it was asynchronous, so I could rewind or leave and come back whenever I wanted. This also accords with how the brain works: humans like autonomy. If they learn best late at night, they like to learn at night, on their own terms.

Minute 57: After 47 fast-paced videos spliced with pop quizzes, I did actually know how big the earth was. Brown had reviewed geometry and trigonometry with examples from actual life. And when it came time to put it all together, I got to see him measure a shadow that formed a right triangle, setting up a mathematical proportion to calculate the circumference of the earth, just like an ancient mathematician.

“Congratulations!” he said. “This is really incredible, what you can do now.” Then he asked the class to send in videos of themselves measuring shadows. I was skeptical. Would people actually do this?

Yes, they would. The first video was from a young woman in Tampere, Finland–a drummer who wanted to change her career. There she was, with yellow dreadlocks, measuring a shadow in a parking lot. Another woman submitted photos of herself completing the experiment in Texas, plus a poem. A poem! “We solve for C, and long at last/ stalk a route into our own past.”

The Finn cheered. “Super artistic!” Brown showed the poem around the Udacity office. One student did the experiment at 0 degrees latitude in Ecuador. Many more people posted questions; within minutes, they got detailed, helpful answers from other students. It was as if a whole pop-up learning community had materialized overnight, and it was strangely alive.

Turning Down Professors

When he was a tenured professor at Stanford, Sebastian Thrun, the CEO and co-founder of Udacity, did not teach according to how the brain learns. He is not proud of this fact. “I followed established wisdom,” he says. His students, who were used to traditional lectures, gave him high marks on his course evaluations. They didn’t know what they were missing.

In 2011 Thrun and fellow professor Peter Norvig decided to put their Artificial Intelligence class online. But when they sampled other online courses, they realized that most of them were mediocre. To captivate students from afar, they would need to do something different. So they started planning lessons that would put the student at the center of everything. They created a series of problems for students to solve so that they had to learn by doing, not by listening.

By last fall, 160,000 people had enrolled. But the class was not particularly inspiring–at first. One student complained that the software allowed students to try each problem only once. “I realized, ‘Wow, I’m setting students up for failure in my obsession to grade them,'” says Thrun. So he changed the software to let students try and try until they got it right. He also paid attention to the data, and he had a lot of it. When tens of thousands of students all got the same quiz problem wrong, he realized that the question was not clear, and he changed it. And the students themselves transformed other parts of the class, building online playgrounds to practice what they were learning and even translating the class into 44 languages.

Meanwhile, Thrun had told his Stanford students they could take the class online if they didn’t want to attend lectures. More than three-quarters of them did so, viewing the videos from their dorms and participating as if they were thousands of miles away. Then something remarkable happened. On the midterm, the Stanford students scored a full letter grade higher on average than students had in previous years. They seemed to be learning more when they learned online. The same bump happened after they took the final.

Still, the Stanford students were not the stars of the class. At the end of the semester, not one of the course’s 400 top performers had a Stanford address.

The experience forced Thrun to rethink everything he knew about teaching, and he built Udacity upon this reordering of the universe. Unlike Coursera, another for-profit MOOC provider–which has partnered with dozens of schools, including Stanford, Princeton and, more recently, the University of Virginia–Udacity selects, trains and films the professors who teach its courses. Since it launched in January, Udacity has turned down about 500 professors who have volunteered to teach, and it has canceled one course (a math class that had already enrolled 20,000 students) because of subpar quality.

Right now, most MOOC providers do not make a profit. That can’t continue forever. Udacity will probably charge for its classes one day, Thrun says, but he claims the price will stay very low; if not, he predicts, a competitor will come along and steal away his students.

Udacity does not offer a degree, since it’s not an accredited university. Students get a ceremonial certificate in the form of a PDF. Grades are based on the final exam. Students who choose to take the final for Udacity’s computer-science course at an independent testing center (for $89) can get transfer credits from Colorado State University–Global Campus, an online-only school.

Getting more colleges to accept transfer credits would be nice, but in the longer term, Udacity aims to cut out the middleman and go straight to employers. This week, Udacity announced that six companies, including Google and Microsoft, are sponsoring classes in skills that are in short supply, from programming 3-D graphics to building apps for Android phones.

Meanwhile, about 3,000 students have signed up for Udacity’s employer-connection program, allowing their CVs to be shared with 350 companies. Employers pay Udacity a fee for any hires made through this service. So far, about 20 students have found work partly through Udacity’s help, Thrun says. Tamir Duberstein, 24, who studied mechanical engineering in Ontario, recently got two job offers after completing six Udacity courses. He took one of the offers and now works at a software company in San Francisco.

Still, it will be a long time before companies besides high-tech start-ups trust anything other than a traditional degree. That’s why hundreds of thousands of people a year enroll in the University of Phoenix, which most students attend online. Says University of Phoenix spokesman Ryan Rauzon: “They need a degree, and that isn’t going to change anytime soon.”

MOOCs vs. the College Campus

To compare my online experience with a traditional class, I dropped into a physics course at Georgetown University, the opposite of a MOOC. Georgetown admitted only 17% of applicants last fall and, with annual tuition of $42,360, charges the equivalent of about $4,200 per class.

The university’s large lecture course for introductory physics accommodates 150 to 200 students, who receive a relatively traditional classroom experience–which is to say, one not designed according to how the brain learns. The professor, who is new to the course, declined to let me visit.

But Georgetown did allow me to observe Physics 151, an introductory class for science majors, and I soon understood why. This class was impressively nontraditional. Three times a week, the professor delivered a lecture, but she paused every 15 minutes to ask a question, which her 34 students contemplated, discussed and then answered using handheld clickers that let her assess their understanding. There was a weekly lab–an important component missing from the Udacity class. The students also met once a week with a teaching assistant who gave them problems designed to trip them up and had them work in small groups to grapple with the concepts.

The class felt like a luxury car: exquisitely wrought and expensive. Fittingly, it met in a brand-new, state-of-the-art $100 million science center that included 12 teaching labs, six student lounges and a café. It was like going to a science spa.

Elite universities like Georgetown are unlikely to go away in the near future, as even Udacity’s co-founder (and Stanford alum) David Stavens concedes. “I think the top 50 schools are probably safe,” he says. “There’s a magic that goes on inside a university campus that, if you can afford to live inside that bubble, is wonderful.”

Where does that leave the rest of the country’s 4,400 degree-granting colleges? After all, only a fifth of freshmen actually live on a residential campus. Nearly half attend community colleges. Many never experience dorm life, let alone science spas. To return to reality, I visited the University of the District of Columbia (UDC)–a school that, like many other colleges, is not ranked by U.S. News & World Report.

When I arrived at the UDC life-sciences building, I met Professor Daryao Khatri, who has been teaching for 37 years and yet seemed genuinely excited to get to his first day of class in a new semester.

“They hate physics,” he said about his students, smiling. “You will see. They are terrified.” He led me to his classroom, a lab with fluorescent lights and a dull yellow linoleum floor. His 20 students were mostly young adults with day jobs, which is why they were going to school at night. Many hoped to go to medical school one day, and they needed to take physics to get there.

Khatri started the class by asking the students to introduce themselves. “I took physics in high school,” said one woman, a biology major, “and it was the hardest class I ever had.”

“I’m about to change that!” Khatri shouted. Another young woman said, “I took calculus online, and it was just awful.” It felt more like a support group than a college course. Then Khatri detailed his rules for the class. “Please turn the cell phones off,” he said in a friendly voice. “Not on vibrate. I will know. I will take it away. Cell phones are a big disaster for the science classes.”

Khatri had less than one-half of 1% of the students that Professor Brown had on Udacity, but he was helping them with many skills beyond physics. He was cultivating discipline and focus, rebuilding confidence and nurturing motivation. “Please complain if you aren’t learning,” he said more than once.

After a full hour of introductions and expectations, Khatri started reviewing geometry and trigonometry so that the students would have enough basic math to begin. He did this in far more detail than Brown had on Udacity, and it was clear from their questions that many of the students needed this help. As with most other Americans, their math and science background was spotty, with big holes in important places. For the next hour, Khatri called on every student to answer questions and solve problems; just as on Udacity, they couldn’t zone out for long.

Three weeks later, I returned to Khatri’s class. He was about a week behind the Udacity pace, and his quizzes were easier. But not a single student had dropped his class. And when I asked a group of students if they would ever take this class online, they answered in unison: “No way.”

At this stage, most MOOCs work well for students who are self-motivated and already fairly well educated. Worldwide, the poorest students still don’t have the background (or the Internet bandwidth) to participate in a major way. Thrun and his MOOC competitors may be setting out to democratize education, but it isn’t going to happen tomorrow.

What is going to happen tomorrow? It seems likely that very selective–and very unselective–colleges will continue to thrive. At their best (and I was only allowed to witness their best, it’s worth noting), Georgetown and UDC serve a purpose in a way that cannot easily be replicated online. The colleges in the middle, though–especially the for-profit ones that are expensive but not particularly prestigious–will need to work harder to justify their costs.

Ideally, Udacity and other MOOC providers will help strip away all the distractions of higher education–the brand, the price and the facilities–and remind all of us that education is about learning. In addition to putting downward pressure on student costs, it would be nice if MOOCs put upward pressure on teaching quality.

By mid-October, YouTube remained dark in Pakistan, and the power blinked out for about four hours a day at Niazi’s home in Lahore. But she had made it halfway through Computer Science 101 anyway, with help from her classmates.

Niazi loved MOOCs more than her own school, and she wished she could spend all day learning from Andy Brown. But when I asked her if she would get her degree from Udacity University, if such a thing were possible, she demurred. She had a dream, and it was made of bricks. “I would still want to go to Oxford or Stanford,” she said. “I would love to really meet my teachers in person and learn with the whole class and make friends–instead of being there in spirit.”

Ripley, a TIME contributing writer, is an Emerson Fellow at the New America Foundation, where she is writing a book about education around the world

Ivy League for the Masses

Free MOOCs (massive open online courses) come with cachet

TYPE OF VENTURE For-profit For-profit Not-for-profit
LAUNCHED January 2012 April 2012 May 2012
SCHOOL TIES An island unto itself, the site was co-founded by a former Stanford professor 33 colleges so far, including Princeton, Stanford, Penn, Duke, Ohio State and the University of Virginia MIT and Harvard have been joined by the University of Texas and the University of California, Berkeley
COURSES INCLUDE Introduction to Statistics, Software Debugging, Applied Cryptography Fundamentals of Electrical Engineering, Introduction to Guitar, Greek and Roman Mythology Introduction to Computer Science, Circuits and Electronics, Artificial Intelligence
NUMBER OF STUDENTS 400,000 1.4 million 350,000

Degrees of Difficulty

Tuition keeps rising, but so does the need for more graduates

Student debt loads are increasing

Percentage with debt
1993 46%
2011 66%
Average debt (2011 dollars)
1993 $14,500
2011 $26,600

The default rate was 5.6% in 1999. In 2010 it was 9.1%

Attending College Is Still a Smart Move

Higher education is costly, but a degree is still a valued commodity. College graduates earn more than their less educated counterparts

What Americans earn in a lifetime by highest educational attainment, in 2011 dollars
HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATE $1.4 MILLION Percentage more that those with a bachelor’s degree can expect to earn in their lifetime compared with those with only a high school diploma: 77%

In 1975 the gap was 50%

By 2020, 65% of all jobs will require postsecondary education

U.S. workforce by education level
1973 2020 PROJECTED

Today’s College Students, in Brief

More undergrads need remedial classes
2000 28%
2007 36%
An increasing number come from low-income families
1973-74 176,000
2010-11 8.9 MILLION

Recipients of Pell Grants (money the federal government gives to low-income students)

They are older
Percentage starting college at age 19 or older
1967 14%
2011 29%
How they cover college costs
Students’ funding sources, 2012


Percentage who graduate on time
58% FOUR-YEAR SCHOOL (within six years)
30% TWO-YEAR SCHOOL (within three years)

TIME Graphic by Deirdre van Dyk, Leslie Dickstein and Claire Manibog

Sources: Higher Education Research Institute, UCLA; Sallie Mae; NCES; National Conference of State Legislatures; FinAid; BLS; the College Board; State Higher Education Executive Officers; Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce; McKinsey Global Institute

College Tour: Four Approaches to Physics 101

TYPE OF SCHOOL Elite four-year private university Less selective public university Mostly online university MOOC
NUMBER OF HOURS OF INSTRUCTION Five hours per week for 15 weeks 5 1/2 hours per week for 15 weeks Four hours of interactive contact for five weeks Nine hours total; go at your own pace
CLASS FORMAT Three in-person lectures per week as well as a section meeting led by teaching assistants Two in-person lectures led by a professor per week Entirely online Entirely online
LAB Yes Yes Yes (virtual) No
TUITION PER CLASS $4,200 $1,225 for D.C. residents, $1,399 for metro-area residents $1,185 $0

*Only 1,200 completed the final exam.

†In September, Colorado State University’s online-only Global Campus began offering transfer credits to Udacity’s computer-science students who take the final exam at a secure testing facility; that option is not yet available for other Udacity classes

Critical Thinking

The TIME/Carnegie Corporation survey asked U.S. adults and college leaders about the crisis in postsecondary education

The Value of Higher Education

What is the most important reason people should go to college?
40% To gain skills and knowledge for a career 21%
17% To gain a well-rounded general education 14%
14% To increase one’s earning power 2%
6% To become an informed citizen in a global society 19%
12% To learn to think critically 36%
11% To formulate goals and values for life 8%
Strongly or somewhat agree
At many colleges, there is too much of a disconnect between the courses offered and students’ career goals
There is too much emphasis on attending four-year college as opposed to community college or vocational school
The government should tie funding to measurements of how much students learn in college

Online Education

Strongly or somewhat agree
Much of the teaching on college campuses can be replaced by online courses
Students will not learn as much in online courses as they will in traditional classes

Cost of College

At many colleges, the education students receive is not worth what they pay for it
Yes: Strongly or somewhat agree
The average debt load for college seniors who took out loans and graduated in 2010 was… $25,250
Is that …
Too High Reasonable Amount


What are the biggest factors contributing to the overall rising costs of college?
Percentage of college leaders who ranked this first or second
73% Cuts in government spending
60% Additional services and student amenities
34% Expanding access to traditionally underserved students
19% Waste and mismanagement
14% Easy access to low-interest student loans

The TIME/Carnegie Corporation of New York poll, conducted online by GfK Custom Research North America, surveyed a national sample of 1,000 U.S. adults and 540 senior administrators at public and private two- and four-year colleges and universities

Tuition Costs Are Soaring: Higher rates are fueled in part by a weak economy and lower tax revenues (Sources: Higher Education Research Institute, UCLA; Sallie Mae; NCES; National Conference of State Legislatures; FinAid; BLS; the College Board; State Higher Education Executive Officers; Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce; McKinsey Global Institute)

States are reducing per-student funding to colleges: Change in state spending on public colleges and universities, 2006-11 (Sources: Higher Education Research Institute, UCLA; Sallie Mae; NCES; National Conference of State Legislatures; FinAid; BLS; the College Board; State Higher Education Executive Officers; Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce; McKinsey Global Institute)

Having fewer degrees threatens our global competitiveness: People in the workforce with a college degree (Sources: Higher Education Research Institute, UCLA; Sallie Mae; NCES; National Conference of State Legislatures; FinAid; BLS; the College Board; State Higher Education Executive Officers; Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce; McKinsey Global Institute)

There are more of them: College enrollment in the U.S. (Sources: Higher Education Research Institute, UCLA; Sallie Mae; NCES; National Conference of State Legislatures; FinAid; BLS; the College Board; State Higher Education Executive Officers; Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce; McKinsey Global Institute)

PHOTO (COLOR): Head of the class Some 23,000 people enrolled in Andy Brown’s physics course at Udacity

PHOTO (COLOR): Class disrupter Thrun co-founded Udacity after teaching a massive online course at Stanford





Summary Assignment


Summary Prewriting


Theme: Education

Topic: No Child Left Behind/Race to the Top

Title: Dictating to the Schools: A Look at the Effect of the Bush and Obama Administrations on Schools. Ravitch is likely against too much government influence on schools and feels that government control is detrimental.

Intended audience: The intended audience is primarily professionals in the field of education and education policy, including teachers and school administrators. However, parents with school-aged children and citizens interested in education reform or education policy could also be included as part of the audience.

Writer’s background: Ravitch is an educational researcher and a former professor.

Writer’s angle: Any discussion regarding how to best implement education reform in our schools is arguable, especially when the subject of standardized testing is involved. Individuals will hold different views on the topic depending on their political backgrounds, affiliations with education policy, and position on standardized testing. Ravitch is opposed to the use of standardized tests and believes they have a negative effect on schools.



Part 1: The one-sentence summary

Ravitch (2011), U.S. Department of Education’s Assistant Secretary of Education, criticizes the Obama administration for following Bush’s No Child Left Behind policy, explaining that the government places an overreliance on standardized test scores and teaching to the test over rich curriculum and true reform for underachieving schools.


Part 2:  The one-paragraph summary

Ravitch (2011), U.S. Department of Education’s Assistant Secretary of Education, warns that the Obama administration’s control over education reform continues much of the same agenda introduced by the Bush administration’s No Child Left Behind policy. Ravitch argues these policies are focused on standardized tests and providing incentives to teachers who produce students with high test scores. While she notes that the policy stigmatizes low performing schools and holds them to unattainable goals, she calls for less government control of education reform and more need for well-educated teachers who are provided with support, professional evaluation, and strong curriculum.

Part 3:  The multiple-paragraph summary

Ravitch (2011), U.S. Department of Education’s Assistant Secretary of Education, criticizes the Obama administration’s Race to the Top education policy agenda for following what she calls the “disaster” of Bush’s No Child Left Behind policy. Government control of education, she notes, has only led public schools to rely heavily on standardized test scores. Ravitch warns that, under the Obama administration, teachers are provided incentives and raises based on test performance, which results in class time being spent teaching test-taking skills or teaching to the test rather than on rich curriculum.

Additionally, Ravitch criticizes the Obama administration’s reliance on charter schools as a way of reforming underperforming public schools, explaining that charters don’t answer the real challenges that face low-income or non-native speaking student populations. In the end, she warns that the outcome will produce students who are not able to comprehend complex knowledge and schools that limit history, science, the arts, civics, and many other components of the curriculum that provide college preparatory instruction. Ravitch notes that the United States, compared to other nations, is not following a model that will produce effective change. She explained, “High-performing nations make sure that students have access to a rich and balanced curriculum, not just a steady diet of test preparation and testing” (p. 8).


Part 4:  Your reaction

Ravitch is right in her assessment of the Obama administration’s educational reform plans. As threats are made to close low-performing schools, Race to the Top provides little explanation in terms of how underprivileged communities will experience any positive education reform. Additionally, I agree with Ravitch’s criticism of incentivizing teachers whose students produce high test scores. This seems to only put more focus on teaching to the test rather than providing students with a well-rounded curriculum that offers broad skills and critical thought. As a research professor and the Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education, Ravitch is well positioned to call upon reform that focuses more on improved teaching, additional resources, and stronger curriculum over more government control.


Part 5:  Reference

Ravitch,D. (2011). Dictating to the schools: A look at the effect of the Bush and Obama administration on schools. Education Digest: Essential Readings Condensed for Quick Review, 76(8), 4–9.

Student Paper on Medicine





Categories RVU Geographic Cost Index Product
Work 27.45 1.092 29.98
Practice Expense 43.05 1.743 75.04
Malpractice 10.32 0.543 5.60
Conversion Factor: 64.43


Using the above figures, the payment rate would be equal to the sum of all the products multiplied by the conversion factor.

= 29.98 + 75.04 + 5.60 = 110.62*64.43

= 7127.2466 (Medicare Approved Rate)

  1. How much will Medicare pay Dr. Robinson if Dr. Robinson is a Medicare participating physician? How much out-of-pocket payment will Mr. Roberts be responsible for?

The Medicare will pay 100%. Thus it will sum to $7127.2466.

Out of this, Mr. Robert will be responsible for 20% of the approved fee. Thus he will pay 0.2*7127.2466 = $1425.4493.



  1. How much will Medicare pay Dr. Robinson if Dr. Robinson is a Medicare non-participating physician who elects assignment? How much out-of-pocket payment will Mr. Roberts be responsible for?

The Medicare will pay 95% of the Medicare-approved fee. Thus, it will be 0.95*7127.2466 = $6770.8842.

Out of this, Mr. Robert will pay 20% of the approved fee. Thus he will pay 0.2*7127.2466 = $1425.4493.

  1. How much will Medicare pay Dr. Robinson if Dr. Robinson is a Medicare non-participating physician who does not elect assignment? How much out-of-pocket payment will Mr. Roberts be responsible for?

Dr. Robertson will get 115% of the approved fee. Thus it will be 1.15*7127.2466 = $8186.3335. Robert will pay the entire amount but the Medicare will reimburse 80% of the approved amount to Robert.



Medicare is the insurance program of the nation for the disabled and the aged. Outpatient services are the medical tests or procedures that can be done in a medical center without the patient staying overnight. The services include wellness and prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation. The services are cheaper due to the absence of the overnight stay, and the care needed is provided in one place (Outpatient Services, 2013). The Outpatient and physician services are under the complementary medical attention. There are specific payment rules for covered benefits for all these services. Outpatient services fees have been a combination of cost reimbursement and fee schedules by reimbursing a hospital for its reasonable care costs. That encompasses Medicare costs for labs and historical charges. On the other hand, physician services are based on the physician fee schedules for imaging and therapies. That is called fee for service. There is also capacitation which increases prescriptions and referrals, imposing costs on other expenditure budgets on health care. The other method is through remuneration of salaries, although it has less impact than the patient’s health characteristics (Grignon et al. 2002).


There are two types of payments namely, global payments and bundled payments. They encourage providers, payers, and other stakeholders to work together on the strategies of innovation to improve the quality of care, reduce system inefficiencies, share savings and work towards coordination of the full system care. There are two types of payments.

Bundled payment is also called episode-based payment. It is a system under which the reimbursement for several providers is bundled into a single and comprehensive payment. It is a one-time payment to a provider or a group of providers for health care services that are associated with a defined care episode. This comprehensive fee covers all the services that are involved in the care of the patient. They aim to integrate the care delivery services, control the cost and restructure the delivery of primary care. That is in line with the objectives of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, to improve population health, reduce cost and boost the patient care experience. It is a viable option that meets the goals of payers and providers, since it presents potential improvements over the Medicare system of fee-for-service of reimbursement alongside the capitation payment model (American Hospital Association, 2010).

On the other hand, a global payment is a fixed prepayment that is made to a health care system or a group of providers, unlike the health care plan. It covers most of the care of the patient during a specified period under the contract. The global payments are paid every month for each patient over a year. That is contrary to the fee-for-service system for the bundled payments. They are adjusted to reflect the health status group of people, who on their behalf the payments are made. They are also adjusted for severity of the illness (American Hospital Association, 2010).

Therefore, the significant difference between these two types of payments is that bundles payments usually cover the episodes of care for the patients with particular conditions. On the contrary, global payments include total care regardless of the number of services provided to the patients (Bundled and Global Payments, n.d.).


MODULE 5 – Threaded Discussion



There are the current payment reform initiatives with a common attempt to change the manner in which health care is delivered. That is by the change in the way providers are paid. There are three payment reform initiatives as explained below. Firstly, there are bonus payments to meet specific targets, also termed as pay for performance. This mechanism offers bonuses to providers who make significant progress towards quality targets. It builds incentives for quality improvement into the fee-for-service payment system which is volume-based. Secondly, there are payments for care coordination. This mechanism encourages events that are discretely billable like diagnostic tests and office visits. It does not reward providers who do well for managing the chronic health conditions of their patients. It has thus gained much support from both private and public payers. Finally, there is the replacement of the volume-based payment system with one that encourages innovation and efficiency such as bundled payments. The bundled payments reward the services that are needed to treat a particular condition or an episode of care, instead of penalizing providers who are efficient in preventing costly complications (Sonier & Blewett, 2011).



The inadequacy of universal health care is a fundamental moral issue in the United States. It is the only industrialized country that lacks some form of health care to all – basic universal health care to all the citizens. The United States treats the health care of its citizens as a privilege, and only avails it to those who are able and can afford it, making health care be perceived as an economic asset and not as a public or social good. This sense makes over 45 million citizens to be victims due to lack of health care insurance. Over 80 percent of the uninsured citizens are those who are hardworking and most of them employed or come from working families (Chua, 2006). The lack of insurance brings emotional suffering for the citizens, leading to anxiety, depression, familial stress and fear. It makes them financially bankrupt, and the families strain a lot financially. Additionally, more and more insured citizens are dropping their health insurance at a significant pace. That is due to the rise in the cost of health care insurance premiums reducing their wages. The cost of universal health care, from statistics, would total up to at least $34 to $69 billion (Chua, 2006). Economically, that entails an enormous outlay of money that has no economic returns, although it helps gain a longer-living and healthier workforce. In my opinion, there will never an acceptable solution for the provision of universal health care insurance to all the citizens of the United States.


The commitments to equal opportunities in the United States ring hollow when programs particular programs help the people who have good jobs and incomes to get access to certain facilities. These facilities include the health insurance, parental leave, and housing retirement pensions. These commitments, however, offer very insignificant help to the poor and those nearing poverty. The government provides tax breaks to the people, especially employers, who purchase private health insurance. That contradicts the expectations of many citizens to receive subsidies in the wages of disabled workers. That move does not help the poor, rather adds poverty to them and the poverty prevails in the whole of the nation. The Medicaid expansion plans help provide free or low-cost health coverage to people with low incomes regardless of family status, disability or financial resources. The development plans can help the have-nots get medical benefits from the haves. Therefore, if all the states took that initiative positively, the better will be the health care facilities in the United States.


Education for patients regarding the health care insurance is very necessary. The first and imperative principle in the structuring of an organization is to organize around the customers, who are patients in case. The education program for the patient should be structured and delivered as follows. It should begin with a self-pay policy that communicates the responsibility of the patients on particular payments. The portals of patients should allow them log on and see what anticipated costs of care they are to pay. The providers must also offer swift eligibility for insurance and make follow-ups of the payments on the treatment day, following the right protocol of events (The Importance of Patient Education in Medical Debt Collection, n.d.).







American Hospital Association. (2010). Committee on Research. AHA Research Synthesis Report: Bundled Payment. Chicago: American Hospital Association, 2010

Bundled and Global Payments. (n.d.). Retrieved March 19, 2015, from http://www.acemyhw.com

Chua, K. (2006). The Case for Universal Health Care. Retrieved March 19, 2015, from

Global Payments to Health Providers. (2010, May). Retrieved March 19, 2015, from

Grignon, M., Paris, V., Polton, D., Couffinhal, A., & Pierrard, B. (2002, November). Influence of Physician Payment Methods on the Efficiency of the Health Care System. Retrieved March 19, 2015, from

Medicaid expansion & what it means for you. (n.d.) Retrieved March 19, 2015, from /

Outpatient Services. (2013, November 5). Retrieved March 19, 2015, from

Sonier, J., & Blewett, L. (2011, February). Payment Reform: The Lynchpin of Health Care Reform. Retrieved March 19, 2015, from

The Importance of Patient Education in Medical Debt Collection. (n.d.). Retrieved March 19, 2015, from

Medicare Payment Advisory Commission. (2013). Physician and Other Health Professionals Payment System. Available at

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. (2010). Medicare Physician Fee Schedule. The Medicare Learning Network Payment Systems Fact Sheet Series. Available at (Retrieved 11/21/2012)

Guterman, S., Davis, K., Stremikis, K., & Drake, H. (2010). Innovation in Medicare and Medicaid Will Be Central to Health Reform’s Success. Health Affairs, 29 (6), 1188-93. Retrieved from ProQuest on 11/21/2012.

Lesser, C., Fineberg, H., & Cassel, C. (2010). Physician Payment Reform: Principles That Should Shape It. Health Affairs, 29 (5), 948-952. Retrieved from ProQuest on 11/21/2012.

Wilensky, G. (2009). Reforming Medicare’s Physician Payment System. New England Journal of Medicine, 360 (7), 653-655. Available at