What makes an International School a Tier-1 School?

National universities have long been ranked according to a system known as Tiers. Harvard, Princeton, Yale, and Columbia in the US, and Cambridge, Oxford and Imperial College in the UK appear on the list of Tier-1 institutes. Inclusion on this prestigious list is subject to a clear set of specific criteria.

With no similar system for rating international schools, overseas educators appear to have adopted the concept of Tiers, creating their own comparative system based on salary, first-hand experience, and the impressions/comments of colleagues working at other schools. Academic quality does not appear to be part of the equation for what makes an international school a Tier-1 school.

The idea that an international school would be considered a Tier-1 school, based merely on high salaries and glowing benefit packages seems questionable. While we agree it’s important to be remunerated for your talents, a pocket full of cash is no substitute for a host  of other important attributes that should be considered for a top rating.

With the intent to reach a consensus on what qualities constitute a Tier-1, Tier-2, or Tier-3 international school, we invite you to contribute to this topic.

72 Responses to What makes an International School a Tier-1 School?

  1. China Teacher says:

    The criteria for Tier 1 schools become much simpler and more accurate if you focus on student outcomes, rather than the adults’ conveniences.

    When the school consistently provides a rigorous and critical education that gives students the widest opportunities for an enriching life, the problems of compensation packages, administrative integrity, expat life and professional development take care of themselves, because the former cannot be achieved without taking care of the latter.

    If you look at the consensus nominations for Tier 1 schools, they encompass a variety of countries, styles, philosophies, etc., but they do one thing consistently well — producing amazing graduates who go on to do significant things. That’s what to look for.

    Like

    • Anon. says:

      I absolutely agree with this comment. Surely the most highly regarded schools should be those that make the most progress and add value to the lives of the students that they teach. Rating a school on the perks it offers to teachers isn’t a great way to evaluate an education system. For me one of the best ways a school could make that student attainment better is by being serious with its professional development program, being open about valuing it’s staff and offering a stable environment for its workforce. These matters have consequences for the students in their care.

      Like

    • Steven says:

      Hello, just want to add an agreement with China Teacher’s suggestion.

      Like

    • David says:

      In my humble opinion, Concordia International School Shanghai should be on this list – without question.

      Like

  2. Anonymous says:

    Like it or not, reputation carries more overall weight than any single metric. There are definitely schools which are highly regarded among well-traveled international educators. While they might not have the “best of” score in any one thing, these are the places that all other schools say “ooh!” to when you are recruiting and have them on your resume:

    (in alphabetical order)
    American School in Japan ASIJ
    Cairo American College CAC
    International School Bangkok ISB
    International School Beijing ISB
    Jakarta International School JIS
    Shanghai American School SAS
    Singapore American School SAS
    Taipei American School TAS

    Notice how few there are from Europe and the Americas?
    There are some in the “almost elite” group:

    American International School Budapest
    American School Bombay ASB
    American School Warsaw ASW
    Frankfurt International School FIS
    Graded School (São Paulo)
    Hong Kong International School HKIS
    International School Kuala Lumpur ISKL
    International School Manila ISM
    International School Prague ISP
    New International School Thailand (Bangkok) NIST
    Western Academy Beijing WAB

    These are, for the most part, the schools that have been around and cultivated their perceptions on the international circuit. They are able to be selective for a reason, and get hundreds of applications for every position. They are the places people want to be.

    Like

  3. Anonymous says:

    It is very difficult to rank schools because at some schools when there is a turnover in the head of school position or the principal position the entire school climate may change!

    We can all agree that integrity, academic excellence, classroom size, teaching load, planning/collegial meeting opportunities during the school day, compensation vs. cost of living is important, safety, housing, health insurance, emergency evacuation (if needed due to lack of local health care), retirement, health risk, pollution/environmental factors, proclivity towards natural disasters, etc. are important.

    The idea that money doesn’t count is false. Not too many people are willing to retire with nothing or to live on such a low salary they can not afford airplane tickets home, etc. Some people are willing to dip into savings to live in an exotic location for a time but then sooner or later they have to find a job that pays. Seriously for me, if I am paying to live somewhere then that is called a vacation and I won’t do it for my job!

    Like

    • Anonymous says:

      That is our situation presently. Savings drained. We’re supposed to feel lucky we live in “paradise”, which is a very subjective assessment of the area. With no money, we don’t enjoy it much.

      Like

      • Anonymous says:

        I feel I am in a similar situation (in Malaysia) and would love to know where you are talking about…
        Some people’s idea of paradise (and offering the accompanying low salary) is someone else’s idea of a place they find “less than desirable”

        Like

    • Steven says:

      hi all, i also completely agree with Anonymous (above) re: important criteria for ranking international schools

      Like

    • Anonymous says:

      Agreed.

      Like

  4. Allison Marx says:

    I work at a United World College. Having interested, dedicated students who truly want to learn is the best measure of a school for me. I have that.

    Like

  5. Anonymous says:

    ISB, BKK-Patana, and NIST are Tier 1 in Bangkok

    Like

  6. Knowledge is power says:

    Which schools in Bangkok would be regarded as Tier 1 ?

    Like

  7. Longtimeteacher says:

    I also think that too much emphasis is given to the size of the paycheque, rather than the quality of life when tiering schools.

    Like

  8. 6countriesandcounting says:

    Lets try and keep things simple. I wrote earlier about how I carried out research into retention in the world of international education. One trend reported in the research was that schools that invested in a comprehensive acculturation and induction programme were much more likely to retain staff. In a way the induction programme can be seen as an indicator of the value the organisation places on their human resources. A simple sensible action for prospective employees would be to ask about induction and acculturation support.

    Another very simple indicator is the level of investment in professional development. A simple ratio of what is spent (not budgeted) in the area of professional development to income would be telling. I have just negotiated next years contract and had my PD explicitly written into the contract.

    Like

    • calciodirigore says:

      Hello 6countries.

      Completely agree. Have been an international educator for 12 years and am working towards a masters/phd (not sure where the madness will end!) and am considering a similar area for my dissertation. Would love to share our ideas.

      I’m paritculary interested in how ‘tier one’ schools manage to cultivate the positive school ethos that leads to high teacher retention/student learning outcomes, etc. I know it might seem obvious, but in my experience the answer is not necessarily all that clear. Let me know what you think.

      Cheers.

      Like

  9. Sucking on Lemons says:

    I have read with great interest all comments thus far. ISR is a great place to vent. In that vein, many practitioners have no other choice but to accept second or third best. In many schools, so many people come and go it is like a revolving door. The point made earlier about the importance of looking at the general thread of disharmony, is so important.

    As to getting on to a very simple league table, perhaps it could be possible to introduce some extra criteria within the school review section. Eg. Does the owner direct funds to other businesses to the detriment of the school?; Does the owner charge for services or equipment that are not provided? Does the owner put money back into the school for the benefit of staff and students?; Do owners disclose other business interests,so that they can be identified and make sure a successful money maker is not subsidising a failing dream of the owners?

    I do very much agree with the point that anyone considering any school, whether it be a T1 or a T5 school, should check out everything. That said, so many lies are told by administrators it can be hard to get to the truth. They can be New Zealanders, Australians, British, American or host country nationals. Do your home work. Quality schools are rare and accreditataion agencies, including the IB can be very very poor. Certification and accreditation should be an ongoing 3 year re certification. Keeping the dishonest schools on their toes is very necessary. The quality schools will only get better and increase numbers, fees, facilities, quality of staff, and market their success. The rubbish schools will either get on the bus or close their doors. One can only hope!!! Perhaps one could also look at some very simple indicators, the number of alcoholics on staff, the number of inappropriate male staff with our asian daughters, the predatory behaviour of western staff with how they deal with local staff. If you have been in international teaching long enough you will have access to others who should know what are the good schools. We always worry about the ‘newbies’ who are used and abused by such low class ignorant management.

    Like

  10. Allen says:

    A tier 1 school should have minimum academic, language, social, and routine standards.
    Students have to be on or above grade level via
    benchmarks. Teachers are forbidden to teach political
    correct or “junk” science that is taught in the United
    States. Teachers are required to educate, not indoctrinate students as is the case in many U.S. public schools. Administrators should be from the host country, not from the United States or Europe.
    Curriculum should focus on academic issues, not social.
    Students and teachers should be able to speak and write Oxford English.
    Social standards should be determined by the culture of the host country. Teachers should be instructors and role models. Teachers who wish to be friends of students should be removed.
    The routine should include three planning
    periods per day, paid on time, a valid contract which is followed by the employee and employer, setting in fees, paid airline tickets, and free housing.

    Like

    • hereandthere says:

      “the horror of it all”..just goes to show you that one man’s castle is another man’s prison…

      Like

    • bigpicture says:

      this years tier 1 is only a “poor fit” administrator or “board with a narrow agenda” from changing measurably. Data from accreditation agencies could be used to rate schools, but all- in- all a school is only as good as its current: leadership team, faculty, governing board, and curriculum.

      Like

    • thekitty says:

      ‘students have to be on or above grade level’ is this reflective of the Tier 1 schools no SEN admittance policy? Is this something that a Tier1 school should be advocating? I would definitely be looking for substantial learning support and inclusive policies from a Tier 1

      Like

    • Anonymous says:

      “Administrators should be from the host country, not from the United States or Europe.”

      Absolutely not! That is the very definition of a national institution, not a quality international school! Administrators, the majority of the teaching staff, and better than 70% of the students from countries other than the host nation is a minimum expectation for a top tier school.

      Like

    • traveler says:

      Totally disagree with you and your cultural hatred and disapproval of the United States education system. Many schools promote the fact that they help you get into colleges in the United States. These are the same colleges that are filled with Americans that attended public schools in the United States. Many countries around the world strive to the excellence that United States schools routinely provide. Oxford English is a great standard that is largely ignored these days. Social evolution has prompted that though. I find it humorous that you attack science taught in the United States as junk yet you hold to old fashioned views of language, completely unaware, it seems, of the understanding that language, much like species (read science here) evolve.

      Your venomous hatred of the United States has, unfortunately, overshadowed your other good points. I can’t take anyone seriously that stereotypes and overgeneralizes such a large and diverse country. To hear one or two horror stories and apply that knowledge to the hundreds of independent school districts (not to mention the thousands of schools) is absurd. I have worked with some outstanding teachers and administrators from the United States. To discount them wholesale because they were not born in the host country and because you heard of a school somewhere in the United States whose curriculum is not to your liking is about as close minded as an “enlightened” individual such as yourself could possibly be.

      Like

  11. Loretta says:

    To avoid conflict with for-profit schools low-tier, simply list basic information about the schools and state that is is impossible to rank them, so work there at your own risk.

    Then move forward with due diligence and in concert with the schools who understand the benefit of sound education and transparency and are willing to participate because they want excellent teachers, pedagogy, resources, etc., and are truly interested in providing the best education possible.

    Leave the problem cases for another day. Start somewhere. Tweak and retrofit the parameters over time. Nothing is perfect. Just start somewhere with something credible.

    After awhile, some schools will start to GET IT!
    They will realize are being ignored by sound professional international educators and the educational community.

    When they decide to GROW up and truly enter the education arena, versus the for-profit arena, welcome them into the fold.

    You can take a horse to water, but… and beating a donkey (stubborn mule) with a stick, won’t make it move. You’ll either break the stick, kill the donkey or get very tired.

    DUH!

    Like

  12. James Bloom says:

    I think it would be really helpful to ‘tier’ international schools from an ISR perspective, in other words, as prospective places to work.

    For example, if one were planning to go to a city that has many schools hiring international teachers, such as Cairo or Bangkok, one could get an idea immediately about which of several schools recruiting one should prioritise. It could be useful in deciding between offers in disparate countries or regions, too. It might even put pressure on schools in the lower tiers to improve and add a grain of salt to any grandiose claims by slick recruiters.

    Since the ‘tiering’ would be intended for candidates– a kind of Insider’s Guide– it would, no doubt, reflect on the general quality of the schools. However, since it would be aimed at teachers, not parents, the downside of public league-tabling, raised by earlier contributors, could be avoided.

    Also, factors that would barely enter into rankings for parents, but which are crucial to international teachers, could be prioritised. These would be aspects about which there’s already plenty of info. in ISR’s review data-base, such as salary in relation to cost of living, integrity and fairness of board and administration, quality of ancillary services from the school (visas, flats or flat finding, medical insurance etc.).

    A volunteer working group of seasoned international teachers with extensive experience in different regions could get together and work it out. Of course, there’d be a substantial subjective element to the list, as there inevitably is with all such lists, but the nature of that subjectivity could be explained in a sort of preamble/forward to it.

    No specific ranks would be necessary, just placement in a tier, which could perhaps sub-grouped by region, and there’d be no need for each tier to have the same fixed number of places.

    In short, a tier system by international teachers for international teachers could be a great boon. It would be a natural extension of the service provided by ISR, and might well prevent many candidates new to the international circuit, or a given region thereof, from making choices they’d later regret.

    Like

  13. Don't do it! says:

    I surely hope a tier rating system for international schools is not generated by this site or any other. It would lead only to misunderstanding and bitterness. Three are several reasons for this:
    1) Tiers at the university level or when it comes to boarding high schools generally relate to academic competitiveness. Though some international schools may imply or want people to think they are academically competitive, in general, in that respect they are more like public schools in nice neighborhoods: Most parents went to college and want their children go to to college, but the children represent a wide range of academic proficiencies. Whether they are hard to get into or not generally depends on English level or nationality more than academic proficiency, and do we really want to have rankings based on numbers of native speakers or nationality distribution or the extent to which the school discriminates against host country nationals?
    2) International Schools are very different pedagogically and though a particular school may rank their own higher than others,in the end it is an individual decision as to which is good or bad.
    3) Almost all of the schools have their ups and downs, depending on so many factors such as board constitution, administrator changes, the economy, etc. with a public reputation generally following some years behind the reality of the school, but tiers would tend to generate stereotypes, supporting snobbishness or resentment, and inevitably being behind the reality of the schools they are “ranking.”
    4) If the tiers are to be based on conditions for teachers, it is impossible to obtain the data to give an accurate representation, and those also change from time to time.
    5) Whether a school is proprietary or not often has little to do with the quality of the programs, even if very often it does, so that cannot be a fixed criterion either. Proprietary schools, just like non-profit ones, may be accredited or not. You have “good” owners and “bad” owners in proprietary schools, and “good” boards and “bad” boards in non-profit ones. Also, sometimes schools are formally proprietary because of onerous host-country requirements for being non-profit, or formally non-profit, but with with sponsoring organizations that suck out the funds nevertheless.
    6) Accreditation? Being accredited generally means that the school is involved in an improvement process but everyone knows that accredited schools may have serious problems as well, and the process itself is uneven depending on the quality of the team visits, and so forth. Generally, I would put CIS accreditation over most of the others, but it is only a generality and cannot really be the basis for tiering. It is also an expensive process than some schools cannot afford or do not want to spend their limited funds on.

    Those are just a few of the reasons. Even reviews, as appear on this site should probably not be the basis of many or perhaps even any conclusions about a school over time, but at least they are dated and they clearly represent a point of view and with some details to back it up.
    DEFINITELY DO NOT TIER SCHOOLS

    Like

    • Expateacher says:

      I would have to strongly disagree with ‘don’t do it’

      There is a clear difference between for-profit and non-profit schools, and I cannot imagine that there are many examples where a school founded on the principle of making money will be superior to one that is focused on education of students.

      Don’t tier schools? Considering the point of this website is to provide feedback to teachers about the pros and cons of schools, how can you expect people to not make judgements about which schools are excellent, and therefore ‘tier 1’, and which are not? It is human nature to sort the good from the bad, and, while you correctly observe that there will never be a definitive ranking of schools, I can safely say that the for-profit school I worked at in Kuwait, for example, is on a lower tier than the for-profit school I currently work at in Shanghai. Based on a decade of international teaching, I can safely state that ‘for profit’ schools are rarely superior in any regard
      The only people who would not want a tiering system would be those who might be hurt from accurate and honest reviews…anyone who has used this site knows that all reviews need to be taken with a grain of salt–but if you see a consistent pattern of comments from one school–or the painfully transparent ‘reviews’ from admin trying to discredit other reviews, then it is pretty easy to know what is really happening at that school.

      So, in short, I would strongly disagree with your statements–let the reviews come in as they will. A truly good school will always have more good reviews than bad–and the myth that somehow a good school will be tarred by ‘vindictive’ teachers is the argument that administrators usually make to cover their own ineptitude. Hopefully that is not your purpose here…

      Like

    • Toast says:

      I think that offering tiers w/ specific criteria shows schools how to improve, making the school more marketable to both parents and teachers. A tiering system created through ISR is bias toward teachers, as is any other tiering system.

      Like

  14. dan says:

    Campbell’s law says that when social metrics are used in a way that will affect resources (funding, enrolment etc) then the metric will be subjected to abuse. Tiering is a bad idea, and we do it informally anyhow.

    Like

  15. Joe says:

    I’ve worked overseas and in the States in top level schools and the difference to me is the mindset of the staff, students and parents. If you get the support of the parents which is when you you really feel like you’re in a high level school because you can do so much with the students. The desire to get an education and want to learn is what separates a high level school from the others. I can see it in my current position in Georgia working in a high level middle school with students coming from supportive families which is the same thing I experienced in Athens, Cairo and Dhahran. Staff members can do so much more than worry about discipline and really teach using creative methods which the students respond to which is what I see and foster as an administrator. The mindset of the school community is what makes a successful school and I know my staff appreciates having students come to school wanting to learn.

    Like

    • guinevere says:

      but a bad head can nullify all that, sadly – I mostly agree with your points but I have taught in a very disadvantaged (national) school where parents were disinterested at best and hostile at worst, but a high quality teaching staff and brilliant head helped many of those kids succeed – whereas in another very middle class school with very interested parents, staff got away with lazy teaching – I know those are extreme examples – I am looking forward to being out this school, where the parents and the kids are lovely, the teachers who have potential are stifled, Miss Trunchball has the respect of the head and the head is Miss Havisham. Not up for tier 1!

      Like

  16. Jeff Genest says:

    I am somewhat ambivalent about a tiered ranking system but I would be curious to know if you ranked all the international schools according their ISR score if it would
    reveal any patterns.

    Like

    • hereandthere says:

      You would have to get a 360 degree ranking, one that included the entire community as well as administrators in order to avoid an inevitable teacher bias..or is the tier system only a designation that teachers get to use?

      Like

  17. Two Cents says:

    I agree that teacher retention is an objective, quantifiable criterion that indirectly measures the more subjective things: academics, discipline, morale, administrative support, workload, resources, integrity, leadership, etc.

    Let’s face it, even academic performance data can be manipulated by inflating grades, and disciplinary data can be manipulated by not dealing with or documenting offenses. I think Search Associates and other recruiting organizations should survey teachers after their first year to measure teacher satisfaction in these areas, and this information should be published for prospective teachers and parents to see.

    Unfortunately, measuring the quality of education is very subjective, but measuring whether or not you got what you signed for is not. If the rating is based on the quality of the school as an employer, teacher retention and satisfaction statistics are essential.

    Like

    • rel43 says:

      Spot on, Two Cents!

      Like

      • lal says:

        I completely agree. I believe that if the recruitment agencies have the integrity that we are led to believe then they should survey all parties placed including administrators and teachers.
        At one recruitment fair that I attended 7 years ago (I might add), I was offered a job in Turkey. I went to my SEARCH Associate and said “I was offered a job in Turkey” to which they replied with a screwed up face “Oooooh which school?” and “Oh that one is GOOD” I was shocked then and still remain disillusioned by the fact that they had several schools in Turkey on their “books” but clearly knew the inside news (according to some back patting administrators) on each of them. If they thought that some were “Good” and some were “Not Good” then why would they allow them to be at their recruitment fair?
        I am happy to say that I worked at “The Top” international school in Turkey for several years and have now found an unbelievable school in the same city that is 100 times better….and probably one that SEARCH would not rate as highly.
        International education is a dodgy business.

        Like

  18. Michael Geneser says:

    In any case, despite the misspelling of Columbia, the only way to get a real sense of what is going on in an international school is to ask teachers who work there. The rest is just window dressing. Even the best schools do it, and the worst schools are masters of it. Hence this website.

    Like

  19. Chris says:

    Having been to job fair this year and having offers from Tier 1, 2 and 3 International schools (and even being told by administrators which is a tier 1,2 and 3 school) I feel academic excellence, good staff retention and morale, and open, effective administration make a tier 1 school a tier 1 school.

    Like

  20. 6countriesandcounting says:

    I carried out research into retention of international staff in international schools. What came through loud and clear was the resentment harbored by teachers toward administrators and owners who lied to them about conditions, arbitrarily changed conditions of service on a whim and often treated them similar to indentured servants. As long as their school was making money, they were not concerned about the very real cost that low retention brings to an organisation.

    While I too thoroughly enjoy the freedom from government agenda tick list and league table type education, some kind of rating based on retention of staff might be useful.

    Like

  21. Welliboy77 says:

    I left the UK to get away from league tables. They result in schools clambering over themselves to meet lists of criteria needed to rise up the table. The schools lose all sense of individuality or ability to focus on what they are there to do. They become factories. It aids neither teaching nor learning. Tiers are just a different form of league tables.

    Tiering international schools is as meaningless as it is divisive. US universities are essentially all the same, just different brands. You can therefore tier on brand perception, although often it is the top brands doing the tiering. International schools however are for the most part all very different, catering to the unique clientele, local environment and community in which they are located. You simply are not comparing apples to apples.

    Ultimately tiering, like league tables, is pointless because to rid subjectivity from the process education has to be quantified. It is impossible to quantify good teaching, so why are we even trying?

    Like

  22. Domhuaille MacMathghamhna says:

    Anonymous at April 28, 2011 at 9:23 pm……what is offensive is your posting as an anonymous critic without having taken the time to clearly understand what I posted. Have you ever worked in any 3rd world national school? I have; the students are brillant but the resources, the management and the entire educational ¨system¨ is really 3rd class. Self-styled ¨Tier 1¨ International schools are often no better than what occurs in a village school in a poverty-striken and neglected corner of a 3rd world country with the difference being that the kids and staff are better fed and dressed.
    If your ¨sensibilities¨ are offended by 3rd world education, lets hear your story and stop hiding behind the anonymous label on ISR.

    Like

    • Louise says:

      absolutely agree on all points

      Like

    • Sue says:

      What offends me is the continuing use of the term “third world”. Enlightened people, and people from these countries themselves, tend to use the term “developing nation”.

      Like

      • guinevere says:

        what offends me is smug liberal middle class imperialists who think being offended by perceived politically incorrect terminology is worthy – get yourself into a third world or developing nation and look at the reality of the problems and obstacles to progress – when you are actually enlightened you may wish to expend more energy on useful and purposeful verbal engagement and less on self satisfied nit picking.

        Like

  23. Anonymous says:

    I think the word “third world education” is offensive.

    Like

    • a380 says:

      Get over it

      Like

      • rel43 says:

        Agreed, a380. Let’s not permit the obtrusive and non-sensical PC crap to hijack our conversations and unnecessarily throw us off topic.

        I think that the tiering of schools has it pros and cons. It may be used as propaganda by some schools but may also be used to pressure lower tiered entries into shaping up.

        For profits shouldn’t even be allowed to participate.

        Like

        • Tolstoy says:

          When you’ve worked in a Tier 1 school you see the difference — the resources, package, and pedagogy are top notch. You work your butt off, but you can FEEL the difference. Schools that come to mind: Shanghai American School, Singapore American School, ISB, Jakarta, HKIS, to name a few. It’s an environment in which you have to raise your game because the bar is high, you learn and grow as an educator, and you are well compensated for it. No place is perfect, but having worked in Tier 1 and Tier 2 schools, there IS a difference. It’s good for marketing, but it’s not just for marketing.

          And not all for-profit schools are bad. There are some that don’t have bad reputations (MKIS), but I’d venture that they are the exception, not the norm.

          Like

          • a380 says:

            I agree, Tolstoy. I’ve worked at a few different places over the years, but you’re right: nothing like a tier 1 place. Work your ass off, work with amazing colleagues, stay cutting edge…and make more than enough to have US tax obligations🙂

            Like

  24. Domhuaille MacMathghamhna says:

    My take on this Tier nonsense is that:

    1) It is PR spin made by owners / administrators for owners / administrators … if the parents were asked, they’d tell an entirely different story.

    2) Excellence is all about the way a school treats its least capable and most challenged students in both the academic and human realm. On a scale of 10 (Excellent),1 (disgraceful) the vast majority of International Schools fall below 5 (average)on these two criteria.

    3) Happy teachers definitely make happy kids. Treat your teachers like 3rd world indentured servants and you’ll get a 3rd world education. Keep your teachers motivated, encouraged, secure and challenged and you’ll get a top rate end result.

    4) Education is a 4 legged stool: kids at the front of the stool,teachers beside them, parents in between and administrators at the back of the stool. Any other combination is a recipe for trouble.

    5) As a retired College Counselor, I know so called Tier 1 Universities aren’t for everyone and that a Tier 2 school can give as much as an IVY league school can if the fit is right. Again, this Tier 1 nonsense is made to flatter the egos of the rich and socially mobile kids who want to say; ¨Well I graduated from…..¨

    6)Currently education worldwide is like a stagecoach, outdated, slow to move, underpowered and anachronistic. we need a new paradigm shift…let’s leave the stagecoach in the barn and get on a jet!!!

    Like

    • Nomad says:

      Excellent points…

      Like

    • David Freeman says:

      It starts with the ownership. If it is a for-profit owner-run school, it will likely fall into the bottom tier.

      In other management structures, do all board members have the same voting rights or are some considered second class board members. Next to last tier at best.

      Another bottom-tier descriptor would be a host-national school pretending to be international because a few non-nationals are on staff.

      Does the school have embassy support or board representation? That usually means a higher quality school. At least a tier two.

      Does the school pay locals and expats the same base salary (perhaps not housing, shipping,and flights)? Only the best school do. That will get you into the top tier….or close.

      How much authority do government officials exercise over the operation of the school? The heavy hand of the local or national government will will push the school down to one of the lower tiers.

      It all starts at the top, unfortunately.

      Like

    • Omari Grey says:

      You made some very good points. I was wondering what you recommend for international school’s today? IB or AP? Depth vs. Breadth curriculum? In your experience,how does a school get the best out of unqualified staff? Perhaps, the obvious answer is to train them but in what areas should we focus?

      Like

    • valerie says:

      I agree with the considerations of this response. However, I do think that it would be helpful for international teachers to have some sort of guideline for assessing whether a particular school is a good “fit” for him/her. I am about to finish my sixth year teaching internationally, and I know from experience that what is shown is not necessarily what you get. Also, a well-designed assessment could influence the accountability of schools to their employees. It is unfortunate that ISR has compared such assessment to the Tier model, but rethinking such a tool is warranted.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s