…There is no master list, or even a universally agreed upon criteria, for Tier-ranking International Schools. Even if there were such a list under development, it’s doubtful teachers could reach a definitive consensus. Depending on personal priorities, the attributes of a Tier-1 school vary considerably from teacher to teacher, making it virtually impossible to set a standard by which all International Schools are measured.
Some educators focus on the size of the paycheck & benefits package as the main factors for assigning a Tier ranking. Other educators weigh in on curriculum, facilities & academic integrity. Still others, in pursuit of a Tier-1 experience, look for an admin that values teachers’ input. With so many individual priorities, a Tier-3 school for me may be a Tier-2, or even a Tier-1 school, for you.
Can a for-profit school ever be considered a Tier-1 school? What about a school made up of mostly host nationals? Are there Tier-1 schools in developing nations, or is the Tier-1 experience found only in fully developed locations?
With no agreed upon criteria to define Tier rankings, how do you interpret a Review in which the author says, “This is a Tier-3 school”? If you’ve been on the International circuit for any length of time, you probably have your own personal system of interpreting Tier ratings. But if you’re new to International education, these ratings hold little, if any, relationship to the realities of living & teaching abroad.
To help educators gain an understanding of the realities seasoned International educators are referring to when assigning a Tier-ranking to an school, ISR invites you to share your definition of a Tier 1, Tier 2 & Tier 3 International School.
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