January 27, 2012

Students and families at the International Academy of Saginaw hear from SABIS graduates of their sister school, the International Academy of Flint

On Wednesday, January 25th, students and parents at the International Academy of Saginaw (IAS) were able to hear from high school students and graduates of the International Academy of Flint (IAF).  The International Academy of Flint opened in 1999 and serves grades K-12, while its sister school in Saginaw opened in 2007 and currently serves grades K-7.  IAF students, along with Chris Matheson, the school's head of Student Life, presented the benefits of a SABIS education to 4th-7th grade students and their parents.

A major focus of the presentation was the Student Life Organization which IAS plans to establish.   Students were able to ask questions and were impressed and thankful for IAF's high schoolers and graduates who shared their experiences and the many benefits of hard work and taking personal responsibility.   Parents and students were able to hear from IAF graduates who are either in college or have graduated from college.

Hot topics during the evening presentation were the weekly testing, rigorous coursework, and overall experience of high school and college.  Parents and students were also able to ask many questions of the panel.  A big thank you goes out to IAF's high school students Paul Herring, Marcus Herring, Keli Mims, Kalyn Brown, Ashley Hamilton, and Clinton Cox, who shared their valuable time, as well as the IAF graduates now in college, Sharhonda Green, Leonidas Caldwell, Elvin Caldwell, and Chris Collins.

January 24, 2012

Louisiana BAEO celebrates National School Choice Week at SABIS school in Shreveport

Here are just a few images from the January 23, 2012, celebration of National School Choice Week held by the Louisiana Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO) at the Linwood Charter School in Shreveport, Louisiana.  Linwood is a member of the SABIS® Schools Network. To view more images, visit Louisiana BAEO's Facebook page.

January 23, 2012

SABIS International Charter School students take home 5 of the 11 top prizes at the 72nd annual Model Congress

Students from SABIS® International Charter School (Springfield, MA) recently took part in the 72nd annual Model Congress run by American International College in Springfield, MA from January 12-14, 2012.

The SABIS® Team, consisting of 16 students (pictured above), took home an astounding 5 of the 11 total awards including the prestigious Outstanding Delegation award with Brandon Santiago, Hannah Sullivan, Ashley Lewis and Catherine Lupien.

This is the third year in a row the SABIS® Team has won this award. In addition, Danielle Lessard took second place overall and won a scholar ship valued at $83,706, Hannah Sullivan took third place and won a scholarship valued at $55,804 and Brandon Santiago took fourth place and won a scholarship valued at $27,902.

Freshman Katherine Mauke took home an honorable mention. She is the only freshman, from any school, to take home an individual award and the first freshman to do so in over five years.

With over 200 students in attendance from across New England and New York, the team of students from SABIS International Charter School rose to the top, showing professionalism throughout the competition, while making alliances and respecting their opposing delegates.

January 18, 2012

SABIS school in Neuss, Germany

Video of ISR Internationale Schule am Rhein in Neuss GmbH, Neuss, Germany

Report ranks states' charter school laws

The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools (NAPCS) released its 2012 charter law rankings report. This report evaluates, scores, and ranks each of the country’s 42 state charter school laws against the 20 essential components from the NAPCS model law.  There were some significant shifts this year with 16 states improving their overall score, four states losing ground and 22 states holding constant with their previous year’s score.  Check out where your state ranks here!

January 17, 2012

SABIS students took 3 of the 4 top prizes at the 72nd annual Model Congress at American International College

St. Joseph, SABIS, Agawam among winners at 72nd Model Congress

Students from SABIS International Charter School took three of the top four prizes at the 72nd annual Model Congress at American International College. Agawam High students won three Honorable Mention awards, but the top prize went to a St. Joseph Central high School student.

Nicole Akramoff was voted top delegate at the three day event, earning her a full tuition scholarship to AIC for four years.

More than 250 students from throughout New England and New York participated in the Model Congress, the longest running event of its kind in the country.

They worked on a variety of bills, including legislation that would help expand the use of DNA and fingerprints for the identification and prosecution of criminals; a bill to reduce America's dependence on foreign oil while developing alternative energy sources in the United States by lifting restrictions on offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico; and a Welfare Reform Bill that would deny welfare benefits to individuals that do not have a High School diploma or a GED.

The students submitted the legislation prior to the start of Model Congress, and each bill was then debated, amended and voted on during committee meetings. Bills that were approved in committee were taken up the next day in House and Senate sessions.

AIC faculty judges rated the delegates on their debating and oratorical skills, as well as their knowledge and use of Robert's Rules of Order.

Model Congress is organized and run each year by AIC students. Andrew Ledoux, an English major from Seekonk, Mass., served as General Chair for the 72nd Model Congress.

Newly-elected Holyoke mayor Alex Morse addressed the joint session of Model Congress urging the student leaders to stay involved with the governmental process. At 22, Morse is the city's youngest mayor ever.

Springfield City Council president James Ferrera spoke at the awards banquet. Ferrera read a proclamation from the City Council congratulating AIC on its 72 year tradition of Model Congress. (Source: AIC)

January 11, 2012

Lowell Sun editorial urges state approval of new SABIS school in Lowell, Massachusetts

New charter school is good for Lowell

On Thursday, representatives from the Collegiate Charter School of Lowell (CCSL) will go before the state Board of Education in Malden to answer questions about its proposal for a new school.

The school's Founding Committee, comprising area business and educational executives, will be joined by directors from SABIS international, the learning group that will operate the K-5 charter.

The Department of Education must approve the CCSL's proposal, and will be scrutinizing every detail of its proposed organizational structure, mission, academic offerings, recruitment of teaching staff and financial resources. A final decision is expected in February. If all goes well, the CCSL will be eligible to open in September 2013 with 540 students.

The Sun believes the city of Lowell, home to 106,000 residents, needs more public-school choices for parents and their children. In affluent communities, the range of school choices -- both public and private -- is broad, giving families opportunities to decide what is best for their children. Shouldn't Lowell parents have a similar chance to decide what is best for their kids? Damn right they should.

The CCSL, coupled with the existing Lowell Community Charter Public School (K-6), would greatly expand the menu of untapped options. According to DOE guidelines, the city has the capacity to offer 2,500 seats annually to charter-school students, yet is under-served by 72 percent.

The CCSL proposal presents a significant opportunity for Lowell to improve the quality of education throughout the city's public school system. Its mission isn't to "steal" students from Lowell Public Schools as critics contend, but to enhance the academic development of students who desire a different learning environment.

SABIS International has a splendid track record of operating charters in other urban centers. Its goal is to see that every student attending its schools goes on to attend college. It has been highly successful in achieving those lofty marks in both Holyoke and Springfield, where the traditional public schools have struggled mightily. We like the attitude of excellence that SABIS sets; it's a great model for serious learning.

The state's charter-approval process, however, can be somewhat political -- even though politics, by law, has nothing to do with DOE's final decision. We've detected a state education bias against SABIS simply because it is a for-profit business organization. You would think a well-run, efficient outfit would be welcome, but DOE officials hate to give up control to any outside experts other than themselves. They should be more concerned with the results of students.

We hope this mindset changes for the sake of our children. The Community Charter School of Lowell deserves a chance to open its doors and breathe fresh life and vitality into the city's educational landscape.

SABIS 2011 graduates accepted to the world's best universities

Harvard, Yale, MIT, Oxford, Cambridge, Princeton, Brown, BC, Northwestern, NYU, London School of Economics and McGill were just some of the colleges and universities to which the 2011 graduates of the SABIS Schools Network were accepted.  In all, the 2011 class enrolled in 97 of the world's top 200 higher education institutions.  For a complete list of colleges and universities to which SABIS 2011 graduates were accepted click here!  What an impressive list it is too! 

January 9, 2012

Report: Education management sector expanding

WASHINGTON (AP) - A new report finds that even in a tough economy, companies that are contracted to manage charter schools and other public schools are expanding.

The report out Friday is by the National Education Policy Center at the University of Colorado Boulder.  It says that much of the growth is in the area of online learning, known as “virtual schools.”

The operators are known as education management organizations. The sector emerged in the 1990s as part of an effort to use the market to force changes in public education.

The report notes that there are almost 300 such companies today and that nearly 780,000 students attend schools operated by them. (Washington Times)

January 5, 2012

Educating the poor in India: lessons for America

Posted: 02 Jan 2012 06:00 AM PST

Posted by Peter Meyer - Bernard Lee Schwartz Policy Fellow on the Flypaper Blog

A fascinating story in the New York Times about schooling in India has a few things to teach American educators; mainly, that the poor really do want a good education. (I have had extended discussions with colleagues about the question of educating the poor (see here, here, and here) and Kathleen Porter Magee’s The “Poverty Matters” Trap is a must-read for anyone investigating the subject.)

As it turns out, public schools in India, like many in the U.S., are apparently lousy – “in many states,” write Vikas Bajaj and Jim Yardley about India, “government education is in severe disarray, with teachers often failing to show up.” But unlike the U.S., where charter schools and vouchers have begun to offer alternatives, In India the poor have turned to a network of private schools to educate their children. It is much as James Tooley described it in a 2005 story in Education Next (and his subsequent book, The Beautiful Tree), recounting amazing stories from around the world:

See the rest of the article here

Georgia Reform Advocates Debut New Movie

Making the Grade Film

Georgia School Choice Documentary -
Film to Premiere January 5th

Join the Center for an Educated Georgia and other school choice organizations and advocates for the premiere of "Making the Grade in Georgia: Educational Freedom and Justice for All," a new documentary about K-12 education in Georgia and the impact of school choice.

The 30-minute documentary describes the current status of school and student performance in Georgia and explains the educational options available today.

Featuring interviews with educational experts, state leaders, principals, teachers, and students, the film showcases many examples of school choice, how it benefits a wide variety of students and families, and ways that Georgia can improve K-12 education by increasing quality educational options for all students

The film premieres this Thursday, January 5, 2012 at the Cobb Galleria Centre and other satellite locations across the state. Admission is free.

If you are unable to attend in person, you can watch a live stream of the film premiere online at www.MakingtheGradeMovie.com.

"Making the Grade in Georgia:
Educational Freedom and Justice for All"

Thursday, January 5, 2012 at 7 p.m.

Cobb Galleria Centre and at venues across Georgia.

For more information and to register, go to www.MakingtheGradeMovie.com.