Key takeaways from my “How well is your international school really doing?" article

The article discusses the importance of evaluating the performance of international schools beyond just financial metrics.

Here are the key takeaways:

  • Limitations of Financial Measures: While private companies often use financial measures like return on sales and investments to gauge success, international schools, especially those operating for-profit, might not always disclose financial statements. This means that school leaders and other stakeholders might not have access to revenue and profit numbers.
  • Non-Financial Performance Indicators: The article emphasizes the significance of non-financial measures in assessing a school's performance. These measures can be just as indicative of a school's success as financial ones. Common non-financial metrics include student achievement data, such as scores on Advanced Placement (AP) exams or International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma results, and university acceptances.
  • Broader Evaluation Criteria: The article suggests that schools should not only focus on student academic achievements but also consider other factors. These include the quality of services and programs, development of new services and programs, the school's ability to attract and retain teachers and leaders, parent satisfaction, and the quality of relationships among management, staff, and employees.
  • Survey-Based Assessment: The article proposes using surveys to assess various aspects of school performance. For instance, teachers can evaluate the quality of programs and services compared to other international schools in their area. The community's small, but growing, size often means that teachers have a good understanding of how their school compares to others.
  • Data Collection Methods: In addition to surveys, other methods can be used to gather data on the seven factors mentioned. For example, human resources can provide staff retention rates, and specific surveys can be crafted to measure aspects like parent satisfaction.
  • Practical Application: The article outlines how schools can implement these assessment strategies, suggesting annual or biannual surveys. The results, combined with student achievement data, can offer a more comprehensive view of a school's performance.