SABIS Holyoke compared to Brockton
The following graphs compare the Holyoke Community Charter School's 2012 Composite Performance Index (CPI) to Brockton's in English and Math.
This data was obtained from the State Education Department's MCAS results on the school district profiles page.
The SABIS Holyoke charter school is 92% minority and 82% low-income, compared to Brockton's which is 74% minority and 70% low-income.
Despite enrolling a greater at-risk student population, SABIS Holyoke achieved a higher CPI score than Brockton schools in Grades 3, 4, 6 and 8 English Language Arts.
In Math, SABIS Holyoke had higher CPI scores in MCAS than Brockton in all grades except for 5th.
In Math, SABIS Holyoke had higher proficiency scores on MCAS than Brockton in all grades except for 5th. In fact, by the 8th grade, SABIS Holyoke came within 4 percentage points of matching the State, while Brockton was 20 percentage points.
In English, SABIS Holyoke had higher proficiency scores than Brockton in all grades 3, 4, 6, and 8. By the 8th grade, SABIS Holyoke, came within 6 percentage points of tying the State.
SABIS Springfield compared to Brockton
SABIS International in Springfield outperformed Brockton in all grade levels on MCAS in 2012. By Grades 8 and 10, SABIS students outperformed the State.
SABIS Springfield outperformed Brockton in all grade levels on Math MCAS exam in 2012. By Grade 10, SABIS students outperformed the State.
SABIS Springfield achieved a higher 2012 Composite Performance Index (CPI) score in English and Math in every grade level when compared to Brockton.
The average proficiency levels for African American students at SABIS Springfield exceed the State and Brockton by wide margins in English and Math.
By the 10th grade, 93% of African American students at SABIS Springfield proficient compared to 76% at the State and 73% in Brockton. In Math, African American students at SABIS are 83% proficient compared to 60% Statewide and 58% in Brockton.
Latino students at SABIS Holyoke and Springfield outperform their peers Statewide and in Brockton in Math.
White students attending SABIS Springfield tie their State peers in Math and came within 4 points in English.
Students with disabilities attending SABIS Springfield came within 2 percentage points of tying the State in Math and within 6 points in English.
Low income students attending SABIS Springfield ouperformed their State and Brockton peers in Math and English. In Holyoke, low income students came within 3 percentage points of tying the State in Math.
What others are saying about the SABIS program
Former Brockton Superintendent Basan “Buzz” Nembirkow (2004-2009)– the man who led the charge against a strong charter application back in 2008, had a change of heart on SABIS and for-profit EMOs at a recent Pioneer Institute panel on October 8, 2012:
“I think [SABIS] is an excellent model”
“When I looked at the SABIS model, the instructional model is sound.”
“SABIS has done a good job of taking what works best and putting it together, dealing with training teachers and administrators so there is a unified system.”
“From my perspective on schools, SABIS is a good model.”
Question from Jim Peyser, former Chair of the Massachusetts Board of Education: “Given the SABIS school in Springfield was a strong school, why wasn’t that good enough for you [Buzz] to support them coming to Brockton [in 2008]”?
Answer from Buzz: “My title was Superintendent of Brockton Public Schools, so right off the bat there’s an enlightened self-interest involved in that…. Basically, the issue was finance and politics. It had nothing to do, or very little to do with the quality of the [SABIS] program.”
“When SABIS came [to Brockton] we saw it as a financial threat. Simply as a financial threat. It took money away from us, which was about $4-5 million. Based upon that, our progress in BPS would have been substantially affected.”
“So my job in defending the Brockton Public Schools, as the Superintendent, was to do whatever I could to stop that particular threat at that time, so we mounted a very good political campaign.”
“Almost 90% finances” was the reason Buzz cited for opposing the SABIS school application.
Peyser asked panelists: “So, for profit charter management: who cares or deal-breaker”? Buzz responded: “I have no issues with that.”
Boston Globe EDITORIAL entitled, “Proving themselves by performing” FEBRUARY 16, 2012
“SABIS has earned the right to expand in Massachusetts.”
"While the for-profit business model may offend some local sensibilities, SABIS students in Holyoke and Springfield consistently outperform peers from similar socioeconomic backgrounds in their home districts. More importantly, SABIS is closing the achievement gap between its mostly minority student body and white counterparts in the suburbs. In Springfield, for example, 88 percent of SABIS 10th graders scored advanced or proficient on the 2011 MCAS math exam, compared to a statewide average of 77 percent.”
"SABIS is also coming on strong in Holyoke, where its students placed in the top 25 percent of schools statewide based on the percentage of Hispanic students who scored proficient or advanced in math in grades 7 and 8.”
“In 2008, an excellent SABIS proposal in Brockton was beaten back by powerful local politicians who didn’t relish competing with charter schools for students and resources.”
The Lowell Sun: Editorial May 14, 2012
“Charter schools are here to stay. We need a positive dialogue that puts kids first.”
“Sabis, a for-profit group, that will run Lowell's new charter school has had outstanding success in urban settings. Its Springfield charter school, where 100% of its graduating students attend college, recently received a Bronze medal ranking in the 2012 U.S. News and World Report's edition of the Nation's Best High Schools (22,000 public schools were covered).”
The Lowell Sun, January 11, 2012:
“SABIS 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."
Springfield Republican, December 8, 2012:
“The charter-school story in Massachusetts provides ample illustration that it is possible to bridge the stubborn achievement gap between urban and suburban students. SABIS International – the first publicly funded charter school in Springfield – is a case in point.
SABIS students placed in the top 25 percent among all schools in the state on the English and math MCAS test and outscored their peers at Springfield’s public schools by a margin of 30 percent.”
Boston Globe Editorial of March 10, 2008, reacting to the 2008 defeat of the SABIS application in Brockton
“When the State board of Education jettisoned the 2008 SABIS application, it also unintentionally abandoned minority families in more than a dozen communities.
"SABIS is one of the few educational systems in the state where minority students not only perform on par with white students, but outperform them, as well. That accomplishment, combined with the fact that there is little charter school activity in Southeastern Massachusetts, should have balanced out other concerns with the application.”
“By high school, minority students in Massachusetts lag their white counterparts by more than 30 percentage points in math and English on the state's high-stakes Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System test. But that is not the case at the Springfield SABIS school.”
“The board of education erred when it rejected an opportunity for minority students to traverse the gap that swallows so many.”
“The [SABIS] school stresses core subjects and tests relentlessly. Teachers work from weekly lesson plans that require each student to master specific skills and concepts before moving on to the next section. Good classroom participation, attitude, and homework diligence won't move a student forward unless he or she also tests well.”
“And the proposed 7 1/2 hour school day leaves plenty of time for intensive tutoring.”
“Some educators dismiss the SABIS system of revisiting concepts and repeating exercises as "drill and kill." It doesn't suit everyone… But it remains an effective way to get struggling students up to grade level.”