No Cash for Credits at CAIS

Do you ever have those days when you get nothing on your to-do list done?  On Friday, I got a text at 6:08 am saying, “You will not be happy about the lead article in the Star.”  That was all I focused on for the rest of the day, which was bad news, because I got back from Colorado at 2:30 a.m. and I had a Board meeting that I wanted to focus on at 1:00 p.m.  But this was a priority…

I am pleased to report that by 4:00pm, we sent out a letter to CAIS schools, purchased on-line advertising, drafted a letter to the Editor, met with UCC and Havergal to coordinate communication efforts, met with the Toronto French School to coordinate the Radio-Canada interviews, met with LiQuid to develop our ad, and approved our strategy with the CAIS Board. (On that last point, truth is, we got lucky that the Board meeting was that day.)

I believe that CAIS can play a role in helping to spread the word – that there is a real difference between a CAIS accredited school and ….well… all the other schools.

At this point, however, the Toronto Star has not published the letter to the Editor, so I am presenting it and a screen shot of our on-line ad below:

Dear Editor,

Congratulations to the Toronto Star and Ryerson School of Journalism on their investigative reports. Mark inflation in high schools is a serious issue, and the government should investigate to ensure the highest academic and ethical standards are met in the educational system.

But it is important that people are aware that not all tuition-charging schools are equal. Over 25 years ago, an organization was formed to establish high national standards for independent schools. Canadian Accredited Independent Schools (CAIS) is a community of independent schools that pursues international standards of educational excellence. CAIS schools undergo a rigorous accreditation process that encompasses all areas of programs and operations. More than that, CAIS schools are committed to the ongoing pursuit of excellence.

Today, of the thousands of private and independent schools in Canada, only 90 of them meet the 12 National Standards, with 40 CAIS accredited schools in Toronto, including Upper Canada College and Havergal College.

The other group that needs to enter this debate is parents. Inflating marks is unacceptable, but so too is buying grades, and these are not the values that anyone should encourage in children.

The fact is that parents may play the strongest role in ensuring high standards. They need to insist on the integrity of credits in a learning environment that is ethical, challenging, and committed to excellence. They need to be vigilant to find out if a school meets their standards.

CAIS partners with parents and all other members of the educational community in articulating high standards and accrediting the best schools.

ps – Thanks to my Mentor for being my Google Alert on Friday.