Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Mobility & Education: Corporate Policies and Practices Featured in October Mobility Magazine

The mobility industry is not lacking surveys. Most of the major players in the field make some attempt to understand common practice in at least a few of the many disciplines that comprise employee relocation. Because of the breadth, depth, and complexity of mobility—one could ask hundreds of questions on tax policy alone and still not cover it comprehensively—many areas receive short shrift. Among the most neglected is education. This despite the fact that education is frequently cited as one of the most significant areas of concern for expatriate families. 

Until now, when seeking out information regarding education-related policies for expatriates, the best a program manager might find in a survey would be a simple “yes/no” choice regarding the provision of education support. The team at School Choice realized that corporate policies were, by necessity, complex and nuanced, differentiating education benefits based on a number of different factors, such as home and host location and seniority of the employee. Therefore, rather than asking a binary question which does not result in useful information, we structured our survey so as to incorporate these factors. The result is a web-based survey—“Mobility & Education: Corporate Policies and Practices”—that, though it takes some time to complete, captures data about this important area in a more detailed and nuanced way than any previous mobility survey.
 
Excerpts of our survey appears in the October issue of Mobility Magazine, a publication of Worldwide ERC®, the workforce mobility association for professionals who oversee, manage, or support U.S. domestic and international employee transfer. 

If you are a program manager or administrator with knowledge of your organization's international mobility policies, we invite you to participate in our benchmarking survey. To date, there has not been a detailed survey to explore the practices of global employers regarding education-related assistance for assignees with school-age children. We are aiming to change that.

See this survey link to participate. It should take an estimated 20 minutes to complete the survey. All participants will receive a report of these results, and no individual organization's data will be disclosed to any other participants


If you have an assignee with nursery, school or college age children moving anywhere in the world email info@schoolchoiceintl.com  or call:  +1-914-328-3000 and 866-881-5959 (US toll free).

Friday, August 15, 2014

College Placement Exams - SAT or ACT?


Standardized testing has always been one of the most stressful parts of the college admissions process. This one single exam generates one number that will determine where your life is going for the next four years. And for years, it seemed there was really one standardized test worth taking- the SAT exam given by the College Board. In recent years, however, the SAT has been challenged and actually overtaken by the ACT exam in terms of how many students a year take the exam. So the question becomes how does this information affect the average college applicant, and what can you do to use it to maximize your success?

This Table explains the way that the SAT and ACT are scored:

Score Range
Number Of Sections
Type Of Sections
SAT
600-2400, 800 for each section
Three
Critical Reading, Writing, and Mathematics
ACT
1-36, 1-18 for each section
Four
English, Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences.
              
How did the ACT overtake the SAT? ACT offers significant advantages to a student over the SAT. First of all, there are no penalties for wrong answers, unlike the SAT that currently gives you a quarter of a point off for every wrong answer. Second, the essay for the ACT, unlike the SAT, is completely optional. Third, and most importantly, the ACT is more directly linked to the actual curriculum of education, where the SAT is more based on the critical reasoning skills learned through the curriculum.

In addition to this, multiple states mandate that schools pay for the ACT and force high school students to take it. On the one hand, this could be seen as a very effective marketing tactic by the ACT. On the other hand, it could also be seen as an attempt to get students in a college ready mindset as well as giving them the chance to compensate for low grades with a high score on a standardized test. And therein lies the question--which test should a prospective college student take?

The answer is that you should take both. Until you take the test, or at least begin to study to take the test, you will have no idea which test would better show your strengths to a college. Because of this, I would highly advise that if you have the money and the time, you prepare for and take both of them, and take them multiple times. Many colleges, for example, allow you to use your best SAT/ACT scores and omit prior test results for evaluation, even if you have taken both tests multiple times.

This is a critical issue because this score plays an important part in college acceptance. Let’s use a conservative estimate and say that the SAT only counts for ten percent of whether or not a college accepts you. That’s one number, one single test that will account for ten percent of how a college views you. And with that in mind, why not make as much effort as you can to make sure that number is the best possible number it can be?


Which test will students take?




Current 10th Graders (Class of 2016)
SAT: Take the current SAT.
PSAT: Take the current PSAT.
ACT: Take the current ACT.

Current 9th Graders (Class of 2017)
SAT: Take the current SAT until Fall of Junior year.  Starting Spring of Junior year, take the NEW SAT.
PSAT: Take the NEW PSAT in the Fall of Junior year.
ACT: Take the ACT Aspire to prepare for the ACT, which is not going through a major change.

Current 8th Graders (Class of 2018)
SAT: Take the current SAT until Fall of Sophomore year.  Take the NEW SAT in Junior and Senior year.
PSAT: Take the New PSAT in the Fall of Sophomore and Junior year.
ACT: Take the ACT Aspire to prepare for the ACT, which is not going through a major change.

Current 7th Graders (Class of 2019)
SAT: Take the NEW SAT.
PSAT: Take the New PSAT.
ACT: Take the ACT Aspire to prepare for the ACT, which is not going through a major change.


By Rob Holloman
School Choice International


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Educational Challenges When Moving with Children


School Choice International was invited to blog about educational issues and relocation for assignees. Take a look at the challenges families may experience in a domestic or international move.

http://msigbs.com/blog-2/relocation/educational-challenges-when-moving-with-children/


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