Pioneer Forum to Focus on SABIS® and the Role of For-Profit Charter School Management Companies

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Pioneer Forum to Focus on SABIS® and the Role of For-Profit Charter School Management Companies

BOSTON – The experience of SABIS®, a global educational management organization that operates two Massachusetts charter schools, will serve as a case study for a discussion of for-profit charter school management at a Pioneer Institute forum to be held on October 9th at 8:00 am at the Omni Parker House hotel in Boston.

The forum will feature remarks by Newcastle University Professor James Tooley, the author of From Village School to Global Brand: Changing the World through Education. Another of Tooley’s books, The Beautiful Tree, documents the remarkable growth of private schools that serve low-income families across the developing world.

Following Professor Tooley’s remarks, there will be a panel discussion featuring Jim Peyser, former Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education Chair and now a partner at New Schools Venture Fund; Kathie Skinner, director of the Massachusetts Teachers Association’s Center for Educational Quality and Professional Development; Basan Nembirkow, former superintendent in Brockton during SABIS®’s unsuccessful attempt to open a regional charter school there; and Joseph McCleary, President of the Academy of Notre Dame in Tyngsboro and former Superintendent of the Mystic Valley Regional Charter School in Malden.

The event is co-sponsored by the Program on Education & Governance at the Harvard Kennedy School, the Massachusetts Charter Public School Association, and the Black Alliance for Educational Options and SABIS®.

Pioneer has been a leading advocate for school choice and charter schools since their adoption. In recent months, Pioneer held a forum featuring School Receiver Jeff Riley that explored school choice options in the City of Lawrence and released results of a public opinion survey of 500 likely Massachusetts voters, which showed that over two-thirds of respondents support lifting charter school caps.

Pioneer staff members have appeared on radio and in print to discuss expanding school choice options in the Lawrence school district, to achieve the successes seen in cities such as New Orleans and Washington, D.C. Press coverage includes: “The ‘Post-Katrina’ Moment for Lawrence Schools,” The Callie Crossley Show, WGBH (September 12, 2012); “Lawrence school reforms must target all students, not a select few” Lawrence Eagle-Tribune (August 26, 2012); ” College hopes renewed for Lawrence dropouts” Lawrence Eagle-Tribune (August 9, 2012); “Receiver: Individual schools to lead way in Lawrence turnaround,” Lawrence Eagle-Tribune (August 1, 2012).

Over the past few years, the Institute has released the following reports on Massachusetts charters: Houses of Learning: The Charter Public School Facilities Process (June 2011); Charter School Caps and Strings Attached: The Achievement Gap Act of 2010 and Charter Policy (October 2010); Debunking the Myths about Charter Public Schools (January 2010); Putting Children First: The History of Charter Public Schools in Massachusetts (November 2009); and Follow the Money: Charter School and District Funding in Massachusetts (November 2009).


Pioneer Institute is an independent, non-partisan, privately funded research organization that seeks to improve the quality of life in Massachusetts through civic discourse and intellectually rigorous, data-driven public policy solutions based on free market principles, individual liberty and responsibility, and the ideal of effective, limited and accountable government.