International Schools Review
Teachers Keeping Each Other Informed

Hoping to get my foot in the door

Re: Discussion

Postby GrumblesMcGee » Sat Apr 20, 2019 7:30 am

@PsyGuy:

Surprisingly, I agree with most of what you wrote.

You're still obstinately myopic about the "tiers." Sure, they exist...in people's minds. There is scant quantitative data on which schools are more elite. You can opine all you want about the length of lines at fairs, or come up with indirect metrics like university placement, tuition, etc. It's all just the collectivization of individual opinions in the end. And there isn't even really a survey to aggregate those opinions, anyway.

> You can
> think your IS is a tier 2 IS, even a high tier 2 IS, (it probably isnt)
> but ITs with a given IS tend to stroke their own egos by over praising and
> evaluating there own IS.

OK, whatever. The only reasons I'm not labeling it a "tier 1" are that it isn't as old as some of the big names and has a higher percentage of domestic (highly affluent) students than some of the downtown T1s. It's an outlier, just like me. If we were discussing it privately, you'd probably admit that you don't know much about it, then you'd take a moment to research it, and you'd either agree it's a hard-to-classify T2 or you'd be your typical, feces-throwing grump. Then I'd just laugh at you.

> Because SA is valuable, thats why we value them, they are the general
> market of premium agencies.

Fair enough. I guess I follow a bit of a moral imperative when it comes to these things. There's a limit to how much I'm willing to be treated like a commodity, how (un)certain the value of my purchase is (read: length of service), and how little redress I'll accept.

Honestly, ITs need a come-to-Socrates moment when it comes to Search. You acknowledge that: Search mistreats ITs, makes bank, and hypocritically continues to serve schools even when it's apparent they're not (i.e. ITs get blacklisted for running, schools face no consequences for violating contracts). Tellingly, you acknowledge that they aren't "executive recruiters" and "don't help much," which goes directly against what they're selling ITs. You're getting access to this "senior associate" who's there to guide you through blah blah blah. We all know it's nonsense.

> Yes thats their logic, and the USD$225
> that ITs pay is really just a gate keeper to keep their applications system
> from being flooded with low quality applicants, it barely covers the
> associates costs of maintaining and servicing the ITs file.

That's nonsense and you know it. $225 for what? Taking 5 minutes to process a candidate's file? How many Search candidates are there in a given year? 500? 1,000? 2,000? Do you really want to argue that they need a quarter million bucks a year to "maintain and service" the files? You can just as effective gatekeep at $75. Search gets away with this 1) because they window-dress as an "executive search" agency; 2) recruiters enable them by associating with Search to the detriment of ITs.

> The placement
> costs or placement invoicing thats where the the real coin is for the
> recruiter (there isnt a percentage commission fee structure, thats ISS
> Managed consulting and services), but yeah thats how business works,

Agreed. Hence the major objection to the $225 fee.

> you know if you hate it so much and its such a terrible model you can always
> start up your own shop, theres a number of collaboratives going on that are
> doing just that. If you dont like the service vote with your bank account,
> dont buy the service.

That's a great idea. Want to join me in the crusade?

Seriously, though. I signed a two-year contract. We'll see how I like it. If, ~14 months from now, my family and I decide we're in it for the longer term, I'll target T1 schools and really get involved in this fight. I'll be at the tip of the spear of the collaboratives, etc. I'll make it my mission to erode Search's image and help promote something else to take its place. It's not about whether Search is a "ministry" or a "charity," it's about whether or not it's gained an unhealthy market share in the industry and whether or not its practices are good for ITs.

It's easy enough to say "don't buy the service," but as you've rightly pointed out, there are other factors forcing ITs' hands...

> The job fairs would go away in the beating of a hummingbirds wing, IF the
> leadership and recruiters for ISs wanted that to happen, but they like
> those tripe and the experience and they benefit more from the fast paced
> time restricted experience than ITs do.

Agreed.

So, the pressure needs to build until it reaches the recruiters. That means pressure from ITs, exposure or Search, and promotion of healthier alternatives. The collaboratives seem like a good transitional solution. Technology will help, too: more open-source job databases and recruiters willing to rely on Skype instead of deferring to whatever warm bodies fly to a fair to meet them. And I'm sure (at least one of) Search and ISS will survive in some form, but hopefully they'll be forced to adapt.
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Re: Hoping to get my foot in the door

Postby wrldtrvlr123 » Sat Apr 20, 2019 7:36 am

PsyGuy wrote:
> @GrumblesMcGee
>
> More like 100% right, why would I post material that was wrong?
>
> Tiers arent really subjective, theres some subjectivity to them, but that doesnt
> make them subjective. You can be happy at your IS for whatever tier it is, but your
> perceptions of it doesnt change the tier. You can think a tier 1 IS is garbage for
> whatever reason, its still a tier 1 IS, and you can love your tier 3 IS for whatever
> reason, its still a tier 3 IS. You can think your IS is a tier 2 IS, even a high
> tier 2 IS, (it probably isnt) but ITs with a given IS tend to stroke their own egos
> by over praising and evaluating there own IS.
================
There are really some priceless nuggets in here.

If tiers are not subjective, then where is the objective determination about a school being in a given tier, listing of tiers? That's like saying "You can think Star Wars is derivative drivel but it's still the greatest movie of all times. Because it is. And many other people are saying it is".

Actually there are more lists and rankings of greatest all time movies by established entities (not necessarily unbiased or in agreement) than there are established/published rankings/tiers for int'l schools. Yes, there is some consensus on this forum and others like it about some schools being better than other schools and where some schools might fit within a tier rating system but nothing like an accepted, objective, published ranking.

According to you, a shite school in a shite location can still be a tier 1 school simply because it's the "best" school in the city/country/region (unless you've changed your mind/story about that). With ratings like that, the tier concept will always likely be somewhat subjective.
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Re: Hoping to get my foot in the door

Postby shadowjack » Sat Apr 20, 2019 5:04 pm

LOL - reading this post thread and thinking rainbows and unicorns.

SA provides the best database. That's why I sign up to it. Fairs are nice, but I'm at the point where I get recruited before fairs. But...I COULD spend my time searching through all the schools that have matching jobs for me and Mrs. Shadowjack... or I could simply pay $450 bucks out of my 5 year salary (average time we stay at a school) of around 250,000 USD and let Search do the search for me. Time IS money - and I prefer not to waste it on doing things that SA can do for me.

Search is NOT going away - until something better comes along with the same or higher quality information/data delivery. And so far nothing I have seen is replacing that.

At the same time, schools LIKE that Search collates a ton of information on candidates for them and makes it easier for them too. Again, saving them money. And because in general I think Search candidates get to be fairly knowledgeable about how IT and the process works, they tend to stay longer than 2 years, which schools value.

But keep on telling yourselves that finding a job via LinkedIn or Skype interviews will replace Search - it ain't going to happen - any more than IMO or Zoom interviews will replace Search. They are now recruiting tools to assess candidates of interest pre-fairs. But my last job offer rounds (I had several), EACH school Skyped with me and Mrs. Shadowjack - but Search was the vehicle of connection, and in the end we had several job offers to choose from.

As I said, it ain't going anywhere and it doesn't matter if you like it or not, or want to make it a personal crusade or not. If Search didn't provide value for money (and I've been around since before Search, when ISS Cambridge was the BIG show and you could give notice at the fair itself whether you were returning or not), it would not exist.
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Reply

Postby PsyGuy » Sat Apr 20, 2019 7:20 pm

@GrumblesMcGee

Doesnt everything exist in peoples minds, thats what existence means. If it exists your mind perceives it, because you have senses that can detect objects and events that are proximal to you and your brain processes that stimuli into meaning.
Theres a lot of quantitative data, but more importantly there are a lot of conclusions and determinations that are limited in scope and interest to practitioners in that field. IE tiers need not be a global phenomenon for the rankings to be both meaningful to the audience (ITs) and valid because its based on the conclusions and an1yitics of professionals in the field. There is a well respected list of the globally best labs to work at for basic research, its not published by News and World Reports, its shared by practitioners and professionals in that field, its not less valid or real because there isnt an international association or a mass publication of it.
Not that a survey would be any more valid or mean anything, but there have been surveys.

Its probably a tier 3 IS, maybe a floater thats carved itself a niche and been able to be relatively obscure. The first and second tiers are very very small, the second tier is only big in comparison to the first tier, the third tier is in contrast very very large. There are lots of very fine ISs in the third tier, but the second tier ISs are well known, there arent really any second tier ISs that are under the radar.

ITs could do whatever they want, but they are still a commodity, and they have as much say and influence as the cow walking into the slaughterhouse. I agree with @SJ SA has the largest database (I would disagree on the best database, but by some definitions bigger is better). Youre not getting access to a senior associate who guides you through anything, they take your coin send you some emails at best and maybe get you an invite to another associates fair, what your paying for is the access to the jobs database.

No the USD$225 is because SA isnt a shop, they are more a franchise, and like most franchise they have a lot of overhead they have to support, from ICT, to utilities to office space, an assistant, and other employees such as accounting and legal services, the cost of office machines, computer, fax, copier. The travel to the fairs, the hosting costs for their own fares, the business licenses, banking, etc. thats all bushiness expenses thats what your $225 pays for.
About 3000 a year but thats spread out over a lot of associates, and there are layers of associates above associates that get a share.

Yes you could gate keep at USD$75 but that supports only one office and business infrastructure, that works with an agency thats a corp shop, not with a franchise model, youve got to support everyones franchise.

Oh they totally dress themselves as an executive recruiting agency, its to there benefit to do so, if you dumped all that and just tried to sell people on a jobs board for USD$225, youd have less interest and less revenue. By the way theres this tech company in Redmond that sells this software that makes my computer work and they charge tons of coin for it, yet there are other software companies using something called Unix, that also makes my computer work and its free, cant understand why the Redmond company is in business selling something for a lot of coin when there are free alternatives, boggles the mind.

Recruiters dont care that much about ITs, thats never been a serious complaint, the complaints recruiters have is the cost of a placement, but they love those trips. If you think theres a conference though of leadership and recruiters that have to bring down SA because of the poor suffering ITs, thats fantasy.

Nope, I fight crusades I can win, but you go rouge one, fight the evil republic, it only takes one hero to win the day.

The collaborative kind of suck though.
Oh they the ISs, all rely on Skype (or generally available video conferencing software, like hangouts, face time, etc.) SA doesnt have a video conferencing tool, but they like meeting warm bodies its in their interest, fairs are high pressure scenarios and you have the effect that ITs dont want to leave with nothing, because it makes them feel like a failure working for the recruiters and the ISs.

@WT123

I didnt say there wasnt a subjective component to tiers, there is, but its not all subjectiuve. Ive posted it before, there are two generally accepted components of tiers comp package and work environment. Surely its obvious to you because you know how numbers and quantities work, that an IS offering X and another one offering 3X, that one of those salaries is superior.

Star Wars is not the greatest movie of all time.

How is ISR not an "established entity", but there are numerous reports by various publications of the most exclusive boarding and independent/private ISs.

Well yes, because thats how the definition of best works.

@SJ

I concur
ISS Cambridge those were the days.
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Re: Reply

Postby GrumblesMcGee » Sun Apr 21, 2019 10:41 am

There's too much to get to here, so I'll bracket off the Search stuff from @PsyGuy and @shadowjack for another time and just touch on one thing.

PsyGuy wrote:

> Theres a lot of quantitative data, but more importantly there are a lot of
> conclusions and determinations that are limited in scope and interest to
> practitioners in that field. IE tiers need not be a global phenomenon for
> the rankings to be both meaningful to the audience (ITs) and valid because
> its based on the conclusions and an1yitics of professionals in the field.
> There is a well respected list of the globally best labs to work at for
> basic research, its not published by News and World Reports, its shared by
> practitioners and professionals in that field, its not less valid or real
> because there isnt an international association or a mass publication of
> it.
> Not that a survey would be any more valid or mean anything, but there have
> been surveys.
>
> Its probably a tier 3 IS, maybe a floater thats carved itself a niche and
> been able to be relatively obscure. The first and second tiers are very
> very small, the second tier is only big in comparison to the first tier,
> the third tier is in contrast very very large. There are lots of very fine
> ISs in the third tier, but the second tier ISs are well known, there arent
> really any second tier ISs that are under the radar.

Three things just jump out as absurd here.

1. One is your obsessive quantification of these tiers, as if there's anything authoritative floating around. I'm not talking about published in U.S. News and World Whatnot, or the product of some credible researcher. I'm talking about...anywhere. The tiers exist as an abstraction. I actually find your description of them fairly useful, and wouldn't disagree that they're (more or less) consistent with what a lot of the IE community thinks in some respects. But even then, they're still merely social constructions (and not a particularly cohesive ones, given some of the disagreements) and very problematic to apply in any meaningful way. The end result is that you can pontificate all you want about how School X has the characteristics of your Tier Y, but that requires agreement both on the assessment of X and the parameters of Y. And no one has really done EITHER of those things in meaningful way--at least not that I've seen.

So yes, it's all subjective. Or to put it another way, I'll cite a renowned expert on the subject: "There is no 'definition' of Tier 1, Tier 2, or Tier 3. Its all subjective." (@PsyGuy, March 22, 2019)

2. Another goofy thing about your arguments, and probably the biggest issue making me part ways with your otherwise reasonable tier system, is this idea of a massive third tier that dwarfs everything else. By your logic*, T1 and T2 are "very very small," and then everyone else is in T3. On those rare occasions when you're not being a grump (e.g., "turds," "poo," "dump fairs," "bottom"), you start arguing that there are MASSIVE differences in the quality among T3 schools. Hey, look, you said something nice: "There are lots of very fine ISs in the third tier." So, a for-profit hellhole that masquerades as an IS and has illegal teachers, crap pay, no PD, and no A/C is in the same tier with a "very fine" run by U.S. Ph.D.s simply because the latter, for any number of reasons, doesn't make your list of the top 25% of ISs in a given area? By your logic*, there are T3 schools that are FAR closer in quality to T1 schools than they are to OTHER T3 schools.

*I have to put the asterisk up because your lengthy description of the tiers is almost postmodern in its self-contradiction and speculation. Yeah, you throw out ideas for other tiers, suggest an "elite" tier, a T4 (which I guess is T5 if there's an "elite" tier), etc. I'm just sticking with your basic 3-tier system. Feel free to respond that you wrote something else, contradicting yourself, as explication.

The hilarious thing is that you do this out of a shocking desire to be...nice: "is there a lower level, some people throw tier 4, and lower levels around, but i have to think that is really just an individual adding insult to injury when they call a particular school a 'tier 4' school."

OK. I get it. You're being nice, for once. In doing so, you're also be insulting by telling people, given the market in their area, that they're working at a BOTTOM tier school simply because Your Exaltedness hath decreed that they're only in the top 30% of schools in that area.

3. You can hypothesize all you want about the quality of my school. It just makes you look foolish. When that hypothesizing also results in insults, it makes you look like a foolish jackass. I'll tell you what: go ahead and come up with a comprehensive list of ISs in Thailand. Then rank them. If mine doesn't land in the top 25%, I'd be slightly surprised. If somehow slips out of it because there, to be fair, a lot of quality schools in Thailand, then you'd have to concede the whole "floater" thing, although not for the reasons you mentioned (carving a niche and being "relatively obscure").

By your own categorization, there are some slam-dunk T1 schools in Thailand. At a few of these schools, I'd be earning near or above $100,000/year. At others, I'd be earning close to what I'll be making. And there are a few schools that really make it hard to find the T1/T2 cutoff (or to keep it at 5% of schools). Beyond that, you'd have a REALLY hard time drawing the line between T2/T3 without either: blowing your whole 75%-of-schools-belong-in-T3 model, warping the data by lumping in every language school, private school, and public school with an English-language track, or laughably shoehorning some excellent schools into T3.

If you take that last route, your entire system breaks down. Just Bangkok alone is going to give you a classification nightmare (https://www.thethailandlife.com/interna ... ls-bangkok). You're going to have scores of schools in your T3 that violate all your characteristics, by shoving in rightful T2s due to their being:

- private nonprofits
- advertised via selective agencies (like ISS)
- westernized (actually one of your T1 traits)
- college preparatory (actually one of your T1 traits)
- similar to western private schools (actually one of your T1 traits)
- with compensation/infrastructure/curriculum/administration comparable to the T2s

At the same time, you'd then misplace these schools into a tier defined by traits they don't have:

- for-profit
- either paying well "because the only reason someone would work there is the money" or not paying well
- unsafe
- likely in Africa or the ME (strange, because earlier you write that: "Tier status is only comparable to other schools within a region. Local economies, costs of living, cultural differences make global comparisons unhelpful.")

So what's it going to be? 75% of schools in Thailand are "bottom tier," or your model doesn't really work that well?

Feel free to go through that list (https://www.thethailandlife.com/interna ... ls-bangkok) and tell me which schools there are T3. Or, go through all of Thailand and rank (Wikipedia lists 166 ISs in Thailand as of 2016). I think you'll see your tiering system is a bit of a joke if you're trying to structure it in some "top 5%/top 25%/bottom 75%" fashion.
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Re: Hoping to get my foot in the door

Postby shadowjack » Sun Apr 21, 2019 11:09 am

Grumbles,

I would tend to agree with you on the blurring between tiers, but with some caveats. When I started there were about 60% fewer international schools in the world. The best were repped by ISS. Search came in as ISS also ran schools and it wasn't very teacher friendly in how jobs were advertised, etc (TIEonline, interestingly enough, was THE paper back in the day and perused in every IS staffroom).

One person's tier 1 is not everybody's, nor is another person's tier 3. But I do know that at good schools of whatever tier, if you cannot work your way from not very good schools to good schools, you hit a point in your life where really good schools won't look at you. That's about 3 international contracts in. And if you bounce 2 years 2 years 2 years, it is hard too.

Even in perceived tier 3 schools there are a range of differences because not all are created equal. I would say QSI schools are tier 3, but there are indeed one or two where I would apply at IF I knew I would be placed in that school. They are above the norm for QSI and thus desirable for me to work in, and not a step backwards. Admin in the field and teachers who have been around and have connections know this. Others don't. I have met a fair number of teachers who finally made it to a tier 1 for a country after being at 2 or 3 not great schools - and wanted to move after 2 years. My recommendation was not to, because they finally made it to a solid school and wanted to leave after 2 years? And the schools they thought of applying to! (not saying they might not win the jackpot, but there was nothing setting them apart from a regular teacher applicant). After 2, 2, 2 year contracts with the first 2 at not great schools and the 3rd at a decent school, but only 2 years, the great schools don't really look at you unless you are special. I told them (and they followed up) to start being a lot more active in the school, take on responsibilities, do some PD, etc. That's part of what it takes to get to good schools.

In the end, you have to make up your own mind. My present school is definitely not a tier 1 internationally, but it certainly is for the country and it is moving to improve even more, which is why I like it and why I plan on sticking around. Pay isn't great, but it's not bad and I can still save for retirement. In the end, those things are what's important to me.
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Re: Hoping to get my foot in the door

Postby GrumblesMcGee » Sun Apr 21, 2019 1:58 pm

shadowjack wrote:

> In the end, you have to make up your own mind. My present school is
> definitely not a tier 1 internationally, but it certainly is for the
> country and it is moving to improve even more, which is why I like it and
> why I plan on sticking around. Pay isn't great, but it's not bad and I can
> still save for retirement. In the end, those things are what's important to
> me.

I appreciate what you wrote. There's really nothing I disagree with there.

I'm certainly not rejecting the notion that most people are looking to climb the ladder (my friend talked me into IE and she did it, and is now in her fifth country leading a department and making bank). Even I am not immune to it.

While I have an unusual background (atypically overqualified and yet underexperienced), I knew I'd probably have to climb the ladder to some extent, too. The China-heavy recruitment agency I dealt with briefly (probably the one the OP is dealing with) even used the "foot in the door" trope to try to massage me into a crap-paying position I'm overqualified for. More than anything, I knew I was a candidate who needed the right "fit." Was it going to be at my dream job, or a consensus "T1" school? Probably not (although if you glanced at my CV, you might tell me stranger things have happened). And I wasn't interested in a "fit" that was based on the fact that the school had low standards. I'm not some 20-something with a few years of public school under my belt. So starting at the bottom wasn't something my family and I were willing to say yes to.

As I wrote many times, there's some intuitive sense in PsyGuy's tiers. I just laugh at the # breakdown, and I really think there are 4 or 5 tiers:

T1: The top handful of schools. Dream work environments and top-notch compensation.
T2: Excellent schools. Great work environments, but generally a bit lower in terms of reputation and compensation.
T3: Good schools. Not as prestigious, probably issues re: environment and/or pay (unless a "hazard pay" situation applies)
T4: Questionable schools. Weak, unstable, profit-obsessed, and/or dangerous. Probably not paying well (although some might pay above their tier, i.e. "hazard pay" or difficulty filling positions).
T5: Dreck. Glorified language academies, questionable start-ups, or fly-by-night for-profit vanity operations.

And I'm not even going to bother putting %s on it. That's a fool's errand.

I didn't even apply for anything I'd classify as T4 or T5, or respond to their cold inquiries with more than a polite brush off. T3s would have had to be really appealing fits (both school and location), or blow me away in terms of compensation. I'd work for a presidential campaign or think tank before taking a milquetoast T3 job or any T4/T5.

We'll see how the first year goes. I'm not automatically committed to IE for the long term. But if I stay in the game, my plan was ready really in sync with what you wrote. The only difference is I'm aiming to cut it down to 2 contracts. Within a few years, the experience issue will be gone, I'll have fulfilled a contract, I'll have more certs, etc. If I'm happy in my first contract, there's no reason for a stepping stone for me (unless there is a strong family pull try another locale). If an opportunity to jump to a clear T1 emerges, that's great (the $$$ is hard to turn down). On the other hand, if I had been forced to settle for a lesser position, and was looking to "work my way" up, I'd probably give myself 2-3 years. If I couldn't make a big leap by then, I'd realize it's not for me.

Anyway, sorry for the rant. My big objection to PsyGuy's framing is both his cynical lumping of so many different calibers of schools together, and his aggressive (and quite frankly, rude) assessments of people's landing spots. Sure, there's blurring between tiers, as wrote, and the tiers are personalized and subjective. But the market is not so simple as 1, 2, 3.

I challenge anyone to look at that list of ISs in Bangkok (let alone checking out a full Thai list). There are almost 100 ISs in Bangkok, and I'd argue there is a pretty thick clump in the middle/upper range. I'd be hard-pressed to put many of them in my T4 (although I haven't researched them all, nor have I looked deeply into too many that I wasn't considering). I certainly wouldn't many of them assign them to PsyGuy's T3, as they don't meet the general characteristics he outlines--nor do I think a massive T3 does much of a service to teachers, parents, or anyone.
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Re: Hoping to get my foot in the door

Postby Thames Pirate » Tue Apr 23, 2019 12:53 am

GrumblesMcGee wrote:

> As I wrote many times, there's some intuitive sense in PsyGuy's tiers. I just laugh
> at the # breakdown, and I really think there are 4 or 5 tiers:
>
> T1: The top handful of schools. Dream work environments and top-notch compensation.
> T2: Excellent schools. Great work environments, but generally a bit lower in terms of
> reputation and compensation.
> T3: Good schools. Not as prestigious, probably issues re: environment and/or pay
> (unless a "hazard pay" situation applies)
> T4: Questionable schools. Weak, unstable, profit-obsessed, and/or dangerous. Probably
> not paying well (although some might pay above their tier, i.e. "hazard
> pay" or difficulty filling positions).
> T5: Dreck. Glorified language academies, questionable start-ups, or fly-by-night
> for-profit vanity operations.
>

To add to this, there are the
T1: Top handful
T2: Great cities, reputation, compensation, but less than ideal work environments
T3: Good cities, no reputation (no info, new schools, etc), perhaps not as good of a reputation

And so on. A new school can have a fantastic work environment and can be in a great city. It just does not have the reputation and compensation. A "good" school can have the reputation but nothing to back it up. Lots of "top" schools in Europe or other countries with strong work protections fall in this category.

There is definitely a good ol' boys club, and if your school is in it and you are liked, you are good to go for the next decade.

The notion of firm tiers is nonsense, and the notion of only 3 is probably antiquated (see above on good ol' boys club)
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Reply

Postby PsyGuy » Tue Apr 23, 2019 3:41 am

@GrumblesMcGee

There is authority behind tiers, starting with this forum for example, and ISs describing their ISs as "top tier" second.
Yes they are abstractions, intelligence is an abstraction, its a model used to provide meaning and utility to cognitive processing that includes tools to quantify and qualify comparisons and differences, it includes a vocabulary and lexicon to aid efficiency and efficacy of communication among practitioners, scholars and lay people.
Social constructs like all constructs attempt to model phenomenon and events. All models are wrong, all models are an abstraction of an incomplete understanding of events and phenomenon. Models are useful, they have utility they bring purposeful meaning and understanding to complex ideas and concepts. Lots of phenomenon are explained, described, and predicted based on constructs of how we think things work, why they happen, and what might the change and evolve in the future. Our understanding of weather is a construct, the meaning of culture comes from a construct. All of these constructs have disagreement on function and all of them have problems that dont answer all questions. Those constructs dont require consensus or agreement, neither does the tier structure of IE.

Actually thanks for pointing that out, its actually supposed to read "There is no 'definition' of Tier 1, Tier 2, or Tier 3. Its not all subjective." I think when I originally penned it, I had written "Its not all subjective, but there is no 'definition' of Tier 1, Tier 2, or Tier 3", and in the process of editing and moving text around some parts got lost in the copy and paste. Ive made the appropriate correction and update.
Tier structure in IE has a some subjective elements but it has objective ones as well.

Yes thre are differences within 3rd tier ISs, they arent discreet and categorical but the entire tier structure falls on a continuum, with delineation points (1, 2, 3) that require greater than interval changes to move between tiers.
There are very fine ISs in the 3rd tier, typically they are classified as floater tier 3 ISs. Yes the "very fine run by U.S. Ph.D.s" (whats wrong with a UK D.Phil?) and really anything else you want to add of a positive quality to those ISs at th top of the third tier are third tier ISs, because regardless of how fine, excellent, suburb and overall awesome that IS is, the ISs in the actual second tier are better, and the ISs in the first tier are better yet.

I dont suggest a tier 4 (or a tier 5 for that matter), I simply cite that others have thrown around other tier classifications.
The elite tier isnt a tier in of itself, its a label of distinction. Tier status is regionally bound and restricted, a tier 1 IS in Germany doesnt need to be and isnt comparable to a tier 1 IS in China, the exception to this is the Elite distinction. The elite IS distinction is those few (singular) IS that is comparable across regions, the difference between ISs of elite distinction may vary considerably from other first tier ISs in the region but as a global collective they are comparable.

I have zero desire to be nice, only data matters. Im just not interested in differentiation between shite, compost, fertilizer and "plant food", all various extractions of poo and thats the third tier. Above that there are cherry trees for the second tier, and cherries in the first tier and cherries from Food Show at the elite tier distinction. Nice and feelings arent a factor.

I dont feel foolish, I have a position which I am making significant assumptions and presumptions about based on incomplete data, that while exists though I do not have access too, but I consider my position sufficiently strong to withstand debate.

I dont have any problem whatsoever maintaining the 5-25-75 designation, there are some amplitude issues at the tails, we really dont know how many ISs there are, new IE EC (kinder/nursery) popping up all the time and primary ISs arent far behind that. Theres also disagreement what constitutes an IS and gets into the grey area between EAP programs and academic programs. I have no problem putting excellent ISs in the third tier, because again the tier 2 ISs are more excellent, and the tier 1 ISs are the most excellent. I dont have a problem or issue with that, because I know how rank ordering works. Its the same system that used to be used in O and A levels with norm referencing, a certain portion of the students (10%) got A, 15% B, 10%C and so on down to O which was the lowest passing mark. No nightmare at assessment and determination at all. Look at any individual timed Olympic event, hats the difference between the gold and silver metal, some fraction of a hundredth of a second. Why dont we just give all the Olympic athletes a gold medal all are "excellent" and "fine" performers in their sport, because the faster athlete is faster, and we recognize that faster is better.
So its going to be 75% of the ISs in Thailand are tier 3, the models valid, because thats how rank ordering and range grouping works.

Whats the difference between your tier 4 and tier 5? Variations and degrees of pain and suffering, your trying to shine poo, and say its better.

Elite ISs are those ISs that are well known old school IS, there the ones you can brag about, and where there really isnt any going up. They might be an old boys club, but if your part of the boys group that wants to be an old boy in that club, there isnt a problem.
Tier 1 ISs are those ISs youd be envied for superior work environment they just didnt win the metric for whatever the elite tier IS has. The problems of tier 1 ISs are preference, an IT would 'prefer' X being Y, but its not a deficiency its a difference.
Tier 2 ISs are those private/independent ISs youd pay to send your kids too, that affluent well resourced public/maintained IS. Your child would work to get into not just pay the tuition, but they have some minor problems.
All of the above ISs your happy at, happy, happier, happiest, but happy. There not so great you would do it for free, its work after all, but you cant think of a more enjoyable day while earning coin.
Tier three ISs have problems, and youre unhappy. At the bottom of the third tier the problems are so crushingly devastating that you hate the job, hate the profession, dread every moment of the experience and curse under your breath with every breath. Drinking doesnt kill the pain, these are the sinker ISs.
The middle of the third tier, has major problems but they are bearable, when asked the best thing of the job is X (usually the students) but your day is plagued by adversarial conditions and mismanagement, you feel like a resource, a needed resource but replaceable. You cant wait for Friday, but you can still make the best of the other days. You imagine better days and better opportunities.
Upper third tier ISs arent so bad, just bad enough that the weekend moves by too fast and the work week too slow. You sigh far to often and feel more tired than you should be, but you can get the job done and are done with the day while its still day light. You dont hate your leadership, but your life is generally better the less time you spend around them, the support department are functional. Youre growing professionally.

@SJ

We disagree, you can love your tier 3 IS and it can be tier 1 in your mind, but its still a tier 3 IS. You can hate your tier 1 IS for whatever reason and think its tier 3 in terms of fit for yourself but its still a tier 1 IS.

Tiers are regionally bound, if your IS is a tier 1 for the region, its a tier 1 IS. Its not the experience you would use to describe a tier 1 elsewhere but the conditions are different
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Re: Hoping to get my foot in the door

Postby Thames Pirate » Tue Apr 23, 2019 1:08 pm

Yakkity schmakkity. Talk talk talk. Words.

Whatever. People know better than to buy into your bs or consider you the authority.

At the end of the day, do what works for you, regardless of tiers or anything else.
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Re: Reply

Postby GrumblesMcGee » Wed Apr 24, 2019 11:54 am

@PsyGuy

How delightfully postmodern of you. :)

> Actually thanks for pointing that out, its actually supposed to read
> "There is no 'definition' of Tier 1, Tier 2, or Tier 3. Its not all
> subjective." I think when I originally penned it, I had written
> "Its not all subjective, but there is no 'definition' of Tier 1, Tier
> 2, or Tier 3", and in the process of editing and moving text around
> some parts got lost in the copy and paste. Ive made the appropriate
> correction and update.
> Tier structure in IE has a some subjective elements but it has objective
> ones as well.

Good clarifications. Still, "objective criteria" for ranking the quality of schools are still chosen by individuals subjectively. They're still largely arbirtary--even if consensus develops. I'm not saying that makes them wrong, or that there's no value. But there is the risk of a sort of reputational feedback loop; we start pontificating about countries/cities/schools that are esteemed because of the lines at job fair interview sign-ups (you've made this argument previously), start talking about compensation level as a rough indicator (but carving out exceptions based on market demand), etc. The complicated interactions between compensation, teacher interest (# of applications), tuition level, "selectiveness" of the school, etc., are all really hard to quantify--even with perfect data, which we'll never get. If I know the exact pay scale of all the schools in Thailand, and have reliable surveys of ITs and parents as to each school's reputation, sure, I can put together a much more *OBJECTIVE* ranking list. Absent that, we're stuck with slivers of information and different people valuing different things. Sure, we can find consensus that Elite International Bangkok is much better than Generic Middling Academy, which is much better than For-Profit Newbie, Inc. But trying to parse what's in between is much more difficult.

> Yes thre are differences within 3rd tier ISs, they arent discreet and
> categorical but the entire tier structure falls on a continuum, with
> delineation points (1, 2, 3) that require greater than interval changes to
> move between tiers.
> There are very fine ISs in the 3rd tier, typically they are classified as
> floater tier 3 ISs. Yes the "very fine run by U.S. Ph.D.s" (whats
> wrong with a UK D.Phil?)

I'm sure you know I wasn't bashing D.Phils. Revise my "run by U.S. Ph.D.s" to "run by educators with western doctorates vs. local businessmen or 'Mr. Jones with no listed qualifications.'" I suspect there are some quality schools with principals like Mr. Jones (and some less desirable ones loaded with western doctorates), but there is undoubtedly a correlation. The more you start piling on the characteristics: non-profit, high-paying, high-tuition, loaded with western doctorates, excellent facilities...the harder it is to justify lumping such a school in with the "poo" in a bottom tier, the more your three-tiered system shows its limitations, and the more your percentage breakdown looks completely indefensible.

> I have zero desire to be nice, only data matters. Im just not interested in
> differentiation between shite, compost, fertilizer and "plant
> food", all various extractions of poo and thats the third tier. Above
> that there are cherry trees for the second tier, and cherries in the first
> tier and cherries from Food Show at the elite tier distinction. Nice and
> feelings arent a factor.

This is where you confuse "being nice" with "not being both insulting and foolish." At the point where you acknowledge "very fine" schools exist in the bottom tier, that you have "no problem putting excellent ISs" in that tier, and then pivot back to calling them all different versions of poo, it's the same as your condemnation of "dump fairs" and other hyperbole. I can't stress this enough: it's not about "nice" vs. "honest." You can be blunt without being a prick. You can be Sheldon Cooperesque and still, at minimum, be right. You're often none of the above.

> I dont have any problem whatsoever maintaining the 5-25-75 designation

Beyond that adding up to 105%, yes, you do. It means you wind up taking schools that meet your "objective" characteristics of T1 and T2 schools and lumping them in with all the "poo" you deride. It means your bottom tier serves no function other than to indicate a school isn't in your top two tiers. You then falsely conclude:

> Yes thre are differences within 3rd tier ISs, they arent discreet and categorical

They absolutely are categorical. You're lumping in scam-factories, for-profit sweatboxes, uncertain start-ups...with private, non-profit schools with solid reputations that simply don't make the reputational cut-off or perhaps pay 3% less than schools that make it into your T2. That's idiocy. The difference between T2s and T3s under your rigid quota system not only defies the objective characteristics you use to define the tiers, it means that there are categorical differences of KIND at play, and you're mistreating them as differences of DEGREE.

If you want to make it all about the data, EVERY school is (at least slightly) worse than the school ranked one slot higher. That's true regardless of tiers. The folly in your approach is both assuming that you can have adequate data to make those rankings, and THEN assigning arbitrary cutoff points that ignore the real categorical distinctions.

> I dont feel foolish, I have a position which I am making significant
> assumptions and presumptions about based on incomplete data, that while
> exists though I do not have access too, but I consider my position
> sufficiently strong to withstand debate.

I'm glad you finally acknowledge the limitations. But you're not really embracing those limitations when making your conclusions.

> I dont have any problem whatsoever maintaining the 5-25-75 designation,
> there are some amplitude issues at the tails, we really dont know how many
> ISs there are, new IE EC (kinder/nursery) popping up all the time and
> primary ISs arent far behind that. Theres also disagreement what
> constitutes an IS and gets into the grey area between EAP programs and
> academic programs. I have no problem putting excellent ISs in the third
> tier, because again the tier 2 ISs are more excellent, and the tier 1 ISs
> are the most excellent. I dont have a problem or issue with that, because I
> know how rank ordering works. Its the same system that used to be used in O
> and A levels with norm referencing, a certain portion of the students (10%)
> got A, 15% B, 10%C and so on down to O which was the lowest passing mark.
> No nightmare at assessment and determination at all. Look at any individual
> timed Olympic event, hats the difference between the gold and silver metal,
> some fraction of a hundredth of a second. Why dont we just give all the
> Olympic athletes a gold medal all are "excellent" and
> "fine" performers in their sport, because the faster athlete is
> faster, and we recognize that faster is better.
> So its going to be 75% of the ISs in Thailand are tier 3, the models valid,
> because thats how rank ordering and range grouping works.

Great. You're just doing it blindfolded, without a stopwatch, with the different athletes on different tracks (and some of them swimming in pools), without any codified agreement on the exact parameters of the event. Other than that, it's a flawless -.

> Whats the difference between your tier 4 and tier 5? Variations and degrees
> of pain and suffering, your trying to shine poo, and say its better.

Every job involves some pain and suffering, if you care.

The difference, as a category, is that T4s might include elements of QUESTIONABLE stability or quality, and likely do not pay
what their higher-level counterparts pay (unless they're boosting their compensation in recognition that they can't get quality candidates otherwise, either because they're in an undesirable location ("hazard pay") or they're routed by higher-quality schools in their location which are a better landing spot). "Questionable" can mean many things. Maybe it's a start-up school that looks like it might have potential. Maybe it has chronic turnover problems because it's not in a desirable location or doesn't pay enough to compensate. Maybe it has polarizing leadership. Maybe it's a legitimate school, but extremely stingy and run in a greedy, for-profit manner that's "penny wise pound foolish" (to borrow from you). Maybe they're awful at standing up for teachers against parents or disciplining privileged students. Maybe there have been some credible accusations of misconduct in the reviews (not honoring contracts). Maybe it's been around 20 years, but it's in a location where there are plenty of quality ISs around, and it hasn't managed to dramatically bolster its reputation, leaving it a lower-cost option for primarily domestic students.

With the T5s, it's not about the stability or quality being QUESTIONABLE. They're just bad, either because they combine most of those T4 red flags into a messy stew, or one or two of those red flags are flat-out confirmed and flagrant. With a T5, you really question how/if the school is licensed to operate legally. With a T5, the IT community is (or should be) in an uproar if ISS/Search agrees to continue to do business with them, as there is documented evidence of them engaging in egregious conduct with regard to teacher contracts, not paying, making teachers work illegally, etc.

Even within 5 tiers, you see slippage, sure. There can be debate over whether a school dips from T4 to T5. There can be schools that are at the "top" of T4 for some reason (e.g., start-up) that are clearly better options than schools further down in that tier.

Unlike you, I'm not hunkering down on percentages in these tiers. I'm OK throwing out a wild guess like 5, 15, 40, 25, 15. But it's wild. It's based on an acknowledgement of all the missing data (what even counts as an IS? is there even a definitive list in a region?) and could vary dramatically across locations.
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Reply

Postby PsyGuy » Thu Apr 25, 2019 1:02 am

@GrumblesMcGee

Arent all criteria chosen by individuals, we dont have AI or divine members defining and detailing criteria, and no saying they are all subjective doesnt make them all subjective, they arent its a mixture of objective and subjective criteria. Most delineations are arbitrary, even tools like temperature are in a large number of scales (F, C, SI) arbitrary, but no tiers arent entirely arbitrary.
We do talk about compensation its one of the to primary domains (the other being work environment) for the assessment of tier status.
Surveys may be reliable, but they may not be accurate, accuracy is validity, validity matters (reliability matters too, but validity matters more).
Those interactions arent complicated. Difficult isnt impossible, and we as ITs we do difficult all the time, this isnt even difficult. Its not even moderately burdensome.
Your just trying to obsessively declare by fiat that the system is complex (its not) the factors many (they arent), and that all those complexities make tiers meaningful, thus we should dismiss them (we shouldnt).

Why only western doctorates? A doctorate from University of Hong Kong or National University of Singapore doesnt count?
Edus with doctorates tend to make bad K12/KS ITs.
I didnt acknowledge these ISs in the third tier as "very" fine Im simply using the term YOU used to describe them. The third tier is poo, poo makes the cherry tree grow, but yeah, poo. I dont have a problem with that.
Rank ordering, no problem defending the three tier system.
I am often very much right. in so far as the few things in IE that actually have a right and a wrong.

Thanks sorry, 5%, 20%, and 75%. No I dont, thats how rank ordering works, whatever the quality of characteristics in the third tier, the second, and as an extension to that the 1st tier are better. If I have 10 students who score a range of 92% to 100% on some assessment, I dont have a problem at all saying the student with the 92% is in the bottom 10% or saying theyre in the bottom third of the class, because those are true. Objective does not mean criterion referenced, nor does norm-referenced or rank ordering equal subjective. We can have an objective rank ordered scale with what you would call fine ISs in the third tier, and we can call that tier poo, as it fits with that tier being the bottom tier.

They are absolutely not categorical or discreet its a continuum, that has delineation points that require greater than interval efforts and resources to get past them. Think of it like heating water, you introduce equal units of energy to raise 1g of water 1° that is until you reach the vaporization point at which a lot more energy is required to transition the liquid into a gas, thats the boundary between tiers.
Im treating them as differences of degree because they are differences of degree, just small differences of degree and large differences of degree that change as ISs move from their respective tier boundaries. They arent differences in kind because you say they are, or you feel they are. They arent a difference in kind, in both of your examples; they both have students, both have leadership and both have ITs, they both have buildings, both have curriculum, they both provide compensation, those differences differ by degrees. Non-profit and for-profit are differences of degrees under which businesses can be organized (and there really isnt a difference, its nothing but a tax management strategy).

We have adequate data, we disagree on how much data is adequate. We have continuum distinctions (not categories), we just disagree on what those are and should be.

Ive always acknowledged limitations, all models have limitations, thats why theyre models. Im embracing them, Im just applying decision theory in a scenario that is common in the vast majority of decisions, that the data is incomplete.

Not blindfolded, have a stopwatch, same tracks, have published the parameters many times, they are well codified. You just disagree on the visual acuity, the accuracy of the instrument, the equality of the criteria, and the parameters. I dont have your problems.

Why does caring matter?

We disagree, your difference between this tier 4 and tir 5 seems to be an issue of questionability, tier 5 everyone finds the same major problems and issues; and tier 4 the major problems are an issue of perceptions and paradigm and the severity of the problems differ based on the one making the observation and thus become questionable is the same thing. Tier three ISs have major problems, ISs should have major problems to degree to which those problems are detrimental or navigable is cause for placement at different points along the continuum of the third tier.
I dont see a rational or cause for delineation the third tier, categorizing various types, forms and manifestations of ISs that are poo.

I have the impression your tier system is little more than a desire to be nice in terms of making ISs and the ITs at them, in the third tier feel better about who they are and where they are at by constructing tiers below them, so they arent the bottom tier their the middle tier.
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Re: Hoping to get my foot in the door

Postby Thames Pirate » Thu Apr 25, 2019 1:41 am

Don't bother. He has used the same cut-and-paste responses for years and has no understanding that things change--both in terms of what teachers want and what schools and parents want. IE isn't the same as it was 20 years ago or even 10 years ago. Also, he doesn't really know what he is talking about since he is not really in IE and certainly not at any reputable schools.
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Re: Reply

Postby GrumblesMcGee » Thu Apr 25, 2019 4:17 am

PsyGuy wrote:

> Arent all criteria chosen by individuals, we dont have AI or divine members
> defining and detailing criteria, and no saying they are all subjective
> doesnt make them all subjective, they arent its a mixture of objective and
> subjective criteria.

No. You're the one professing to be a quantitative scholar and proposing models. You should know that building an instrument involves considerations of validity and reliability. You run your tests, you look for correlations.

If we had enough data, no one would be able to say "salary is just an arbitrary criteria," because you'd be able to point to the strong correlation between salary and the end result (happiness or satisfaction). Maybe an individual's valuing of a criteria is "chosen" and arbitrary, but's irrelevant to the person constructing the instrument.

If you want to get infinitely regressive and say that everything is "chosen by individuals," then you have to give up on any quantitative study of the social sciences.

Then again, that all requires adequate and accurate data, which you don't have. But I digress...

> Your just trying to obsessively declare by fiat that the system is complex
> (its not) the factors many (they arent), and that all those complexities
> make tiers meaningful, thus we should dismiss them (we shouldnt).

So sayeth the guy obsessed with labelling the 25th or 26th best ISs in Thailand "poo" simply to fit some arbitrary and laughable breakdown of how ISs get distributed. You're the one committed to dying on that hill. I'm just trying to acknowledge some of the good - you've done while inviting you to rejoin reality.

> I didnt acknowledge these ISs in the third tier as "very" fine Im
> simply using the term YOU used to describe them. The third tier is poo, poo
> makes the cherry tree grow, but yeah, poo. I dont have a problem with that.

You have done so: repeatedly, explicitly, and using different verbiage. And you've done so before I entered this conversation.

> Im treating them as differences of degree because they are differences of
> degree, just small differences of degree and large differences of degree
> that change as ISs move from their respective tier boundaries. They arent
> differences in kind because you say they are, or you feel they are. They
> arent a difference in kind, in both of your examples; they both have
> students, both have leadership and both have ITs, they both have buildings,
> both have curriculum, they both provide compensation, those differences
> differ by degrees. Non-profit and for-profit are differences of degrees
> under which businesses can be organized (and there really isnt a
> difference, its nothing but a tax management strategy).

A lot of ITs would disagree with you that there really isn't a difference. Profit motive is a qualitative difference.

> We have adequate data, we disagree on how much data is adequate. We have
> continuum distinctions (not categories), we just disagree on what those are
> and should be.

You keep telling yourself that. I think the existence = res ipsa loquitur with regard to the scarcity of adequate data. There are countless posts/comments on many sites in which ITs lament the lack of available data regarding compensation (e.g., not finding out until the contract is offered, and then you're on the decision clock), environment (e.g., asking around for perspectives from current/former teachers), and so on. You're grasping for data points, taking whatever you can get (much of it from either cheerleaders or people with an ax to grind), then applying that limited data to a questionable model, and then warping that model beyond recognition to cater to your preconceived notion of the size of each tier.

> Why does caring matter?

> I have the impression your tier system is little more than a desire to be
> nice in terms of making ISs and the ITs at them, in the third tier feel
> better about who they are and where they are at by constructing tiers below
> them, so they arent the bottom tier their the middle tier.

I don't care about nice. Only truth matters. OK, that's not true. Sometimes "niceness" motivates one to find truth. When I see someone spewing questionable ideas, I'm less inclined to let it slide when those ideas are an insult to the majority of ITs (e.g., calling their schools "poo").

I think I'm done with this, unless you have something groundbreaking to add or want to step down from your fortified hill of insanity. Considering that you're insulting the majority of ITs without cause, and doing so at a 6th-grade writing level, I've been more than patient and reasonable with you.
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Reply

Postby PsyGuy » Thu Apr 25, 2019 5:13 am

@GrumblesMcGee

Ive never professed to be a scholar of anything. Reliability and validity are important considerations in construction of an instrument, but this is a model not an instrument. Still reliability and validity (and utility, predictability are also valuable factors), I have that you just disagree.

There is a strong correlation between salary and happiness, again not an instrument.

I dont have to get anywhere near infinitely regressive, one or two maybe three steps before I get to individuals. No i dont have to give up on social science, because the individual level is okay, many studies are done and done well with a single individual investigator/researcher.

Which again I do have valid, accurate, reliable and sufficient data.

Not obsessed with it, 25th comes after 24th, and 26th comes after the 25th, thats how numbers work. You categorize it as laughable because you disagree.
Depends on the view from the hill, but Im not really committed to anything.

Okay maybe I did use the terms excellent and very fine, and what not to include ISs in the third tier, the third tiers poo, those fine and excellent ISs are in the poo category. I can have fine excellent and superb and whatever other feel good words you want to use, but being those things doesnt mean they will be Olympians or anything else. Those third tier ISs of very fine and excellent and superb labels are of that quality within their tier the third tier, which is poo, so their very fine and excellent poo.

Id disagree with those ITs, actually not rally we both agree theres a difference, your position is that its more than a difference of degree its a difference of kind, and in that aspect Id disagree with you and the rest of those ilk.

I believe there is more to existence than knowing Latin, of which your position is that of stating by fiat your conclusion and position is self evident, its not, your claims arent self authenticating because you deem them to be.
Those ITs are ignorant.
Youre being dismissive of data points.
You just dont like the model.

Truth doesnt matter, truth is an illusion it implies that your senses, observations will allow you to know. You never know the truth, there is no 1.00 perfect validity. Only data matters.

There not questionable ideas, or maybe they are, your disagreement with them doesnt make them wrong. Im not insulting anyone Im describing an institution, the issue of offense is one of the individuals ego taking offense. Control your emotions, and your feelings, your not 4 years old, choose not to be insulted. Im not responsible for your feelings, your responsible for your feelings.

Not on a hill, but we disagree, and I have certainly been engaging, patient, and reasonable.

@Thames Pirate

You know nothing.
Absolutely in reputable IE.
I Understand how change works and what it is, and while its not the same as it was 20 or 10 years ago, its not that different either but more over in this aspect it hasnt changed.
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