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CHRISTEL HOUSE WORKS Helping Children Break the Cycle of Poverty March 2018 Value Proposition The mission of Christel House is to break the cycle of poverty around the world. Christel House schools invest in the lives of impoverished children utilizing research-based best practices with a focus on holistic human development. They offer students a pathway to become contributing members of society and change the lives of generations to come. The Problem Worldwide, children trapped in poverty are denied the opportunity to gain an education that would position them to change their circumstances. Their schools are under-resourced, their teachers are absent and/or untrained, and learning targets lack rigor. Rather than encouraging completion of an education, parents rely on kids to start working at a young age to help support the family. Hunger and disease (often easily treated with proper medical attention) thwart the educational and professional aspirations of these children. They are trapped in the cycle of poverty. Whole cities and countries suffer as their human potential goes unrealized; research demonstrates that equitable and quality education can increase a country’s gross domestic product per capita by 23% over a few decades.1 The Christel House Model Founded in 1998, Christel House International is a non-profit philanthropic institution. Currently the schools serve over 4,500 low-income students at eight learning centers in India, Mexico, South Africa, and the United States (Figure 1). Christel House strives to transform the lives of these children, helping them to realize their hopes and dreams and become self-sufficient, contributing members of society. To reach this goal, Christel House uses a holistic model of education (Figure 2). Along with rigorous academics, students receive free health services such as annual physicals, vision checks and glasses as needed, hearing evaluations, dental cleanings, vaccinations, and mental health services. Breakfast, lunch and a snack that follow nutritional guidelines are provided daily. These services contribute to student success, as it has been well-established by the research community that healthy, properly-nourished young children are more likely to reach their fullest physical, cognitive and socio-emotional potential.2 Such in-school programs for impoverished children have proven effective in increasing attendance, decreasing tardiness, and improving academic performance and cognitive functioning.3 The holistic model extends to other, non-physical needs of the students. The schools stress parental involvement and support, which is linked to academic success and good behavior in school.4 Character development programming is enmeshed in all aspects of the schools, with the 1

four core values of Respect, Responsibility, Independence and Integrity as the foundation. Students put these values into action by participating in school-sponsored community service projects at every grade level. The learning centers also provide life-skills education and career guidance programming to prepare students for success in life after Christel House. Moreover, student support does not end upon graduation. For up to five years, the College & Careers Program at Christel House provides graduates with the tools required to integrate into post-secondary schooling and the workforce. The support provided includes targeted financial aid, academic support for university students, the development of job search skills for those entering the workforce, and networking opportunities for graduates looking to improve employment. Graduates are also encouraged to stay connected with the schools through volunteering, mentoring younger students, and charitable giving.

Figure 1: Christel House International Timeline. Deloitte, "Project Prometheus Report," September 2016. Page 19. In conjunction with its whole-child focus, Christel House follows a "no-excuses" model that requires extraordinary commitment from students, teachers, administrators, and parents. The schools operate on an extended school day and year. This provides more “time-on-task� for students, which is highly correlated with learning outcomes.5 Selective teacher hiring practices, extensive professional development, frequent observations, annual evaluations, and a 2

performance bonus based partially on student learning outcomes requires teachers to be focused on best practice and student development throughout the year. Parents sign a contract committing to volunteer regularly at the school and attend educational workshops and parentteacher conferences. Christel House has high expectations for every student, and a belief that all students can meet their goals through hard work and the right supports. The curricula for Christel House schools are rigorous, exceeding local and national content standards. Each Learning Center uses a curriculum that best fits local needs and norms, while the extended time-on-task allows for increased and individualized instructional time in core subjects. Christel House students receive a well-rounded education, with instruction in visual and performing arts, physical education, computers, and additional languages. Rich extracurricular offerings include sports, dance, band, video editing, robotics, coding, debate, and chess, which contribute to learning and social development outside of the classroom setting. Finally, Christel House provides higher quality facilities when compared to local public schools in its regions of operations. The classrooms are well-lit and provide desks and chairs for all students and teachers. Each school has at least one computer lab, a library, music and art classrooms including necessary equipment and supplies, an indoor cafeteria, and a recess and sports space. School resources such as these can be linked to student learning in developing countries.6 Students receive educational materials free of charge including school uniforms, textbooks, and classroom supplies.

Figure 2: "Christel House Model" from Project Prometheus Report, 5 September 2016. Page 18 3

Structure and Cost The structure and financing of the Christel House Learning Center depend on its location. The four centers located outside the U.S. are independent charity schools. For these K-12 sites, Christel House selects students based on a strict poverty criterion. Students who qualify are then assessed for severe cognitive impairments. Impoverished students falling within a normal range of learning ability are eligible for admission. Christel House schools receive donations from corporations, individuals, foundations, and governments to help support the programs and services of the schools. The general and administrative expenses, including fundraising, are funded in perpetuity by the organization’s founder, assuring that donations go straight to the students. If, in the course of their schooling, the economic circumstances of students' families improve, they are asked to make a small contribution to the scholarship based on the level of parental income; however, most students receive tuition-free scholarships. The four American centers, two of which are traditional K-12 (one opened in 2014 with K-2 and is adding one grade per year) and two of which are high school dropout recovery programs, operate as public urban charter schools in Indianapolis, Indiana. Any student can apply for admission to these schools. If requests for admission exceed available seats, entrants are determined by a lottery. 85% of students at Christel House Academy South and 96% of students at Christel House Academy West receive free or reduced lunch status, indicating that the schools serve low-income students even though they cannot control admission. The schools receive funding from the state of Indiana for instruction only; no funding is provided for transportation, facilities, or capital expenditures. For the 2016/17 fiscal year, Christel House’s budgeted cost per pupil (“CPP”) averaged $6,763 including the U.S. charter schools. If U.S. schools are excluded, CPP drops to $4,466. This number includes an allocation of Christel House International head office costs, adding $740 per student served organization wide. A large percentage of the international office allocation is covered by the organization founder as an administrative cost. This lowers the CPP paid by donors and outside organizations. Christel Average Average Learning House Local Private Local Public The CPP by center along with Centers Total Per School School Per comparable private school Pupil Costs Tuition Costs Pupil Costs tuitions and local public school Academy South $13,013 $8,0877 $19,2038 per pupil expenditures, are $14,337 $8,0879 $19,20310 detailed in Figure 3 (all in U.S. Academy West $7,341 N/A11 N/A12 dollars). Note that the DORS South international office allocation DORS West $8,526 N/A13 N/A14 has a significant impact on the Mexico $6,301 $2,89115 comparability of the India data South Africa $6,667 $1,50016 due to the purchasing power $2,961 $74017 $33018 of the US dollar. Excluding this Bangalore $2,971 $26219 allocation, the Bangalore cost Naya Raipur per student is $2,220, or 300% Figure 3: Christel House Costs Per Pupil by Center, compared to of the local private school local private and public school costs average. 4

It is important to consider that the Christel House costs include numerous goods and services not provided by local private schools including books, supplies, uniforms, food, transportation, special education services, health and social services, and graduate support programming. In addition, Christel House generally operates with a longer school day and a longer school year than comparable schools, which drives additional costs into the model. When even conservative estimates of these additional goods and services are deducted from the Christel House costs, the model is delivered at a materially lower cost per student than private school alternatives. Additionally, a study conducted on Christel House Bangalore found that when the cost per graduating student was considered, the Christel House model was more efficient than the provincial public schools, due to the significantly higher graduation rate of eligible students at Christel House (Figure 4).20 Figure 4: Estimated cost per passed student of Christel House Bangalore versus government Although the public expenditure per pupil schools in Karnataka. Deloitte, "Project falls far below the Christel House cost per Prometheus Report," September 2016. Page 82." student in every country except America, public schools do not provide the comprehensive wrap-around services of Christel House, nor do they achieve Christel House Graduate Outcomes comparable results. Christel House believes that a significant investment in a holistic model of education is required to achieve its Studying 9% mission in academically underperforming 3% countries overwhelmed by poverty and Apprenticeship inequality. The results discussed below bear this out. In addition, Christel House schools Working 31% 53% improve attainment and reduce grade Homemaker repetition and dropout seen in the government schools, the public and private 4% Still to be costs of which are hidden in simple per-pupil Placed expenditure comparisons.21 Considering these costs, it is arguable that the social cost of producing one high quality 12th grade Figure 5: Christel House Graduate Outcomes. graduate is cheaper with Christel House than with the public systems. 5

The Results Despite serving the most impoverished students, Christel House achieves impressive results, often outperforming national and regional students spanning all income groups. In the 20162017 school year, Christel House schools averaged 96% daily attendance, with 93% year-to-year retention.22 Christel House secondary schools had 98% of their students passing graduation exams. Currently, 91% of Christel House’s 934 College & Careers Program participants are continuing their studies or are working (see Figure 5). Christel House India In India, 17.7 million children are not in school.23 Only about 10% of students graduate from grade 12.24 At Christel House Bangalore (CHB), which serves 872 K-12 students, about 72% of the students who enroll in elementary school graduate in 12th grade, while others go on to graduate from other high schools. In 2017, 86% of CHB 12th graders passed the graduation exam in their first try, compared to a 52% pass rate in the state. After “re-takes�, 95% of the 12th graders passed (Figure 6). Not only are CHB students performing above average, but they are competing against more resourced peers, because many students from low socio-economic households drop out of school long before 12th grade.

Christel House Bangalore Graduation Exam: % Pass 12th Grade 97%

CHB first attempt 98% 95%

CHB after retakes 98% 96%


98% 89%

80% 57%


State % Pass 97% 94%


83% 60%






Figure 6: 12th Grade Board Exam results for CHB. 90% of CHB graduates matriculate into university, and they have a 91% persistence rate. Overall, 92% of the College & Career Program students are either continuing education, employed, or both. Graduates who have completed university are employed at companies such as Dell, IBM, HP, KPMG, Deloitte, Northern Trust, Wells Fargo, Accenture, and EY. In the fall of 2016, Christel House opened a school in Naya Raipur, India. It served 209 students in grades K-3 in 2016-17, serving 183 families in this rural area. The school boasts 99% student retention year over year, 94% average daily teacher attendance, and 89% average daily student attendance. 6

Christel House South Africa The quality of education in South Africa lags far behind the rest of the world. In a comparison made by the OECD, South Africa’s education system was ranked 75th out of 76 countries.25 27% of students who have attended school for six years cannot read, compared with 4% in Tanzania. About half of the students who have been in school for five years cannot do basic division. In 2015, of the nearly 50 countries assessed by the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), South Africa ranked at the bottom in mathematical achievement for both fifth and ninth grade. 26 The same study found that even average students in the top seven countries outscored South Africa’s top students in math. Within South Africa, low academic performance is exacerbated by poverty, and students attending affluent schools outscore students from poorer schools at a rate that is more significant than other instances of wealth discrepancies around the world. The gap in test scores between the top 20% of wealthiest schools and the rest is wider than in almost every other country27 Students at Christel House South Africa (CHSA) are out-performing their peers. 92% of 3rd, 6th, and 9th graders at CHSA passed the Systemic language assessment in 2017, compared to a 46% pass rate in the province. 85% of these CHSA students passed the mathematics assessment compared to 40% in the province. This trend continues both in past years and across grade levels, for example, Figure 7 below demonstrates the pass rates of CHSA 9th grade students in the Systemic language assessment in compared to the provincial pass rate.

Figure 7: 9th Grade Pass Rates for CHSA in the Systemic language and math assessments, compared to provincial pass rate. Higher achievement on Systemic benchmarks correlates with a higher likelihood to graduate secondary school on time. Only about 42% of South African students who were in 2nd grade in 2006 completed high school in 2016.28 Of the students who were in grade 2 at CHSA in 2006, 65% completed high school in 2016 at Christel House (and still more could have graduated from other high schools).29 The cumulative retention rate of all students who enter CHSA is 89%.30 98% of all CHSA students who took the National Senior Certificate graduation exam in 2017 passed on 7

their first attempt, beating the provincial pass rate of 83%. 65% scored high enough on the exam to earn admission to university, beating the 24% provincial bachelor pass rate. Higher graduation rates in turn correlate with better life outcomes. While South Africa faces a staggering youth unemployment rate of 52%31, 95% of CHSA alumni are working and/or continuing their education. Although only 15% of the South African population aged 25-64 has obtained a tertiary degree32, about 58% of CHSA graduates are actively pursuing a university degree. Christel House Mexico The state of education in Mexico is also suffering. 64% of adults ages 25-64 have not obtained upper secondary education. On average, these adults make 40% less than their peers who have an upper secondary degree, and only a third of what adults with tertiary education earn. In spite of the clear correlation between educational attainment and earning, in 2016 it was reported that only 67% of young adults ages 15-19 are in education.33 Furthermore, the organization Mexicanos Primero found that for every 100 students who enter grade 1 in the public school system, only 45 complete the basic cycle of 9 grades on time.34 In contrast, even when using a method of measurement that biases our number downward in comparison35, 76% of Christel House Mexico (CHMX) students satisfactorily complete Grade 9 in the expected time – nearly doubling the national average. CHMX students achieved impressive attendance results as well: in 2017, they came to school 96% of the time, and the year-to-year retention rate was 97%. The most recent results from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) found that Mexican students ranked in the bottom five of all countries surveyed for science, math, and reading. Yet, Mexican students are struggling to meet even national standards, let alone international benchmarks. In 2017, 65% of 9th grade students across Mexico scored the lowest level on the national 2017 9th Grade PLANEA Exam results standardized test (PLANEA) for 89% mathematics, and an 76% additional 22% scored the second to lowest level; this means that nearly 86% of 9th 26% students in Mexico can 14% only perform at the most basic level expected for their grade, or below. 36 Math Language At Christel House Mexico, only 24% of the CHMX National th 9 grade students perform at or below the Figure 8: Scores of 9th grade students on national standardized math basic level for math, and language exams for the 2016-2017 academic year. 8

which means 76% of our students can perform advanced tasks for their grade. The trends are the same for language and communication exam, where nationally just 26% of students could perform advanced tasks, compared to 89% of CHMX students (Figure 8). Christel House Academy (USA) Only 41% of 3rd through 8th grade students in Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) demonstrated proficiency on the state language exams in 201737 66% of Christel House Academy South (CHAS) students passed the same exam, improving on the IPS scores by over 20 percentage points and beating the state average. 98% of the 3rd graders at the Academy pass the state reading exam, compared to 74% of IPS students. In 2017, 78% of CHA graduates earned an academic honors diploma, compared to only 22% of comparable low-income students across the state.38 Christel House Academy West (CHA-W) opened in 2014. They took their first round of exams in 2016, and saw 100% pass rate on the state reading exam. 92% of the 3rd graders at CHA-W passed the state reading exam in 2017, compared to 74% of IPS students. 61% of CHA-W students passed the state language exams, beating the IPS average of 41%. CHA-W boasts a 97% average daily student attendance. 100% of parents attend parent-teacher conferences, and all students participate in service learning through the school. DORS is a dropout recovery program that provides a pathway to a high school diploma for students 18 years of age and older. It operates with two entities (DORS South and DORS West) at three campuses. DORS students have the opportunity to be dual-enrolled at a local community college so they earn both high school and college credit simultaneously. Between the two campuses, DORS has enabled 150 students to earn a diploma. In 2017, 100% of the graduates earned dual credits and/or career certifications. DORS-W students had 100% pass rate on the algebra state exam. 94% of the graduates participate in the College & Careers program and 84% of them are continuing studies or working. Christel House students are beating the odds. Christel House keeps students in school, increases student learning, instills character and values, and prepares graduates to successfully pursue further education and/or gainful employment as an adult. These achievements lead to rewarding occupations with higher incomes that allow Christel House graduates to break the cycle of poverty, attain self-sufficiency, and realize their hopes and dreams.


APPENDIX A Christel House International Retention and Graduation Calculations May 2015 (All statistics calculated at the end of the school year) Year-Over-Year Retention Purpose: To determine the rate at which students continue attending Christel House from the end of one year to the end of the next year. Definition: Total Students at current year end less all new admissions (including backfills) during the current year just ended divided by total students at previous year end (last day of previous year) less students graduating after the end of the previous year. Example (assuming calendar school year): Students at the end of prior school year (December 2, 2013) Less graduating 12th grade students included in number above Less students at the end of the prior school year who did not reenroll or show up for the current school year (students lost over summer vacation) (2014) Plus KG admissions at the start of the current year Plus backfill admissions at the start the current year Students at the beginning of the current school year (January 5, 2014) Plus Backfill admissions during the current school year Minus Withdrawals during current school year Minus Expulsions during current school year Students at the end of current school year (December 3, 2014) Year over Year Retention Percent at the end of current school year


405 59




60 1




1 2 1 399

G (G-D-E-F)/ (A-B)


Cumulative Retention Purpose: To determine the rate at which students continue attending Christel House from the date of original admission through current year. It is a measure of the success of retaining all students who enter the school at any time. It only measures the retention of current student cohorts, once a cohort graduates they are taken out of the calculation. Definition: Total Students in the school at year end (including current 12 th graders or terminal grade students who will graduate in the current year) divided by the total number of total ever admitted (including starting grades and all backfills) since and including the original admissions date of the oldest class/grade of students.


Cumulative retention statistics are to be calculated and maintained for each school based upon normal school exit grades. In Mexico this would be grade 9; South Africa and U.S. grade 12; India grades 10 and 12.

Cohort Graduation Retention Purpose: To determine the percentage of individual students in a given class (cohort) who start with Christel House (in Kindergarten for most centers) and eventually graduate from Christel House on time. We will also note the percent of students in a cohort who do not graduate ontime, but have been held back and are still on track to graduate. Definition: Total students graduating at year end who began their studies at Christel House in the center’s first year of service for that cohort (i.e. kindergarten - this total excludes graduates who entered Christel House as backfills at any point after kindergarten) divided by the total student count of the KG admissions class of 13 years earlier (in the case of 12th grade graduation). For students who started with the cohort in KG and are still with us, but were held back a grade at any point during CH schooling, they will be noted as held-back but on-track for delayed graduation. Note: As India has a grade 10 graduation and a grade 12 graduation, Cohort Retention will be calculated for both of these time frames. Also, South Africa’s comparative statistics go from grade 2-12, so CHSA’s cohort retention will have the same time frame. Example (assuming calendar school year): Total students graduating at the end of the current year (December 5, 2014) Graduates entering Christel House as backfill candidates Total cohort graduates Total students admitted 13 years ago (in the case of 12th grade graduation) in this cohort Students from original cohort who were held-back at some point in their education, but are still at the school and are on-track for delayed graduation. School year 2014 cohort graduation rate 2014 Cohort held-back but on-track for delayed graduation




3 43





(A-B)/C D/C

71.6% 13.3%

High School Graduation Rate Purpose: To determine the success of our high schools’ abilities to move students from the start of high school through graduation.


Definition: Christel House is basing much of its formula off of the formula used by the Indiana Department of Education for determining graduation rate. The graduation cohort is formed upon the students’ entries into the first year of high school (In Indiana and India, 9 th grade; 8th grade in South Africa; 10th grade in Mexico). If students leave Christel House to attend another high school they are removed from the cohort. Students who leave Christel House for any other reason will be considered dropouts and will count against the graduation rate. If students are backfilled into Christel House during high school they are added to the cohort. Christel House will determine two “Graduation Rates”. One will be on-time graduation. The other will be on-time and delayed graduation rate. If students are held back during high school they will be moved into the cohort behind theirs. They will count against the On-Time Graduation Rate for their cohort, but will be added to the On-Time and Delayed Graduation Rate for the cohort behind their original cohort. Example: Number of graduates at end of current year Number of students entering high school with graduating cohort Number of current year graduates who were held back during high school (not part of current year graduates original high school cohort) Number of this graduating cohort who left CH during high school to attend other high schools (do not include drop outs) Number of students joining this graduating cohort during high school as backfills CH HS Graduation Rate (On-time & Delayed) CH HS On-time Graduation Rate


44 50







A/(B+CD+E) (A-C)/(BD+E)

80.0 % 78.4 %


References 1

UNICEF: For example: Maluccio et al., 2006 and Walker et al., 2005 3 For an overview of the published studies on the association between nutrition among school-aged children and their performance in school, see: Taras, H. (2005), “Nutrition and Student Performance at School.” Journal of School Health, 75: 199–213. 4 For an overview of the published studies on the effects of parental involvement on educational achievement at the elementary and secondary level, see Jeynes, William H. "The Relationship Between Parental Involvement and Urban Secondary School Student Academic Achievement: A Meta Analysis." Urban education 42.1 5 For an overview of some of the studies on the association between time on task and student achievement, see: Brophy, Jere E.. “Advances in Teacher Effectiveness Research,” The Journal of Classroom Interaction 45.1 (2010): 17-24 and Fisher, Charles W. "Teaching behaviors, academic learning time, and student achievement: An overview." Journal of Classroom Interaction 17.1 (1981): 2-15, 6 For an overview of the studies on the association between school resources and student achievement, see: Glewwe, Paul W., et al. School resources and educational outcomes in developing countries: a review of the literature from 1990 to 2010. No. w17554. National Bureau of Economic Research, 2011. 7 An average of private schools in Indianapolis 8 Indianapolis Public Schools 2011 data extrapolated six years at 2% annual inflation 9 See footnote 7 10 See footnote 8 11 There is no comparable data for the DORS program in the Indianapolis area. 12 Ibid. 13 Ibid. 14 Ibid. 15 From OECD data, “Education at a gland: Education finance indicator,” Accessed online May 2017. Mean primary and secondary education. 2013 data extrapolated 16 Average in Western Cape 2012-13, calculated based on reported expenditures and number of students:*e_inf.htm 17 Estimate for FY 2015 from Deloitte, “Project Prometheus Report” 05 September 2016. Page 82. Adjusted for 2 years inflation. 18 Dongre, Kapur, et al., “Acountability Initiative: How much does India Spend per Student on Elementary Education?” 2014. Estimates adjusted for inflation. Page 18. Accessed May 2017. 2



Ibid. 20 Deloitte, “Project Prometheus Report,” 05 September 2016. Page 82. 21 Repetition costs the public sector an additional year of spending for no additional progress toward completion of the education cycle. Desertion represents a loss of each year of schooling financed, with no completion of the education cycle. The private costs of repetition include an additional year of the household’s direct costs to keep the child in school (uniform, materials, transport, foregone earnings, etc), plus another year delay in the expected incremental earnings stream following completion of the education cycle. Desertion leads to a permanent loss to the household of the expected incremental earning stream following completion of the education cycle. 22 See Appendix A for retention definitions 23 “The UN Report on Out-of-School Kids is Bad News for India. The Real Picture May be Worse.” Bhatty, Kiran. The Wire. July 2015. 24 DISE Education Statistics: 25 “Bottom of the Class”, The Economist, January 2017 26 TIMSS Highlights: South Africa pg 5: 272016 ASER Report, pg 44. For information on ASER, see ment.pdf, pg. 31 28 Calculation by Dr. Nicolas Spaull, Slide 3: 29 See Appendix B for charts 30 See Appendix A for retention definitions 31 Unemployment, youth total, World Bank: 32 From OECD data, “Education at a gland: Education finance indicator,” Accessed online May 2017. 33 33 From OECD data, “Education at a gland: Education finance indicator,” Accessed online May 2017. 34 Mexicanos Primero, Brechas: 35 See Appendix B. When compared to the Mexicanos Primero calculation, the CHMX number is biased downwards because it does not capture kids who left CHMX and completed on time elsewhere, nor does it capture those who entered CHMX after first grade, and completed on time. 36

For discussion of grade levels, see:



Indianapolis Public Schools ISTEP+ 2016/17 results on Compass, IDOE 38 State of Indiana Four Year Cohort Diploma Types 2016-17 by Free/Reduced Price Meals Reported state is combined percent of free and reduced price honors diplomas.


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