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CHRISTEL HOUSE WORKS Helping Children Break the Cycle of Poverty March 2015 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 nearly 4,200 low-income students at seven learning centers in India, Mexico, South Africa, and the United States. 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. Along with rigorous academics, students receive free preventive health services such as medical check-ups, vaccinations, and mental health services as needed. Breakfast, lunch and an afternoon 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 and behavior success in school. 4 Character development programming is enmeshed in all aspects of the schools, with the four core values of 1 UNICEF:

2 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.


Respect, Responsibility, Independence and Integrity as the foundation. Christel House also provides lifeskills education and career guidance programming to prepare students for post-secondary life. Moreover, student support does not end upon graduation. The College and Careers Program (CCP) 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. 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�, which is highly correlated with student learning outcomes.5 Selective teacher hiring practices, strict behavior norms, and a strong student work ethic are expected. Teachers are required to attend 15 days of professional development per year, are observed frequently and evaluated annually, and are eligible for performance bonuses based partially on student learning outcomes. Parents sign a contract committing to volunteer regularly at the school and attend educational workshops during the year. Students are expected to have a minimum of 95% attendance rate annually. Christel House believes that if children are exposed to both more and higher quality inputs, as outlined below, they will have stronger learning results, independent of their baseline skills and abilities. The curricula for Christel House schools are rigorous, diverse, and relevant, and they generally exceed local and national content standards. The extended school day and year allows for extra and individualized instructional time in core subjects while still supporting a varied educational experience. Christel House students engage in fine arts instruction throughout their school careers, learn relevant and marketable computer skills, and study foreign languages starting in Kindergarten. Students can also choose from rich extracurricular offerings like sports, band, video editing, debate, and chess. 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. Structure and Cost

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 (2007): 82-110. & Jeynes, William H. "A meta-analysis of the relation of parental involvement to urban elementary school student academic achievement." Urban education40.3 (2005): 237-269.

5 For an overview of some of the studies on the association between time on task and student achievement, see: 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.


The structure and financing of the school depend on its location. The three American centers, two of which are traditional K-12 (one opened in 2014 with K-2) and one of which is a high school dropout recovery program, operate as 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. The schools receive funding from the state of Indiana for instruction only, no funding is provided for transportation, facilities, or capital expenditures. The four centers located outside the U.S. are private charity schools. For these K-12 sites, Christel House selects students based on a strict poverty criterion. Students who qualify are then assessed for their ability to learn. Impoverished students falling within a normal range of learning ability are eligible for admission. Parental support is also a factor sometimes considered during the admissions process. Non-U.S. Christel House students are provided tuition-free scholarships to attend the Christel House schools. 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. 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 right to the students. For the 2013/14 fiscal year, Christel House’s budgeted cost per child (“CPC”) averaged $6,150, including the U.S. charter schools. If U.S. schools are excluded, CPC drops to $4,425. CPC by center, along with comparable private school tuitions and local public school per pupil expenditures, are in the table below (all in U.S. dollars). Learning Centers Academy South DORS Mexico South Africa Bangalore Lavasa

Christel House Total Per Pupil Costs $13,200 $9,900 $6,742 $6,602 $2,513 $2,733

Average Local Private School Tuition Costs7 $8,225 N/A $6,737 $6,814 $1,612 N/A

Average Local Pubic School Per Pupil Costs $18,1308 N/A $2,9009 $1,50010 $15011

The Christel House costs in the table include an allocation of Christel House International head office costs, adding $740 per student served organization wide. This allocation has a significant impact on the comparability of India data due to the significant purchasing power of the US dollar. Excluding this allocation, the Bangalore cost per student is $1,773 or 110% of the local private school average.

7 An average of selected representative private schools in the city.

There are no private schools in Lavasa. There are also no comparable data available for the

dropout recovery program, DORS.

8 Indianapolis Public Schools 2011 data extrapolated three years at 2% annual inflation 9 National average of primary and secondary spending in 2012-13:

10 Average in Western Cape 2012-13, calculated based on reported expenditures and number of students:*e_inf.htm

11 National average between primary and secondary:


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. Per pupil public expenditures fall far below the Christel House cost per student in every country except America. Again, public schools do not provide the comprehensive wrap-around services of Christel House, nor do they achieve comparable results. Christel House believes that a significant investment in a holistic model of education is required to achieve its mission in academically underperforming countries overwhelmed by poverty and inequality. The results discussed below bear this out. Christel House schools improve attainment and reduce grade repetition and dropout seen in the government schools, the public and private costs of which are hidden in simple per-pupil expenditure comparisons. 12 Considering these costs, it is arguable that the social cost of producing one high quality 12 th grade graduate is cheaper with Christel House than with the public systems. 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 2013-2014 school year, Christel House schools averaged 96% daily attendance, with 93% year-to-year retention. 13 Christel House secondary schools had 97% of their students passing graduation exams. Currently, 93% of Christel House’s 1,008 College and Careers Program participants are continuing their studies or are gainfully employed (see chart to the right). Christel House first graduated students in 2006, but the majority of the graduates are from post-2010 cohorts, which explains the high percentage of graduates still studying. Christel House India In India, only 20% of the poorest primary school children in rural areas learn the basics of reading. 14 Only 9% of them learn the basics of math. Christel House India in rural Lavasa (CHL) draws students in from surrounding villages. CHL boasts 71% of its students meeting or exceeding grade level standards in math and 60% in language arts in 2014. They retain 99% of their students year-over-year. Christel House India Bangalore (CHB) students also perform better academically than their peers. In 2014, 93% of 10th grade students at CHB passed the state exam, beating the state pass rate by 12 percentage points. Approximately 81% of the students who start with CHB in elementary school 12 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.

13 See Appendix A for retention definitions 14 World Inequality Database on Education, UNESCO.

India data from 2012 ASER results:|Quintile%201&year=2012


complete 10th grade with the school. After 10 th grade, some students leave CHB to focus on subjects not offered at Christel House for the remaining two years of high school. In all of India, only about 10% of students graduate from grade 12. 15 Comparatively, about 65% of the students who start with CHB in elementary school graduate from Christel House in 12 th grade. In 2014, 85% of CHB 12th graders passed the graduation exam in their first try, compared to a 60% pass rate in the state. After “re-takes”, 94% of the 12 th graders passed. 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 12 th grade. 85% of CHB graduates matriculate into and are on track to graduate from university. Christel House South Africa The quality of education in South Africa lags far behind the rest of the world. On the most recent Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) assessments, South Africa was one of the poorest performing countries. The average scores of the top seven countries exceeded the performance of the best South African students. 16 Low socio-economic status exacerbates these issues. 35% of students from the richest schools demonstrated basic proficiency on the TIMSS 2011 mathematics test compared to only 1% of those from the poorest schools. 17 In science the gap widens to 44% versus 2%. Students at Christel House South Africa (CHSA) are out-performing their peers. 86% of 9 th graders at CHSA passed the state Systemic English assessment in 2014, compared to a 48% pass rate in the province. 73% of the CHSA 9th graders passed the mathematics assessment in 2014, compared to 15% in the state. Only about 37% of South African students who were in 2 nd grade in 2004 completed high school in 2014.18 Of the students who were in grade 2 at CHSA in 2004, 55% completed high school in 2014 at Christel House.19 Another 14% are still attending Christel House and are on track to graduate in 2015. Only 31% of students left Christel House over the decade between 2004 and 2014, and it is possible that they finished schooling elsewhere (these students would be counted in the national number, but they effectively count “against” Christel House when using the cohort analysis method, see Appendix B for more on the cohort comparison). Also, students who come into Christel House after 2 nd grade and complete high school with us are not included in the number. The cumulative retention rate of all students who enter CHSA is 93%.

15 DISE Education Statistics:

16 TIMSS Highlights: South Africa pg 5:

17 TIMSS Highlights: South Africa pg 11:

18 Calculation by Dr. Nicolas Spaull, Slide 3:

19 See Appendix B for charts


98% of all CHSA students who took the National Senior Certificate graduation exam in 2014 passed, beating the national pass rate of 76%. 20 61% scored high enough on the exam to earn admission to university, beating the 17% bachelor pass rate for other low-income students taking the test in the country.21 While South Africa faces a staggering youth unemployment rate of 52% 22, 91% of CHSA alumni are working and/or continuing their education. While only 6% of the South African population has obtained a tertiary degree23, about 40% of CHSA graduates are actively pursuing a university degree. Christel House Mexico In Mexico, the 2012 PISA results show that over half of 15-year olds did not achieve even basic levels of competency in math, and 41% did not achieve basic levels in reading. 24 Comparatively, over 90% of Christel House Mexico (CHMX) students passed the national exam, ENLACE, in 2013. CHMX students scored higher, on average, than local public and private schools in language arts and mathematics on the exam (See the chart below showing the Language Arts pass rate for CHMX vs. public and private schools in both Mexico City (“DF”) and all of Mexico (“Nac”)). The organization Mexicanos Primero has found that for every 100 students who enter grade 1 in the public school system, only half complete the basic cycle of 9 grades on time, and of those, fully half again attain a score of “insufficient” on the ENLACE standardized test – that is, only about 25% of students satisfactorily complete Grade 9 in the expected time. 25 In contrast, even when using a method of measurement that biases the number downward, as explained with CHSA 26, 45% of CHMX students do so – almost doubling the national average. Every year 100% of the 9 th graders at CHMX pass the exam that qualifies them for high school. ENLACE 2011-2013 Average Scores: Secondary Language Arts CHMX vs Local (DF) & National Public & Private Schools

Christel House Academy (USA) Only 51% of 3rd through 8th grade students in Indianapolis public schools demonstrated proficiency both in English and

20 2014 National Senior Certificate Examination Technical Report, Department of Basic Education:

21 2014 National Senior Certificate Examination Technical Report, Department of Basic Education, pgs. 70 &71:

22 Unemployment, youth total, World Bank: 23 General Household Survey 2012, Statistics South Africa: and Educational Attainment: completed tertiary, UNESCO Institute for Statistics:

24 2012 PISA Key Findings Mexico: 25 Mexicanos Primero, Brechas:

26 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. See Appendix B for more, and comparison charts.


math on state exams in 2014. 27 68% of Indianapolis public school students graduate from high school, and only half of the graduates pursue a college degree. 28 At Christel House Academy South (CHA) in Indianapolis, 71% of elementary and middle school students demonstrate proficiency in both English and math, 72% of students graduate from high school, and 70% of graduates enroll in college. 96% of the 3rd graders at the Academy pass the state reading exam, compared to 71% of Indianapolis public school students and beating the state average of 91%. 29 DORS is a dropout recovery program that provides a pathway to a high school diploma for students 18 years of age and older. DORS students have the opportunity to be dual-enrolled at a local community college so they earn both high school and college credit simultaneously. So far, DORS has enabled 17 students to earn a diploma, while students at DORS have earned over 90 dual credits. 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 selfsufficiency, and realize their hopes and dreams.

27 Indianapolis Public Schools ISTEP+ 2012/13 results on Compass, IDOE

28 Indianapolis Public Schools Four Year Cohort Status 2012-13 on Compass, IDOE, and Indiana College Readiness Report 2012 High School Graduates Indianapolis Public Schools, CHE

29 IREAD-3 2013-14 on Compass:


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 1 401 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 on-time, 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 12 th 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 12 th 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


46 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. 9

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





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

2 80.0 % 78.4 %

APPENDIX B Cohort Retention and Success Rates – Compared to National Averages (CHSA and CHMX) The comparison graphs below hold the following limitations, which bias the numbers against Christel House: 1. Christel House serves a low-income population, whereas national numbers include students from all income levels. Dropout in these countries is higher among low-income students, so when our graduating cohorts are being compared to the national statistics, it is likely that the national statistics are largely representative of higher-income student performance. 2. The Christel House numbers follow a rigorous, cohort-based retention metric, whereas national numbers are simply numbers-based. We tracked students by name from elementary years though the terminal year at Christel House. Some of the students who leave Christel House in earlier grades may well have completed these terminal grades at other schools. The national numbers would still count this student as a successful graduate, whereas Christel House is counting them as a “not completing at Christel House�. Christel House is also not getting credit from students who come to Christel House after the cohort is formed in elementary school who successfully complete at our school.

Despite holding ourselves to a higher standard, Christel House still beats the national statistics. While Christel House is slightly better at retaining students/on-time completion (keeping in mind the limitations stated above), we really shine in terms of the quality of education provided.


Christel House Mexico


Christel House South Africa


Christel House Value Proposition  
Christel House Value Proposition