Karachi American School

1.9  / 5
( 2Reviews)
Ranking:
Country:# 2Top 3
|
Region:# 94
|
Overall:# 225
Located:
Karachi, Pakistan
Region:
Asia
Score Over Time:

Curriculum:

Other

Grade Levels:

Nursery
Lower ES
Upper ES
MS
HS

Type:

Non-profit
Private

Enrollment:

348

Category Scores:

3.5
School
3.2
Students
2.2
Administration
5.4
Salary
5.0
Benefits
6.0
Housing
4.0
Colleagues
3.2
Place
2.5
Professional Development
5.3
Settling In
2.7
After Arrival
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Review Summary:

School:

Question 1:

The facilities of the school adequately provide for a positive learning/working experience.

3.5 / 10
Question 2:

School provides adequate access to teaching materials without any extra expense by the teacher (books, lab supplies, art supplies, materials, copying, etc.

4 / 10
Question 3:

School is well funded to provide students and faculty with adequate materials to support their course offering.

3 / 10
Question 4:

Parent community is actively involved in supporting the school's mission and their child's education endeavors.

2.5 / 10
Question 5:

Classroom student to teacher ratios are kept low.

4.5 / 10

Students:

Question 6:

Students are generally of high aptitude.

3 / 10
Question 7:

Student interactions with faculty are primarily characterized by respectability.

4.5 / 10
Question 8:

Students are of diverse ethnicity.

2 / 10

Administration:

Question 9:

Administration positively supports faculty in a professional manner.

2.5 / 10
Question 10:

Administration actively encourages a dialogue concerning school related issues.

2 / 10
Question 11:

Administration is actively engaged in developing/supporting/maintaining a clear school vision.

1.5 / 10
Question 12:

Administration makes sure that the financial stability and integrity of the school is well maintained.

2 / 10
Question 13:

Administration/Ownership uses school funds to support the well being of the school.

3 / 10

Salary:

Question 14:

Salary scale is competitive.

5 / 10
Question 15:

Salary provides the opportunity to save appropriately.

6.5 / 10
Question 16:

Salary provides the opportunity to travel during vacation.

6.5 / 10
Question 17:

Salary scale provides for vertical and horizontal movement based on years of experience and/or units/degree's earned.

3.5 / 10

Benefits:

Question 18:

School provides a quality health insurance plan that covers all major medical (health, vision, dental.

5 / 10
Question 19:

School provides retirement benefits that are competitive.

6 / 10
Question 20:

School provides a health insurance plan that covers international travel/coverage.

6.5 / 10
Question 21:

School provides for faculty child tuition benefits.

3.5 / 10
Question 22:

School provides strong support for maternity benefits.

5.5 / 10
Question 23:

School provides an adequate amount for end of contract airfare cost.

3 / 10
Question 24:

School provides an adequate shipping allowance.

5.5 / 10

Housing:

Question 25:

School provides quality available housing or a housing stipend that affords quality housing.

5 / 10
Question 26:

The proximity of housing in relation to school location is within an acceptable distance of travel.

8.5 / 10
Question 27:

Options of moving housing during the course of contract is acceptable.

4.5 / 10

Colleagues:

Question 28:

Colleagues foster a welcoming environment to new faculty.

4 / 10
Question 29:

School hires a diversity of family structures (Singles, couples, families.

4.5 / 10
Question 30:

Colleagues foster a professional environment that supports growth.

2.5 / 10
Question 31:

Colleagues foster a personal support structure in place of family.

5 / 10

Place:

Question 32:

City the school resides in provides opportunities for things to do without having to travel

1 / 10
Question 33:

City the school resides in provides easy opportunities to travel to other places.

5.5 / 10
Question 34:

Local culture is apparent in the city/country in which the school resides.

6.5 / 10
Question 35:

Local culture of in which the school resides is open to integrating expats into local customs and traditions.

3 / 10
Question 36:

City/Country in which the school resides does not exact personal restrictions on lifestyle choices.

2 / 10
Question 37:

City/Country in which school resides provides for potential tax benefits.

1 / 10
Question 38:

Quality of local health care is excellent.

1.5 / 10
Question 39:

Cost of living in the city/country where school resides is reasonable.

9 / 10
Question 40:

City the school resides in has excellent infrastructure for mass transportation (e.g. - is a car required.

1 / 10
Question 41:

City/Country in which the school resides provides for adequate personal safety.

1.5 / 10

Professional Development:

Question 42:

School makes available a variety of professional development opportunities.

2 / 10
Question 43:

School makes available funds to support continued development.

3.5 / 10
Question 44:

Time is specifically set aside in the calendar for faculty and staff formation.

4 / 10
Question 45:

Faculty and Staff are encouraged to professionally grow by the school.

1.5 / 10
Question 46:

Faculty and Staff are encouraged to experiment, implement, and bring up new ideas for classroom innovation.

1.5 / 10

Settling In:

Question 47:

School meets you on arrival and escorts you to accommodations.

7 / 10
Question 48:

School provides an adequate orientation to the school and local culture upon arrival.

4 / 10
Question 49:

School provides an allowance to support the transition.

5 / 10

After Arrival:

Question 50:

Facilities of the school were well represented during the hiring process.

3.5 / 10
Question 51:

Contract is honored based on what was agreed upon during the hiring process.

3 / 10
Question 52:

School actively maintains a dialogue and support structure to make sure basic needs are being met.

1.5 / 10

Review Narratives:

2 reviews

3.2

Reviewed:

11/01/2021

The present head, Robert McCarl, is non-inclusive, misogynistic, vindictive, and poorly prepared. He was mentored/groomed by the previous head, Peter Pelosi, who ran the school for over 20 years. Pelosi refused to bring the school into the 21st century, blocking efforts by division leaders for updated technology, student services, and curriculum updates. He ran the school top-down with little to no input from teachers, parents, or students. There were no admin meetings for the last 2 years of his tenure and no HS staff meetings before that. (He was in charge of the HS.) The other division heads held regular staff meetings despite efforts to undermine their authority. His division heads were isolated and major decisions, such as the firing/hiring of teachers, were either overturned or made without discussion. His decisions were based on anger or self-preservation/convenience. There was a large group of parents who wanted him to resign (which he finally did last year). Pelosi reacted with vindictiveness, pettiness, and unprofessionally with these individuals., fueling their anger. Student welfare, reports of bullying, and the accusations of inappropriate behavior of a teacher as well as a past division head (who fled the country with Peter's help) were met with indifference, dismissal, and lies/coverups. The office staff was on eggshells depending on his mood. He was known to yell and throw things when upset. Unfortunately, his protege, Rober McCarl, has followed in his footsteps. McCarl is driven by his ego and makes decisions without knowing all of the facts. He often escalates a situation because he feels threatened or feels the need to exhibit authority. McCarl has no love nor understanding of education, pedagogy, or curriculum and, for the most part, tries to disguise his lack of expertise with bravado and lies. He has openly stated he doesn't really like kids and is in overseas education for the money. He relies on his position of power to intimidate his staff whenever he is challenged. He has very little experience in education and was well known as a poor teacher for the short time he was in the classroom. His wife who is a teacher has been given the power to interview teachers on her own and seems to think she is an admin because she's married to one. The two of them create a toxic environment fueled by their egos and lack of experience. Parents have been frustrated with the lack of communication from Peter and Robert for some time. Their underlying philosophy is parents just don't need to be involved other than paying tuition. The strategy is to keep them in the dark as much as possible so they can't question anything. This, of course, has backfired for both of them and Robert had very little parental backing going into his first year as the head. High school students run the show and are allowed to disrespect teachers, younger students, and staff. The rigor expected in the classroom is low for teachers and students alike, allowing some teachers to slip into complacency. There is little accountability for teachers and students in the classroom with no formal observation schedule in HS followed. For ex-pat teachers, the saving potential is high, especially for couples, so many renew for a second contract. It is a developing country, so there are hardships associated with that. Teachers have access to cars/drivers that need to be scheduled in advance on a first-come basis. So, if you're slow on the draw, you may find yourself home all weekend. The school grounds are well kept (better than the classrooms) and teachers live on campus with access to tennis/handball courts, a swimming pool, a gym with weights/cardio machines, and track. Housing issues are often ignored...depending on who you are. If you are looking for a school with high standards, a positive working environment, a vision, or growth, this is not the place. The savings potential does not make up for the disorganization, lack of support or guidance, lack of empathy from the admin, and overall negative vibe.

4.4

Reviewed:

07/24/2020

This school is a very low-tiered school with mostly wealthy Pakistani students and hardly any non-Pakistani students. The overall educational standard is extremely low. The school looks rundown, uninviting and uninspiring with less than adequate facilities except for a nice auditorium and field. Classrooms are small and depressing. The school is run with a top down leadership approach with very little meaningful discussions, communication or collaboration with the staff or amongst the staff. Administration (head of school and division principals) are all self-absorbed, egoistic, does not possess leadership qualities and is controlling, uninspiring and can be unprofessional, rude and does not have the skills to inspire staff or follow through. The head of the school, Dr. Pelosi is known to lie, is a coward, manipulative, volatile, unstable, controlling, chauvinistic, makes inappropriate comments about younger female staff, unethical, lacks integrity and rules the school with an iron fist. Most of the local staff revere yet are afraid of him. There is a section of the parent community that are dead against him; they think he has been holding the school back (which I agree). Most of the teachers and assistants work hard although some are clearly cruising and lacks the teaching skills and should not be teaching children at all. There is no professional accountability or opportunities for real growth. This is a school where you come to die professionally. Most of the expat staff are older (probably can't get jobs anywhere else), are waiting to retire and are just there to save money. Some teachers are cruising since there is no rigor to the program and zero innovation expected of anyone. Basically, one can survive here without really doing much. The school is in a poor financial state because of corruption amongst its staff namely the head of school, the second guy in command (a spineless unethical weasel called Robert McCarl) and the slimy, corrupted Mr. Salam who sits in the storeroom and manages the shipment etc. Dr. Pelosi is known to have not fulfilled contract obligations, withheld salaries and retirement funds with no notification or explanation and have let go of staff due to spite while blaming it on the pandemic. If you have a mind of your own, you will not survive in this school. They do not welcome new ideas, new ways of working and are not open to feedback of any kind or seem interested in self-improvement. The school is set in its way, happy with status quo and has delusions of grandeur that the school is one of the best in the region. Sad yet laughable! Sadly, many of the local teachers who have never seen anything better have been duped into believing this lie! The school was already in poor financial state before the pandemic but have given a false impression to the school community that the school was doing well financially. Be careful and check everything - the office staff including the secretary and the accountant have known to make rookie mistakes with your salary. There is no such thing as ethical or current practices being followed - no salary statements, late salary payments with no prior notification, overcharging for wire transfers etc. In a matter of 5 days, the school went from being in good financial standing to a school who had to let staff go because of financial difficulties. The school is behind by 30 years in terms of keeping with current teaching practices, trends and technology. Security is over the top and unnecessary. There is no privacy and you have to be escorted by the guards everywhere you go, even walking from the apartment to the school. Karachi city is dirty, and has nothing much to offer. There is nothing much to do except go to the malls, grocery shop and eat out. Large sections of the city is off-limits. There is very little opportunity to experience the local culture or see the country. There are some good restaurants that offer delicious local and international cuisines. Most of the local and expat teachers are friendly but cliques and keep mostly to themselves. So, if you are a recluse, this might be the perfect place for you! The local staff i.e. the bearers, the guards are all nice and helpful. The country as a whole is dysfunctional with a high level of corruption. There are no waste disposal system and the water that comes out of the tap is unsafe to drink. There is constant power outages especially in the summer months. Thank God for generators. Housing is adequate but depending where you are housed, there is little privacy with guards right outside the apartment. All in all, avoid this school like a plague if you have a choice!

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