x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Most US curriculums unaccredited

Most Dubai American schools unable to prepare pupils properly for university.

DUBAI // A majority of American schools in the emirate do not provide accredited curriculums, hampering pupils' higher education opportunities, the report found.

About 70 per cent of schools billed as US-style do not base lessons on US state educational standards. Pupils in these schools do not have recognised external assessments, such as the SAT, a university entrance exam.

"Too many US schools still do not provide an accredited diploma to students to enable them to achieve higher education placements," said the report.

Educators said the inconsistency in standards was attributed to different guidelines followed by individual states in the US.

Dubai American Academy, the only US school to be rated outstanding this year, said this was an area where most non-UK schools struggled.

"There is no single American curriculum and it changes from state to state," said Robin Appleby, superintendent at the school. "Only in the last few years a core curriculum has been developed."

The school is accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS) and New England Association for Schools and Colleges (NEASC). It is also authorised to offer the International Baccalaureate diploma.

Delice Scotto, principal of the Al Mizhar American Academy for Girls, said her school offered pupils an Advanced Placement (AP) programme to ensure they took the proper courses and were prepared for university.

The school is also accredited by the NEASC and CIS.

But most have been criticised for not being proactive in ensuring internationally recognised systems.

"Teachers in weaker performing schools have an inconsistent understanding of how young children learn," the report said. "[They] have little idea of how students compare to their peers internationally."

aahmed@thenational.ae