Taipei American School (TAS)

I know one very expensive and privileged private school in New York that had scholarships for almost 50% of their students.
Maybe one way for TAS to improve their English language environment and promoting American culture and values would be to offer special scholarships for students with those skills and backgrounds.

I have an appointment with the TAS admissions director tomorrow and will bring this up as a possible solution.

[quote=“Dr C”]I know one very expensive and privileged private school in New York that had scholarships for almost 50% of their students.
Maybe one way for TAS to improve their English language environment and promoting American culture and values would be to offer special scholarships for students with those skills and backgrounds.

I have an appointment with the TAS admissions director tomorrow and will bring this up as a possible solution.[/quote]

I look forward to reading any comments you might post re the same.

Oh wow, I haven’t been following this closely enough.

To those who inferred I was posh, I went on a scholarship. apparently as an 11 year old I was quite bright but have obviously killed off too many brain cells since.

To the parents who want to promotoe American culture…please take your family back to the US where they will treceive plenty of it. The British boarding school system was set up for just such an eventuality (albeit Engglish culture) in the last century and that seemed to work quite well.

To Tigerman specifically, howcan you berate the school for being elitist etc. and then genuinely show an interest in a scholarship programme? You either value the school’s system or you don’t; was the first commentary just jealousy because your child cannot currently attend or would you indeed have problems sending him even under a scholarship system?

To anyone who ever considers sending an older child into a public school system I would say don’t from personal experience. The kids that go to the older schools have usually grown up in the system. An older child wil always feel like an outsider…I lasted a year and a term before moving back into the public sector…guess I wasn’t posh enough. :laughing:

[quote=“Dr C”]
Assume TAS would offer a special deal for kids with good English language skills, e.g. drop tuition by 50% or such.
Do you know anyone who under these circumstance would like to enroll their kids in TAS?

Dr. C.[/quote]

Are these fixed offers? 50% off for great English? Is there a finders fee for us? Is the strategy for increasing enrollment to ‘ask random Forumosans to help out.’ Dr C, you are asking for a free lunch from us. No such thing is available. Are you expecting us to say, 'Hey we don’t know you, but we’ll be happy to get our friends to drop their kids from their existing schools and drag them over to the Troubled American School?

If you would like to discuss the problems at TAS I’m sure posters would be interested to debate with you. But your only posts here are really requests for us to help. For free.

How bout YOU help our men, then we help you. You get jdsmith some new students, and we’ll get you some. Like for like. Like?

The best you will get here is debate. I’d need money or a reason to go to bat for you.

Tom, I think I see where you are headed with this, seeing as how you are in England an’ all.

You must be thinking

“hmm if I can get a tenner a kid I could clean up here, they all speak English, its like the pavements really are paved with gold”?

I gave two reasons for not wanting to send my child to TAS. The first was due to the high cost of tuition. The second reason was that IMO many of the school teachers, students and administration illustrate snobbish elitism.

Subsequently, Dr. C inquired as to whether there might be foreign children who would like to attend TAS but who cannot due to the high tuition. I replied that I suppose there are such children (parents of such children).

Dr. C indicated that he would be discussing the matter of scholarships with TAS administration, and that perhaps such a program might be able to help introduce more native English speakers to TAS. I don’t see why I should not be interested in the outcome of any such discussion. I have not indicated that I would send my child to TAS even if such scholarships were provided resulting in a substantial increase in the enrollment of native English speaking students.

I doubt very much that TAS would be open to, or able to implement such a scholarship program that would allow a substantial number of native English speaking students to enroll… but, if it did implement such a program, perhaps what I see as an elitest snob factor would be reduced?

In any event, why should I not show an interest in a program that might benefit the children of other foreign parents/children? I don’t expect everyone to share my opinion regarding TAS elitism… as I said, that is only my perception.

My child currently attends one of the other “international” schools and it is unfortunately nearly as expensive as TAS. However, the culture of the school my boy attends is, IMO, quite different from that of TAS.

So, to answer your second question, unless the scholarship program resulted in a substantial increase in the enrollment of native English speaking children of foreign local-hire parents who cannot now afford the TAS tuition and this in turn resulted in a changing of the TAS culture as I perceive it, yes, I would indeed have a problem sending my boy to TAS.

I think that depends entirely on the particular child and the particular school. I went from a public grade school to a private grade school and then back to a public school at the high school level. I had no problems with any of my transfers and remain friends even today with classmates from both the public and private school systems.


Has it never occurred to you that some of us have for a variety of reasons come to Taiwan for an expected limited duration and fully expect to return to the US at some time in the future, and that in the meantime, we have married and started families, but when we return to the US our children will need to enter the US school system? I’m not trying to “promote American culture” in Taiwan. But, I do want to prepare my child for when he eventually returns to the US and the American school system.

Yes. And I think it would be nice if all Americans living in Taipei and who wished to do so could send their children to the American School in Taipei. Currently, that is not an option for many American parents living in Taipei.

Edgar Allen, try not to be so sensitive on the topic of “American culture”. You obviously have some major issue here. What is the matter with you? Are you secretly French or something? Tell us, what has big, bad America done to you? :raspberry: Do you really think that “American” schools, even ones located in Taiwan, should be devoid of American culture? That doesn’t even make nonsense as my dear old, drunk Uncle Roy says. You sound like a non-American parent (or serious bong loving hippee) who wants the benefits of an American secondary education-ACCESS TO AMERICAN COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES-but without having to tolerate anything else having to do with the country. Why don’t you tell the Taiwanese parents, many who have kids who have spent very little time in the US, to haul their kids asses out of the American school if they are more interested in Taiwanese culture than American?

I don’t know if you’re on medication or have forgotten to take your medication but you need to let go of the anger my friend. Don’t be a hatin’ on America. It’s just so unecessary. :slight_smile:

[quote]I know one very expensive and privileged private school in New York that had scholarships for almost 50% of their students.
Maybe one way for TAS to improve their English language environment and promoting American culture and values would be to offer special scholarships for students with those skills and backgrounds.

I have an appointment with the TAS admissions director tomorrow and will bring this up as a possible solution.[/quote]

Currently TAS has only one scholarship program, which only applies to students with financial needs, who are already enrolled in TAS.

But the admissions director agreed that it would be beneficial for the school to have such a scholarship program also for new students. She promised that she will bring up the issue at the next meeting of the advancement committee of the TAS board of directors.

The advantage of such a program for TAS probably would be more convincing if it could be shown that there are indeed candidates in Taiwan who would apply for such a scholarship. Therefore I still would be interested to get an idea how many students in the community would apply for such a scholarship.

Mr. Hill (the Gravel Truck Driver with the cool pink shades), sorry, I can’t offer a finders fee. But I am sure that knowing that you will have had a positive impact on a child’s future will be even a bigger reward for you.

Dr. C.

I’m of the opinion that a positive impact on the bank balance would be a greater reward. :slight_smile:

I’m of the opinion that a positive impact on the bank balance would be a greater reward. :slight_smile:[/quote]

Yeah, I mean, Dr C has got to be dreaming right? He must be a concerned parent.

Dr C, would it be fair on Taiwanese students to charge them more? To charge them double what an American pays? Your problem is a shortfall of American students, not an over abundance of Taiwanese ones. The 50% off may just deter locals, rather than attract Americans.

I heard TAS has other problems… 1. The principal is not American. Many of the staff are not American. How is the image of an American school being promoted? 2. The longer serving staff members group has more ‘sway’ over decisions than the short term teachers group. Contracts are further split into ‘locally hired’ and ‘hired overseas’ with the local hires getting stiffed on flights, health and housing benefits despite being bignosed foreigners. This situation deters good teachers and creates staff discord. (Thats what I heard anyhow.) If I know this stuff, from my bedroom in London, then what do local parents who bother to find out about the school know?

FREE suggestions:

A) Sort out the schools image.
B) Canvass the parents before they even leave America. Form relationships with the companies that send their American workers here.
C) In Taiwan emphasise the ability of TAS to place students into high ranking junior/senior high schools when they graduate from TAS. Parents want this info.
D) Get a time machine and travel back to February. Dr C, the new semster starts in 2 weeks. This should have been dealt with at the start of last semester.
E) For American parents in Taiwan, emphasise the social aspects of being a TAS parent. They and their child will improve the quality of their lives by joining TAS.

it isn’t that the students don’t want to go, it’s that the parents don’t feel excited about TAS. The money TAS charges isn’t a great deal for the rich of Taiwan, Washington charges more. I think the school has issues that reduced admission rates for Americans simply won’t solve.

According to Wikipedia, [quote]As of 2004, approximately 70% of the students hold U.S. passports.[/quote] How do you define “American student”?

This’ll teach him to post on here again…LOL

An “American student” is any student holding a US passport.

What TAS lacks, however, is an abundance of students who speak English as a first language.

Couldn’t agree more. I was just trying to clear up the terminology being used.

That said, I don’t think it will be easy to bring more native English speaking students to TAS. We are in Taiwan, afterall.

I have read the WASC Report and it very clearly lays blame with the Board of Directors … rican.html

This is a response to Tom Hill’s post of Aug 17, 06:

Yes, I am a concerned parent who tries to do his best to help getting TAS out of the current crisis.

Thanks for the clarifying question: Of course I don’t want to charge Taiwanese students more. What I actually proposed to the TAS Admissions Director is to establish a TAS scholarship program where any student (with foreign passport, that is regulation) can apply for a free space at TAS for one year with the possibility of renewal as far a spaces are available.
The selection criteria should be English language proficiency and how much the student can contribute to an American education.
This is what TAS tries to offer and why many parents try to send their children to TAS, to experience a American learning environment.
In that sense such a scholarship could be very valuable for improving the school climate, a major request by the WASC committee.

There are several principals, all of them native English speakers. Yes, many of the staff are not American, but as far as I can tell the English language proficiency of the teaching staff is generally high.

That is a good question, as it is not clear how decisions are influenced by different anonymous groups within the school. The WASC committee explicitly requested to improve the poor governance structure at TAS.

Thanks again for your thoughts and suggestions,

Dr. C.

Focusing on the nationality of teaching staff creates the wrong picture. In fact, the high standard of teacher qualification was one of the positive factors focused on in the WASC Report. While some teachers may hold passports from countries other than the USA, they are qualified to apply for work permits at schools in the USA. If teacher qualification were a major issue, it would affect WASC accreditation.

While there may be a riff between local and overseas hires based on their compensation package, this was not an issue in the WASC Report. Nor did the Report focus overly much on the student body being composed largely of local children who have obtained US passports. Keep in mind that until this year, there was no public problem at TAS even though the hiring situation and student body composition were more or less identical. The academic reputation of the school up until this year has been excellent. As far as I can tell (and my info is limited), the only thing that’s changed is the relationship between the teaching faculty and the directors of the school. My impression of the Report and comments I’ve seen (and once again, I may be wrong) is that non-educators are now dominating the BOD and insisting on making educational decisions.

Interesting because one of the board members elected this year (a native-born American and non-educator) made the argument in his campaign lit that the board has appointed qualified educators and should allow them to make all educational decisions unimpeded.

The TAS website contains a bio of the candidates,
(for Adobe) … 0taiwan%22
(for HTML) … =clnk&cd=5
None of the candidates elected this round of nominations appear particularly qualified. While it’s true that Leigh Keng has an MA from a school of education, her actual experience working in education appears quite limited. She is repeated listed on other sites as a writing consultant. She certainly has a stronger knowledge than other candidates or parents in general, but I doubt her knowledge and understanding is greater than any member of the teaching faculty of the school.

Well, I don’t think that qualification of board members as educators is relevant here. The Articles of Association and the TAS policies clearly state the role of the board. They make decisions for the school in form of school policies. The superintendent and the administrative team is responsible for the implementation of the policies.

Teachers and everyone else can make recommendations to the board but the board is the only democratically (there also have been problems in this area) elected, decision making body of the school.

The governance problems mentioned in the WASC report come from accusations that the board is “micro managing” the school. On the other hand board members feel that they are given only one option by the administration and that they therefore only have the choice of accepting or rejecting the recommendation by the administration, thereby facing the accusations of either rubber-stamping or obstructing whatever the administration recommends.

One also has to remember that only parents are members of the Association and thereby - through the board - decide about TAS policies. They also do that without being professional educators for the most part. An important decision that is coming up is to determine what will be the Expected Schoolwide Learning Results (ESLRs, also known as “Exit Outcomes”). The teachers and administrators clearly can give valuable input about what sort of Learning Results are possible, but they clearly are not in a position to decide for the parents what learning results are best for their children. This is a decision that rests with the parents who send their children to TAS.