2009 E Pluribus Unum WINNER

Internationals Network for Public Schools

“We do in one generation what typically takes several generations to accomplish.” Claire Sylvan

A highly successful network of 11 small public high schools operating on existing school campuses in New York City and Oakland, California, Internationals Network educates late-entry, overwhelmingly low-income children from more than 90 countries.

Serving 3,500 students this year, all having arrived with limited English skills, Internationals Network sees 90 percent of its graduates go on to college - a remarkable result considering that the graduation rate for limited English proficient students in New York City stands at 23.5 percent. The first Internationals school, founded 25 years ago on a community college campus, generated a successful model that was replicated three times prior to the incorporation of Internationals Network.

Since the formation of the nonprofit in 2004, the model has been re-created six additional times in New York City and once in California, with a 12th school opening in San Francisco in August.

For more on Internationals Network for Public Schools, visit: www.internationalsnps.org

Click here for all E Pluribus Unum 2009 WINNERS

Exceptional Immigrant
Integration Initiative

Taking children from over 90 countries, who speak more than 55 languages but have limited English skills, Internationals Network for Public Schools has an uncommonly high student graduation rate, with 90 percent of its graduates going on to college.

By creating an innovative program and effective supports for late-entry immigrants in public schools, Internationals provides a high-result, cost-effective educational model. By focusing on the challenges of late-entry immigrants, Internationals expands public school capacity to address the needs of all students.

By focusing on immigrant children who come to the United States later in life, Internationals is allowing these students to maximize their human capital - which is a gain not just for them but for the broader society. And, it equips these students to quickly master educational and societal challenges that otherwise could hamper outcomes for them, their families, and their future offspring.

Internationals Network, which receives support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as well as many other foundations and individuals, offers a model network that districts and CBOs could recreate in other school systems, and also has an internal model of sustainability, demonstrated over a 25-year history, that allows schools to flourish and maintain continuity even when their leaders change.

About Claire Sylvan,
Executive Director

Claire E. Sylvan (EdD) is the founding Executive Director of Internationals Network for Public Schools. A nationally recognized expert and practitioner in both school reform and the education of immigrant and English language learners, her efforts at Internationals Network focus on the organization's strategy, core values, partnerships, leadership development and fundraising.

Prior to founding Internationals Network for Public Schools, Dr. Sylvan worked in diverse roles and settings spanning public secondary education, teacher education, and community/workplace organizing. She has provided guidance on broad school reform initiatives in New York City and State, as well as nationally. She has participated on local, state, and national advisory boards, commissions, and task forces providing leadership on topics including the development of state standards for English language learners, the benefits and challenges of No Child Left Behind for English learners and the opening of new small schools.

Dr. Sylvan has developed innovative programs and practices for diverse populations of new learners of English in various New York City public schools, led the Internationals Schools Partnership (the early network of International High Schools), and piloted the groundbreaking Early College Program at International High School at LaGuardia. She has also researched and published articles documenting the cross-section of educational reform and language development programs for immigrants and their children.