EMOs: Advantage Schools Inc.

ADVANTAGE SCHOOLS is a Boston-based company that runs 8 charter schools in 7 states. Education is conducted in a formal environment in which students wear uniforms and a "zero-tolerance" for disruptive behavior is enforced. Each school maintains a "Code of Civility" by which all students are expected to abide.

In terms of curriculum, students proceed based on their skill levels instead of traditional grades, and they may not advance to the next skill level until after they have mastered prior material in a structured sequence. Interaction between students and teachers is formalized as well, where teachers will deliver polished, scripted lessons and engage the whole class in frequent choral responses as well as individual responses. A "lead teacher" is placed at every grade level in order to serve as the authority for all the students and teachers at that grade. Younger grades follow a phonics-based reading course in which 15 students or less are present in a single classroom. Math courses are similarly structured with low student-to-teacher ratios and formalized lessons. At the high school level, those students who intend to attend college receive an International Baccalaureate curriculum while students who intend to enter the workforce upon graduation are offered vocational training. Classes are conducted in a seven-hour day, 200 days a year.

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