Monday, May 1, 2017

Which Is Higher at BASIS Schools: Its AP Scores, or Its Debt? | deutsch29

Which Is Higher at BASIS Schools: Its AP Scores, or Its Debt? | deutsch29:

Which Is Higher at BASIS Schools: Its AP Scores, or Its Debt?

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On April 25, 2017, three BASIS charter schools located in Arizona have found themselves celebrated in US News and World Report for being US News’ top-rated high schools.
BASIS Scottsdale was ranked Number One.
Turns out that AP test scores matter much in the US News high-school-ranking system, and BASIS high schools require their students to take at least eight AP courses and six AP exams. In 2016, the average BASIS graduate took over 11 AP exams. BASIS contends that “AP exam scores are by no means the focus of our curriculum”; however, the same page boasts that “many BASIS.ed graduates take as many as 20 AP Exams.”
It sounds like BASIS is pretty AP-centered; even on its curriculum/diploma webpage, BASIS counts AP exams as “foundational for learning.”
And for all of its detail, the same curriculum/diploma webpage alludes to BASIS’s founders only in general terms: “founded by two economists.” No names.
Still, one can find those names on the BASIS “about” page:
Michael and Olga Block.
BASIS is a tough school; one gains this sense by reading the ~160 comments on the GreatSchools BASIS Scottsdale page. And for more on the BASIS school story/debate, one can read the back-and-forth between Network for Public Education (NPE) Executive Director Carol Burris and BASIS CEO Peter Bezanson (be sure to read the comments on Bezanson’s opinion piece, which connect to this Washington Post editorial by Burris).
What caught my attention in the above-noted BASIS Schools exchange is the back-and-forth over BASIS’s overhead and alleged financial struggles.
So, I read the BASIS Schools tax forms, which tell an interesting story about Michael and Olga Block and some of their extended family.
Now, let me mention that in 2013, I wrote about Arizona charters and the state’s soft “conflict of interest” guidelines. In Arizona, it’s pretty easy to make charter school operations a lucrative family affair.
Let me also add that when I read the GreatSchools comments about BASIS Scottsdale, the following comment about BASIS Scottsdale being used as a BASIS teacher training center caught my attention.
Posted by “a parent” on August 08, 2014, on the GreatSchools page for reviews of BASIS Scottsdale:
Last year, BASIS underwent a massive expansion with BASIS schools all over AZ, and some in other States. BASIS Corporate trains their teachers at BASIS Scottsdale, and then have them move to these new school,
Which Is Higher at BASIS Schools: Its AP Scores, or Its Debt? | deutsch29:
 

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