In a global economy, in an environment that is hyperconnected to a substantial amount of information and knowledge sharing, students need to be prepared with the skills to actively participate, not spectate. When students are participants, they can synthesize large amounts of information to make significant contributions for themselves and for those around them.
For these reasons and more, BASIS Independent Schools adheres to a simple and powerful mission - to educate students to the highest international levels. We benchmark our program to the best education systems in the world and in the process, have developed a global best practices approach to education from toddlers to grade 12.
How do we measure the outcomes of our mission? We look to the gold standard, the OECD and PISA.
What is the OECD and PISA?
Every three years, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) publishes results from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), which is designed to evaluate education systems worldwide, comparing how students from different countries are doing academically. The OECD Test for Schools (based on PISA), measures 15-year-old students across the globe on their abilities to use their mathematics, reading, and science “literacies” (knowledge and skills) to meet real-life challenges.
As the OECD states, "PISA results reveal what is possible in education by showing what students in the highest-performing and most rapidly improving education systems do."
How BASIS Independent Students Performed
BASIS Independent students have participated annually in the OECD Test for Schools (based on PISA) in the United States, for the last several years.
We have compared the current results with the most recent OECD exam taken in 2018. The results below show that our students continue to lead their peers globally in math, reading, and science. They are developing critical skills, such as analyzing, reasoning, and communicating ideas, to ensure their success in college and beyond.
BASIS Independent Schools implements the BASIS Curriculum, a liberal arts and sciences program designed to challenge and inspire. Our advanced program is focused on developing a deep foundation in disciplinary knowledge to create subject mastery, including in math, reading, and science. By challenging and equipping students with deep content knowledge and keen organizational skills, we’re helping them become more confident in their intellectual abilities. It is that confidence in their ability to make connections between disciplines that helps them outperform their peers in math, reading, and science on the OECD exam.
Math at BASIS Independent Schools
Beginning in the middle school program, we provide students the opportunity to differentiate their math level based on ability as they work toward subject mastery. A student in grade 6, for example, could be taking either pre-algebra or Algebra I/Geometry. Students who join us in middle school will be taking pre-calculus by grade 9. We also offer specialized Capstone math courses in grade 12, such as Linear Algebra, Multivariable Calculus, Game Theory, and more.
BASIS Independent Students again outperformed their peers in math. See the results below.
English at BASIS Independent Schools
Our students are introduced to the basic elements of reading, writing, grammar, and literature in their early years. Students in our Primary Program even have a dedicated period for reading. As students progress toward subject mastery, they can expect to spend their English classes divided between grammar, punctuation, vocabulary, critical thinking skills, and instruction in reading and writing. They will learn how to analyze and utilize a variety of literary devices, examine and use advanced vocabulary, and edit and improve their own writing. Students will be expected to demonstrate their ever-growing repertoire of research skills. They will also analyze and write about a variety of genres—short fiction, novels, autobiographical memoirs, essays, poetry, drama, and film—while building their critical reading and analytic writing skills.
In their high school years, students take courses specifically designed to provide students with the content knowledge and skills to succeed in AP English Language and AP English Literature. In their senior year, students can select from Humanities Capstones such as Rhetoric and Communications, Theatre Politik, and more.
Below is how BASIS Independent students performed in reading as compared to their peers around the world.
Science at BASIS Independent Schools
In our Middle School Program, we separate the sciences beginning in grade 6. Students will take three classes each of Biology, Chemistry, and Physics in one week. This approach to the sciences continues in Grade 7 and Grade 8. Each of these sciences are taught by a Subject Expert Teacher and many have a PhD in their field of study. From toddlers to grade 5, the sciences are also an integral part of our curriculum. In grade 5 students have two science classes including Physical Geography and Introduction to Science, which covers topics in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Space Science. In our High School Program, students will take Honors Biology, Chemistry, and Physics, and at least one AP in these sciences before they graduate.
Below are the results of BASIS Independent students in science.
Why PISA Matters
The results of the OECD Test for Schools (based on PISA) show that what BASIS Independent Schools practices actually delivers. The combination of a rigorous, internationally benchmarked curriculum, Subject Expert Teachers who have a degree of autonomy in the classroom, and a supportive school culture, provides an education environment where any motivated student can and does excel.
BASIS Independent Schools Senior Vice President, Carolyn McGarvey, expressed, "What the results show and why it matters is that BASIS Independent School students take the lead in developing critical thinking and problem solving skills. Skills that require the application of deep content knowledge across disciplines to create innovations and solve complex challenges, all the while making significant contributions. Our students are prepared to excel in college and beyond."
BASIS Independent Schools is a private school network with campuses in California, New York, and Virginia. We serve children with a passion to learn from toddlers to grade 12.