When the BASIS Curriculum was launched in 1998, it quickly gained attention and acclaim for its breadth, depth, and ability to successfully teach high-level content and critical thinking to eager students at a younger age. We have seen the implementation, success, growth, and evolution of the BASIS Curriculum over many years, including at each of our five BASIS Independent School (BINS) campuses.
Like the other BASIS Curriculum Schools across the network, each BASIS Independent School continues to place a heavy focus on college readiness, as well as on overall student performance. In the 2016 Advanced Placement® exams, BASIS Independent School students earned a pass rate of 87.9%, and an average score of 3.89, with nearly 1,000 exams taken. In just two years, BINS students’ 2018 pass rate rose to 94.3%, with an average score of 4.18 across nearly 2,000 exams.
Student performance continues to improve at BINS in critical college readiness assessments. The same is true of schools across the BASIS Curriculum Schools network. As such, we are once again proud to share a glimpse of the latest 2019 U.S. News & World Report Best High School rankings, which showcase high rankings for seven BASIS Curriculum Schools, even after a change in U.S. News’ ranking methodology. The new methodology, released on April 29, 2019, broadens the focus of the ranking, moving away from college readiness. However, in spite of these changes, the seven BASIS Charter Schools which were in the Top 15 in 2018, were all still ranked in the Top 35 in 2019 – despite a more than six-fold increase in the number of schools ranked, from 2,700 in 2018 to more than 17,000 in 2019. That is, those seven acclaimed BASIS Charters are in the top 0.2% of all ranked schools. Further, those seven BASIS Charter Schools are ranked as the seven best schools in the state of Arizona, and five of the BASIS Charter Schools are in the nation’s Top 20 STEM schools – and STEM rankings are perhaps the most similar to the ranking methodology used in previous years.
Read on for more details about yet another year of incredible national rankings in U.S. News & World Report by BASIS Charter Schools.
The network of BASIS Charter Schools—which has dominated the U.S. News & World Report rankings over the past several years—continued its consistent success as seven of its college-prep campuses rank near the top of the nation’s public schools.
Despite a profound change this year in the publication’s method for ranking schools, away from what U.S. News itself says was a past focus on “college readiness”—which aligned precisely with the BASIS Curriculum—BASIS Charter Schools still had the nation’s #3 school, three Top 25 schools, and seven schools in the nation’s Top 35.
The new rankings method by U.S. News resulted in a total of more than 17,000 schools ranked – up from fewer than 2,700 in previous years, a six to seven-fold increase.
BASIS Charter Schools also boast the nation’s #2 and #3 STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) schools, and three of the Top 10 and five of the nation’s Top 20 STEM schools.
“Our network thinks college readiness is most important—and it’s what we have done for twenty-one years,” said BASIS Charter School and BASIS Curriculum co-founder Dr. Michael Block. “With the U.S. News methodology change away from college readiness, its STEM rankings are now the best pure measure of college readiness—and our STEM rankings bear that out.”
The BASIS Charter School network has long been considered the premier public charter school network in the nation; it solidified that notion with seven of its schools ranked as the top seven charter schools in America.
“Like educators all over the country, we read that U.S. News was broadening its rankings to be more inclusive,” said BASIS.ed CEO Dr. Peter Bezanson. “But to go from seven schools in the nation’s Top 15 last year when just 2,700 schools were ranked to seven schools in the Top 35 nationally this year, with more than 17,000 ranked—well, once again, it’s an incredible accomplishment. Our students and teachers should be very proud.”
In the national rankings, BASIS Scottsdale, which was the nation’s #1 high school in both 2017 and 2018 under the old methodology, is ranked #3 in 2019, and is the only non-selective school in the nation’s Top 5.
“The methodology change doesn’t indicate a change in student results or student learning,” Dr. Bezanson said. “Our students’ AP performance actually increased since last year’s rankings, including our network’s highest average AP score and highest pass rate in at least seven years. And those scoring increases come as we increase the number of schools and students taking AP exams. We had our highest number of AP exams taken, and the most students taking AP exams in our network’s history.”
According to US News, its rankings used to be “based solely on college readiness”—which is precisely what the BASIS Curriculum does: prepare students for college. This year, however, US News said it implemented a “comprehensive ranking methodology which reflects how well high schools serve all students, not just those planning to go to college.”
On the 2017 U.S. News & World Report national rankings, which used the old methodology, BASIS Charter Schools became the first network ever to sweep the top three spots in the U.S. Last year, also via the old US News methodology, BASIS Charter Schools swept the top five spots.