The BASIS Beat goes on


by David Safier

I write a monthly column for The Explorer. My latest column is about BASIS, an appropriate topic for a paper whose distribution area spans BASIS Oro Valley and the new/old BASIS Tucson North (a new building that houses students from the original BASIS).

I start with a hypothetical:

Let’s say you decide to start a school for sixth through 12th graders that gives students a rigorous, world class education: demanding courses, lots of homework, sky-high expectations.

Then I follow the students as they move from the 6th grade to the 12th and the inevitable attrition that has to occur in any school with a preset standard of excellence.

Student attrition continues in high school until by senior year, only 33 [of the original 100] students remain. Those left standing are testament to the strength of the school’s curriculum, but what about the 67 who left before they graduated? It might be too harsh to say the school failed them, but there’s no question the school didn’t succeed at raising them to its high standards.

What I’ve just described is the way things work at BASIS charter schools. The standards are high, the workload is daunting and two out of three students don’t make it to their senior year. The schools work fine for a select group of students, but they certainly don’t provide a model that can be used in schools that educate all students who come their way.

Another attempt to get The Facts, not The BASIS Legend, out to the community.