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 US 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 US 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 Curriculum Schools co-founder Dr. Michael Block. “With the US 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 US 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.
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