The Arizona Republic

Ariz. Ba­sis high schools lead rank­ing


- Ri­cardo Cano Ari­zona Repub­lic USA TO­DAY NET­WORK

The na­tion’s top five pub­lic high schools have two things in com­mon: They’re all in Ari­zona and they’re all part of the Ba­sis char­ter net­work.

Ari­zona high schools made up onethird of the top 30 schools in the U.S. News & World Re­port’s an­nual rankings re­leased Wed­nes­day. The rankings in­clude nearly 6,000 high schools across the na­tion.

All of the rank­ing Ari­zona schools, both district and char­ter, spe­cial­ize in col­lege pre­pared­ness and are known for their rig­or­ous cur­ric­ula.

Ba­sis Scotts­dale was the na­tion’s top-per­form­ing high school for the sec­ond year in a row. Ba­sis Chan­dler, Ba­sis Oro Val­ley, Ba­sis Tuc­son North and Ba­sis Flagstaff rounded up the top five schools in the re­port.

Five more Ari­zona schools also were na­tion­ally ranked in the top 30, in­clud­ing schools in the Gilbert, Tuc­son and Tolle­son Union school dis­tricts.

In a state­ment, the Ba­sis char­ter school net­work’s lead­ers said their schools’ rankings were a tes­ta­ment to their stu­dents and teach­ers.

“We’re al­ways grat­i­fied by rankings like this, it never gets old,” Peter Bezan­son, CEO of Ba­sis.ed, said in a state­ment. “But these (rankings), in 2018, are be­yond ex­pec­ta­tion, an ex­tra­or­di­nary achieve­ment for pub­lic char­ter schools.

“Ev­ery stu­dent, ev­ery teacher, ev­ery par­ent, and ev­ery staff mem­ber — not just at the ranked schools, but across our net­work — should feel quite proud, de­serv­ingly proud. It val­i­dates what we have ded­i­cated our pro­fes­sional lives to do.”

Schools con­sider the an­nual rankings a pres­ti­gious honor — and pow­er­ful mar­ket­ing tools in Ari­zona’s school-choice land­scape. Crit­ics have

said the rank­ing’s fo­cus is too nar­row.

Ac­cord­ing to U.S. News, the rankings con­sider the per­cent­age of stu­dents who ex­ceed state stan­dards, grad­u­a­tion rates and col­lege-readi­ness per­for­mance data, such as Ad­vanced Place­ment and In­ter­na­tional Bac­calau­re­ate test re­sults.

Ba­sis is one of Ari­zona’s largest char­ter-school net­works and its schools con­sis­tently rank at the top of the U.S. News an­nual rankings. The av­er­age stu­dent who grad­u­ates from Ba­sis schools passes nearly 11 AP ex­ams.

The Ari­zona Ba­sis char­ter schools are pub­licly funded, pri­vately man­aged schools open to any fam­ily, tu­ition-free.

Ba­sis schools have faced crit­i­cism for years over ac­ces­si­bil­ity. Some crit­ics have said the schools’ high-per­for­mance ex­pec­ta­tions for stu­dents and in­vest­ment ex­pec­ta­tions of par­ents cre­ates bar­ri­ers for many pub­lic school stu­dents to at­tend the schools.

A re­cent re­port by

found that al­though Ba­sis re­ceives more in ba­sic per-pupil state fund­ing than tra­di­tional pub­lic schools, its teach­ers’ salaries, on av­er­age, are thou­sands of dol­lars less than those of tra­di­tional pub­lic-school teach­ers.

found the char­ter net­work sub­si­dizes its teacher salaries by ask­ing par­ents to make do­na­tions. To­pranked Ba­sis Scotts­dale, for in­stance, asks par­ents do­nate at least $1,500 per stu­dent each year.

Top 20 Ari­zona high schools

❚ Ba­sis Scotts­dale (Na­tion­ally ranked No. 1).

❚ ❚ ❚ Ba­sis Tuc­son North (No. 4). ❚ ❚

Ba­sis Chan­dler (No. 2). Ba­sis Oro Val­ley (No. 3). Ba­sis Flagstaff (No. 5). Ba­sis Peo­ria (No. 8). ❚ Ba­sis Phoenix (No. 14).

❚ Gilbert Clas­si­cal Acad­emy High School (No. 20).

❚ Uni­ver­sity High School in Tuc­son (No. 27).

❚ Uni­ver­sity High School in Tolle­son (No. 29).

❚ Ari­zona Col­lege Prep — Erie Campus (No. 240).

❚ North­land Preparator­y Acad­emy (No. 263).

❚ Paragon Sci­ence Acad­emy (No. 547). ❚ Ari­zona School for the Arts (No. 593).

❚ Catalina Foothills High School (No. 670).

❚ Flagstaff Arts and Lead­er­ship Acad­emy (No. 978).

❚ Hamil­ton High School (#1,068). ❚ Cha­parral High School (No. 1,204).

❚ Desert Moun­tain High School (No. 1,311).

❚ Se­dona Red Rock High School (No. 1,348).

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 ??  ?? Chem­istry teacher Lau­ren Cooney (cen­ter) works with Michelle Koo (left) on April 25, 2017, in their class­room at Ba­sis Scotts­dale at 10400 N. 128th St.
Chem­istry teacher Lau­ren Cooney (cen­ter) works with Michelle Koo (left) on April 25, 2017, in their class­room at Ba­sis Scotts­dale at 10400 N. 128th St.

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