SCOTTSDALE, AZ - BASIS Scottsdale came in second in this year’s rankings of high schools throughout the country, according to U.S. News and World Report.
Elizabeth McConaghy, who works as the head of the charter school that produced close to 150 Advanced Placement (AP) scholars in 2013, says the success can be attributed to the teachers.
"They're taking (classes) with people that have an undergraduate degree in or a Master Degree in that content area, even sometimes a PhD," said McConaghy.
The school also doesn’t have a tenure track for teachers, instead bonuses are earned by performance in the classroom.
“They get attendance bonuses for staying in the classroom instead of taking days off. We incentivize them if their students excel on AP exams,” said McConaghy.
State superintendent, John Huppenthal said that traditional public schools do a great job of hiring qualified teachers who engage with students. But he says the success of BASIS is something all schools can learn from.
“The regular schools have really developed sort of animosity toward BASIS,” said Huppenthal. “In addition to having that competitive tension there, (public schools should) learn a little bit from what they're doing and one of those things is getting performance pay correct."