Watchdog charter school group takes aim at best high school ranking list

Posted at 9:23 PM, May 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-04 01:31:21-04

The best of the best attend high school at BASIS Scottsdale, according to a new ranking by US News and World Report. However, an Arizona charter school watchdog group doesn't necessarily agree.

"As a school for the extremely gifted, they do the best job of anyone. As a public school they are not even close," said Jim Hall, Founder Arizonans for Charter School Accountability.

Hall claims BASIS does not face the same burdens as traditional public schools and should not be compared to them.

"Their requirements are more stringent than any school in the country and therefore they are able to weed out kids, and then end up with just the best kids," said Hall.

Hall points out attrition rates, free and reduced lunches, children struggling with property, special education as some of the issues BASIS schools rarely if ever deal with.

BASIS.ed CEO Dr. Peter Bezanson says that is simply not true.
"We serve every single student who applies to our schools, and are lucky enough to win the lottery to get in," said Dr. Bezanson.

Bezanson admits the curriculum and learning pace at BASIS charter schools is hard.

He says it is difficult to make comparisons between BASIS Scottsdale and traditional public schools.

"We are a very specific type of thing, for anyone who is willing to give it a shot, but not for every kid," said Dr. Bezanson.