What You Need to Know About the Top Charter Chain in the Nation

Diane Ravitch's blog

The highest ranked charters in the nation, based on graduation rates, test scores, AP courses passed, etc., are the BASIS schools of Arizona.

Two articles tell you what you need to know to understand their “secret sauce.”

Carol Burris reports here on their demographics and attrition rate. Their top-performing schools are overwhelmingly white and Asian, with few Hispanic, African American, or Native American students, and few students with disabilities. They lose most of their students between 7th grade and 12th grade.

Craig Harris of the Arizona Republic details the BASIS business model here. The charters are owned by a private, for-profit company created by the founders Michael and Olga Block. They collect a sizable portion of the schools’ revenues (“According to an agreement between Basis Schools and Basis.ed, the Blocks’ private firm keeps 11.75 percent of all school revenues — state, federal and local tax dollars — for management fees”)…

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