The STEM, national, charter, and state school rankings published each spring by U.S. News & World Report have long been a useful and heralded external barometer to measure success at top American schools. For the nationally-acclaimed BASIS Charter Schools network, the 2021 rankings once again prompted affirmation of excellent student outcomes and college readiness, resulting in rankings success.
The network of BASIS Charter Schools has six campuses in the nation’s top 20 STEM schools, eight campuses in the nation’s top 55 schools of any type, and seven of the top ten charter schools in the United States. US News says it assessed nearly 24,000 schools for its 2021 rankings, and numerically ranked approximately 17,000 schools.
BASIS Charter Schools comprise three of the top ten and six of the top twenty STEM campuses nationally – unmatched by any other district or network in the United States. STEM rankings assess student success by school in science, technology, engineering, and math courses.
“The STEM rankings are again U.S. News & World Report’s best pure measure of college readiness,” said BASIS Educational Ventures CEO Dr. Peter Bezanson. “STEM ranks are as close to assessment based on college prep as US News now gets, and our lofty STEM rankings – which, remarkably, improved from 2020 — are the strongest possible mark of our continued excellence at readying students for college success.”
US NEWS’ METHODOLOGY and BASIS’ COLLEGE READINESS
2021 is the third straight year that the BASIS Charter Schools network had an unprecedented number of campuses ranked this highly on the national STEM rankings, the national rankings overall, and the national charter rankings, despite the shifted U.S News & World Report methodology.
• Through 2018, US News ranked fewer than 3,000 schools per year; it has since considered more than 24,000 schools each year, including 2021.
• US News has stated that its rankings before 2019 were “based solely on college readiness” – a measure precisely aligned with the BASIS Charter School Curriculum’s college prep focus.
• With its huge change in 2019, US News wrote that it implemented a “comprehensive ranking methodology which reflects how well high schools serve all students, not just those planning to go to college.”
“Despite the change, we’re still showing up incredibly well in these rankings, and college readiness is still the most vital aspect of what we do. It’s the unwavering goal of our K-12 program,” Dr. Bezanson said. “The shine is on our students and teachers yet again, because their schools’ rankings in this still-new methodology are fantastic.”
Indeed, if US News used its old methodology – which ranked schools on the ability to prepare students for performance in college – our analysis indicates that BASIS Charter Schools would have five of the top six schools in the entire nation — and nine of the top 20 schools in the U.S.
In fact, in the final years before the methodology change, BASIS swept the national rankings, including having the #1 through #5 national schools in 2018, the final year of US News’ college prep-based rankings, and the #1, #2, and #3 ranked national schools in 2017.
• BASIS Chandler is the best charter school in America for the second straight year.
• Four of the top five charters nationally, seven of the top ten, and nine of the top 25, are BASIS Charter Schools, including BASIS Mesa, in its highest ever ranking – the #11 charter in the U.S.
• BASIS San Antonio – Shavano is the 25th ranked charter school in the U.S., its second straight year among America’s top 25. It is also the second highest ranked charter school in the state of Texas.
• BASIS has the eight best charter schools in Arizona.
“The charter school rankings are once again truly astounding,” said David Hubalik, BASIS.ed’s Senior VP of Charter Schools. “The national charter rankings are meaningful to our teachers and staff, especially given the circumstances of the past year. They’re meaningful to our students and their families too, of course, as they’re the ones who choose a charter school education, and by choosing us, they chose the best charter school network in the U.S., at least according to U.S. News & World Report!”
• BASIS Chandler is the #1 school (charter or otherwise) in Arizona for the second consecutive year.
• BASIS Charter Schools comprise four of the state’s top five campuses, and eight of Arizona’s top ten schools of any type.
“We’re a network of schools across the country, but we started with a single campus in Arizona in 1998, so it’s significant to have eight of the top ten campuses in our home state,” Hubalik said.
Three BASIS Charter Schools – BASIS Flagstaff, BASIS Goodyear, and BASIS Prescott – were not eligible for full ranking consideration due to data errors at the state or national level.