Giving Compass’ Take:
• The 74 profiles s BASIS Independent Brooklyn, which is part of a chain of 27 public charter, private, and international schools in five states; it blends education practices from around the world.
• What can other schools learn from BASIS’ model? How might educators measure success?
Why was her fourth-grader holding a medical school exam prep book?
That was Radha Subramanyam’s first reaction when she looked over her daughter Tara’s shoulder as she studied the human circulatory system. It wasn’t really an MCAT book, just a science book from the new school Tara had recently transferred into. Still, the diagrams of the heart had far greater detail than anything Tara had brought home before.
Tara attends BASIS Independent Brooklyn, part of a chain of 27 public charter, private, and international schools in five states, Washington, D.C., and China that recently captured four of the top five spots on U.S. News and World Report’s annual ranking of America’s best high schools. BASIS makes advanced, immersive coursework a requirement for all students, from pre-K through high school.
Now nearing its 20th anniversary, BASIS has molded its curriculum, and built its considerable reputation, around this “deep content” model — as well as other best practices imported from abroad. Taking the lead from nations that score at the top on international exams, BASIS adopted matriculation tests that kids must pass to advance to the next grade; following Korea’s focus on educator credentials, BASIS insists that its teachers be experts in their fields and boasts a teaching corps where 70 percent of instructors have at least a master’s degree in the subject they teach; adopting Finland’s approach of boosting attentiveness through play, BASIS gives its youngest students extra recess; and following Prague’s example of students owning their learning, BASIS gives kids a communication journal to transport between home and classroom — making students responsible for updating their parents on lessons, priorities, and grades rather than providing an online academic portal.
Read the full article about how BASIS blends the world’s best education practices by Kate Stringer at The 74.
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