Parent Horror Stories from BASIS: Corporate Charter Hurting Children?
Today I am blogging about two parent horror stories from BASIS. Let me just warn you, after hearing parents talk about what allegedly happened to their children at BASIS, you will likely be in a surly mood learning about this corporate (quasi-for profit) charter chain. The BASIS corporate charter chain is now a very unfavorite of mine. Who/What is BASIS? Wikipedia describes the BASIS corporate charter schools:
BASIS Schools, Inc. is an Arizona charter school operator. It operates eight schools in Arizona and one in the District of Columbia….BASIS recently announced plans to add three more schools for the 2013-2014 year: one in Ahwatukee, one in San Antonio, Texas, and a new K-4 program near their original location in Tucson.
I first blogged about BASIS in the post What BASIS?: Nepotism and aggrandizement in charters? (One of the interesting things about the first BASIS post is that 50-100 people read that post each day) I am always curious where that traffic is coming from. At the time, I included Charter School Scandals uncovered about BASIS:
The schools are the brainchild of Michael and Olga Block, who envisioned a college-prep curriculum that would rival the best countries. The first school opened in 1998 in Tucson. A second followed in 2003 in Scottsdale.
For years, the Blocks worked for and were paid by the non-profit schools. Michael was the chief operating officer and treasurer, Olga the chief executive officer.
The Blocks later formed a separate, for-profit company and in 2009 signed a service agreement with the non-profit that provides Basis’ six schools with most everything they need to operate: school directors, teachers, accounting, technology, human resources, public relations and Michael and Olga Block…
Basis Inc. denied a request from The Arizona Republic to review a copy of its agreement with the Blocks’ company.
The state also is limited in what it can find out about management companies. The state charter board can audit only the charter school, not the private company hired to run the school’s operations…
A few of the Blocks’ relatives also received money for work performed for the schools, including a relative who performed accounting services for the schools in the Czech Republic, as recently as fiscal 2009.
The tax returns no longer include these details because the Blocks work for the privately held company, not the non-profit. Michael Block said the company is a private business and declined to discuss salaries or whether family members are performing work for the schools…
So that is some quick background on BASIS. Gene Glass, Arizona State professor emeritus, recently posted A Basis Schools Horror Story. In this post a parent described the situation at BASIS for her child. A quick summary:
Background and Introduction to BASIS San Antonio: “When we learned about BASIS San Antonio, it sounded too good to be true.”
The Education: “Throughout the school year, he gave up all extracurricular activities in order to complete the homework requirements”
Challenges: “According to children attending the school, the students were kind, respectful and courteous but the parents were bullies to each other and the students. By the end of the school year, mandatory detention for any and all infractions was developed and highly enforced with no oversight by the Head of School.”
Charter Schools Have No Nurse: “Because there was no nurse and no nurse’s station, when our son became extremely ill at school, he was sent to the boy’s bathroom and was unsupervised by an adult for over 45 minutes while young boys using the restroom walked in and out of the restroom. When I arrived at the school, he was lying on his backpack under the urinals in the boy’s bathroom… When I posted the facts of what happened to our son on the school Facebook page in order to work with other parents to discuss Best Practices at other charter schools and to discuss solutions, over 75 personal threatening comments from other parents were posted in response to my comment asking to work together for a positive solution comment.”
Unsafe Conditions: “Students at BASIS would frequently steal each others lunches, backpacks, cell phones and other personal property with no direction from the administration of the school.”
Charter Schools Have No Lunch Program: “There is no lunch program at charter schools. My son had his lunch stolen from his backpack by another student. The students are not allowed to use the phone at the school and my son went an entire day without eating food. He snuck a crust of another student’s pizza out of the garbage can to sustain himself during the day.”
Lack of Governance: “I contacted Victoria Rico, the Chairman of the George Brackenridge Foundation. I offered to help the school obtain access to a nurse at no cost, help establish collaboration with local hospital systems and help obtain grants to help fund, the result was very positive. A meeting with the CEO of the Texas BASIS Schools was scheduled. The result of the meeting with the CEO was that there was no interest on the part of BASIS San Antonio to collaborate with the community nor add infrastructure that was not required. Dan Neinhauser, CEO of BTX (Basis Texas)”
Lack of Nurturing and Compassion: “We have a 22 year old daughter with a terminal illness. I emailed all of our son’s teachers/administrators to let them know that our son may need additional support and at times could be sad due to the situation at home. Not one teacher or administrator communicated back. I called and left messages with all teachers. No calls were returned. I contacted Mr. Ross, new Assistant Head of School and he claimed that he received the email but he was transitioning into his new role and just forgot to contact us.”
Mandatory Detention: “A note came home stating that BASIS would be implementing a mandatory detention for students who were late to class and unprepared in any way. The first week, my son received mandatory detention for forgetting a dry erase marker in Algebra, for not completing three problems out of 180 required Algebra problems and forgetting a poem in English Class.”
The End of BASIS for our Son: “On May 6th, 2014, I was called by Mr. Ross, Assistant Head of School. He was Dr. Abby Hasberry’s replacement, (she was hired to be the Head of School for the new BASIS North Campus). My son was found alive yet mentally nonresponsive sitting on the floor under an Art Table. Upon arriving at the school, I immediately knew that he needed mental health support. I took him to Clarity Child Guidance Center. Upon evaluating my son, the diagnosis was extreme depression, anxiety disorder and suicidal thoughts to harm himself. The hospital / psychiatrist medical opinion, they believed that our son was suffering from PTSD from the experiences at the school due to the rigorous educational requirements coupled with the mandatory detention had become a source of terror for him. Our son is now a patient at Clarity Child Guidance Center. He spent time inpatient at the hospital and is now receiving day program outpatient treatment at a cost of $835 per day inpatient and $125 per day outpatient.”
Terror – Not an Isolated Experience: “I contacted Victoria Rico at the George Brackenridge Foundation and she asked if she could help “make it right” for our family. She offered to help find another school for him to attend. The damage has been done. We feel comfort and extreme sadness to learn that our son’s experience at BASIS San Antonio is not an isolated experience. When we took our son to Clarity Child Guidance Center both the psychiatrist and counselor both told us that other children had been seen inpatient and outpatient at the facility and had been at BASIS San Antonio, same symptoms, same story.”
The BASIS parent concluded,
We have no idea where to take our son for education at this point. But, we know that whatever decision we make that nurturing and compassion of a child must be the foremost important factor in the choice we make. Our son was terrorized at a high performance charter school and he is not the only one. This can not be the future of children in our community. We are publicly sharing our experiences because it should have never happened to our son. He was a victim and more importantly he is 12 years old. Children should be in a safe and nurturing environment. BASIS San Antonio is more of a concentration camp than a school for children.
Oh, but there is more… now for an exclusive story to Cloaking Inequity from a BASIS parent. What you are about to read is unsolicited— as the parent came to Cloaking Inequity with her concerns after the BASIS was non-responsive to her in the manner that she felt was appropriate.
The beginning of the 2013-2014 school year for my child was the start of a new educational and social endeavor at the newly founded Basis San Antonio charter school. As the year comes to a close, my child is not the only one reflecting on what he learned this year. As a parent, I am also reflecting on what I have learned about my child’s new school, and its harsh educational climate. I learned that although Basis claims to accept children of all races, ethnicities, and disabilities, they are not culturally sensitive nor equipped to assist children with disabilities. I learned that although the United States of America has established laws protecting the civil rights of children with disabilities, my protection is limited to what I can afford to pay for legal counsel and defense. I learned that Basis will “woo” potential students and parents with false promises. More concerning, I learned that Basis San Antonio will open another school next school year.
Our story at Basis San Antonio began much like a romantic tale, with interest, intrigue, and hope for the future. We could not resist the Basis appeal with all its promises and presumed prestige. So, we took the plunge and enrolled our 6 grade child at Basis San Antonio in the fall of 2013. There was a courting period, including open houses, informational sessions, and campus tours. Next, there were the promises of endless opportunities, a world class facility, an exciting curriculum, top notch educators, and more. These vows were seemingly executed the first week of school, when teachers were literally opening car doors for students at the curb. The staff collectively appeared friendly, understanding, and willing to help my child, who has a disability that affects his academic performance.
As a parent, I was “wooed” by Basis. We were sure that Basis was the “one” for us – the school that would accept all children regardless of color, creed, or impairment. Who wouldn’t fall in love with this charter school initially? Who would have thought our year would end with a hearing, and a desperate search for legal counsel?
Basis San Antonio has a Special Education Director, who held a meeting and created a 504 Accommodation Plan for my child in the fall of 2013. Section 504 is an amendment of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 law that prohibits the discrimination on the basis of disability. Much to my surprise, drawing up a 504 Accommodation Plan was the extent of the service we got from Basis. There were no plans implemented or followed up on throughout the fall months. The spring was no different. The evidence first came when I saw my child’s failing grades. Basis ignored my steady emails day after day, and week after week. With every failing quiz, test, and progress report, I sent my concerns to the Special Education Director, Head of School, and teachers, which were met with no reply, dismissive attitude, or disciplinary action against my child. It was clear that the honeymoon was over.
As failing grades became the norm for my child, my e-mails to the school staff and administration began to accumulate. It was January and still no response from the Basis Administration. It was difficult to watch my child struggle with his disability, and watch his self-esteem plummet. Knowing that pre-comprehension exams were quickly approaching, I continued writing e-mails with specific concerns about my child’s 504 testing accommodations for the exams. With still no response from Basis, I contacted my child’s doctor with hopes that a change in medication would help him cope with the educational demands.
The lack of aid I received from Basis over e-mail correspondence was only met with deficient assistance face-to-face. January 16th, I attempted to pick up my child from Basis for a cardiologist appointment, they refused to release him because it was not the “right time,” and was against their policy. Confused, I coiled into a corner of the lobby and e-mailed the Head of School once more, this time to let her know I was being denied my child, and that he needed to be released to me. Seeing there was an apparent disconnect between Basis and I, I sent a subsequent e-mail to the Head of School explaining the scarce communication I had received regarding my child’s academic progress. In return, I never received a response from Head of School. On January 21st a Basis administrator contacted me to reiterate Basis’ release policy. I voiced my concerns about the failure to accommodate my child’s disability and the ability to take him to the doctor for alternative medication. She stated she would look into my child’s 504 Accommodation Plans and that she would contact me. This administrator never called me back.
I continued my barrage of emails February and March, addressed to the Head of School, Special Education Director, and teachers. Finally, after months of concerns, the Special Education Director agreed to meet with me. On March 5th, the director confirmed that the 504 accommodations were not being met and blamed my child, claiming he chose not to “participate.” She did not have a response as to why I was not informed about my child’s alleged failure to comply, or why no one responded to my continuous questions and concerns. She proceeded to inform me that my child performed poorly in his pre-comprehension exams. I requested an evaluation of my son’s 504 Accommodation Plan and a meeting with all his teachers. To increase parent-teacher communication and clarify assignments due, I proposed an alternate planner to the Basis communication journal “CJ”; the Special Education Director stated she would seek approval from the Head of School. On March 20th the Special Education Director responded by e-mail reporting the Head of School declined my request for an alternate planner to the Basis “CJ,” however, recommended a teacher change.
After my meeting with the Special Education Director, I scheduled Basis method of scheduling parent-teacher conferences/15 minute brief sessions with each of his eight teachers. On March 24th, I was scheduled to meet with my child’s algebra teacher at 7:00 am however after arriving 5 minutes late; she would not meet with me. To my disbelief and after months of e-mails, instead, I found myself meeting with the Head of School.
During our meeting, the Head of School informed me that my child’s algebra teacher did not feel comfortable meeting with me. I came prepared with information and an article about my child’s disability and with ideas of how I could help my child at home with hopes she could guide me. Instead, the Head of School stated she would be placing my child in 5th grade effective immediately, and that my child would be retained the following year if I choose to continue at Basis. She asked me numerous times why I wanted my child at Basis. When I stated my child wanted to attend Basis, she wanted to know why he wanted to attend Basis, to which I responded “who wouldn’t want to attend the ‘world’s best school’?” I asked why my child did not receive 504 accommodations, to which she responded she did not know, and that was not her responsibility. She denied ever receiving my numerous emails. I stated that it appeared unfair for Basis to fail my child after not assuring my child’s disability was accommodated as outlined at the beginning of the year. I explained not providing accommodations is like not providing my child prescription eye glasses so he can read a book, this was an example that was given in a CHADD article. CHADD.org is an authority on my child’s disability, and recommended by my our doctor. Head of School emphatically disagreed with the article. I also requested a full Special Education Evaluation on the grounds that Basis stated my child is not functioning at the same pace as his peers.
Retaliation began after I asserted my child’s 504 rights; he was disciplined for actions related to his disability. I requested copies of the discipline referrals/reports requiring detention of my son; however Head of School stated they do not document when students are sent to the office or detention. Further retaliation, a 504 re-evaluation would be held without me as I was removed as a viable decision maker for my child’s academic planning. April 1st, Head of School, referred to me as a “guest” with regard to my participation in 504 planning meetings. There appeared to be no regard for my knowledge of my child’s academic, medical, social and emotional history. In a calm but eerie tone she stated if I did not like this, I could contact the Office of Civil Rights (OCR). Head of School was unapologetic for the lack of 504 accommodations, concern for my child, and disregard for my parental rights.
After months of expressing my concerns for the lack of regard to my child’s disability, the 504 re-evaluation was conducted. Despite my protest on April 2, Head of School informed me that the meeting was held without me. I requested a copy of my procedural safeguards which was emailed to me and I followed the hearing procedure. April and May went by and the 504 accommodations still appeared ambiguous. During this time it appears the Special Education Director left Basis. May 21st, I met the new Special Education Director and all my child’s teachers all at once in a “staffing” who basically informed that my child still was not preforming well. During this meeting, Head of School tried to convenience me that my child should have a choice in his accommodations to which I disagreed. May ended with little change to my child’s academic progress and teacher/administration apathy continued. Basis did hire an attorney to defend their position and a pre-hearing conference was held.
Along with their own attorney, Basis hired a “non-bias” attorney to serve as a hearing officer. Our hearing date is July 15, 2014. Seeing the enormity of the situation, I contacted Disability Rights, Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid, OCR, MALDEF, and other nonprofit agencies. I received letters of denial from these agencies, except MALDEF, who has not returned my calls. I am grateful to the Office of Senator Leticia Van de Putte, who responded by assisting me with a complaint to TEA. Currently, a response is pending from Congressman Joaquin Castro with hopes of reviewing our OCR complaint.
Essentially, I have to defend my child’s disability rights against two attorneys, who are well-versed in educational law. Its Basis attorney’s job to assure my child’s rights are denied, and that my parental rights are stripped. Are the events of this year tactics Basis San Antonio practices to scare away children who do not meet their academic standards? Other Basis parents who did not feel supported transferred out earlier this year, should we have moved too? My child was emotionally tormented and struggled entire school year trying to maneuver through the Basis curriculum without his 504 accommodations. What I learned is Basis San Antonio lacks empathy, skill, and proper staff to support neither disabled children nor their parents. More importantly, how can a “world class” publically funded, educational institution be permitted to ignore the needs of their disabled students and their parent’s constant cries for help?
First, what can be done to assist this parent of special education at BASIS? Is there someone out there that will step up to the plate and pursue these allegations legally on behalf of these parents…
We must hold the Blocks, the BASIS Board of Directors, policymakers in the city of San Antonio, the influential elite pouring millions into corporate charters, and the Brackenridge Foundation accountable for allowing this alleged treatment of children at BASIS. These allegations must be investigated. Please Facebook Like, Tweet, etc below and/or reblog to share this discussion widely about BASIS. We must counter the hundreds of millions of dollars being spent (and profit derived) to do this to children.
See also the posts What Ideology hath San Antonio Imported from Arizona Charter Chains? and Charter Op-Ed Misrepresents (Big Tree): My Response That They Won’t Print (Small Axe)
For all of Cloaking Inequity’s posts on charters go here.
p.s. For those of you that want to write that BASIS is just fine for your kids in the comments…
We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community… Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own. Cesar Chavez
p.s.s. Also, BASIS cheerleaders that will inevitably try to post here, you must include your real name or your cheerleading comments will be rejected immediately. They may be rejected anyways because BASIS has put me in a really surly mood today.
Want to know about Cloaking Inequity’s freshly pressed conversations about educational policy? Click the “Follow blog by email” button in the upper left hand corner of this page.
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Please blame Siri for any typos
Let me say something I have been in the shit ass school for 2 years and it’s horrible the teaching sucks the teachers will watch basketball on there computers and make us do 10 pgs of hw due the next day for 1 class……I have a few mental issues and my mom has told the teachers and they dont care at all the school is so gross there is notes and food on the ground I have had at least 3 detentions and so many visits to the dean I have been failing bc all of the assignments I’ve been getting during online school and the teacher threaten that they will message our parents and tell them Dean’s when we try to ask them a question if we dont raise our hand….IF U LOVE YOUR CHILD DONT SEND THEM HERE
I have been a BASIS student for about 4 years now. My friends and I have found countless flaws in the Basis system. The admin doesn’t care about us. They shove the Pre-COMPS and COMPs down our throats in order to make their name bigger. I will admit, BASIS is not a school for a child just barely getting by in a public school. I don’t want to seem rude to parents, but Basis is meant for students who aren’t really challenged at public schools. But even saying that, all people deserve a chance. The Blocks created a school that was inclusive, and bullied people who aren’t just the same, cookie-cutter smart people. I needed a lot of help in 6th grade, and I never received it, because I didn’t understand they way teachers taught, but I got nothing. I do have one amazing teacher who has helped me figure out what I want to do. There is always one teacher in the whole bunch who is amazing.
I hate everything about BASIS. The culture sucks. The workload is ridiculous. My kids are miserable. Why can’t my wife see what I see? Help!
The school has disappointed us on many levels. It has ineffective, rude, condescending leadership, unable to retain good teachers, while bullying parents; deans who blindly follow prison-guard approach to discipline; curriculum that makes no logical sense (no continuity of learning, no promised connections between discipline, with every teacher running his own “program”, while having widely different and highly subjective expectations). Kids who cannot cram endlessly are not welcome. Do not fall for the sleek corporate presentations of their philosophy; it is smoke and mirrors. And with 30% teacher turnover every year it will hardly get better any time soon.
Read about my horror experience with this school and another similar private school in Arizona. Both schools are head quartered in AZ.
I am a BASIS student and have been for 5 years.
While I do agree that administration at BASIS is most definitely terrible and disconnected with no understanding for what improves education, I will put forth the fact that BASIS teachers are amazing. They may not meet the inane ‘teacher’ qualifications of anal retentive parents that think an education in education actually does anything at all for the student or teacher, but they are always extremely well educated and experienced in their receptive field. My 8th-10th grade English teacher is a successful author, all of my Latin teachers have been a part of huge commentary translation projects, and my current Biology teacher spent 10 years studying and researching marine biology. The reason teachers are constantly changing is only a result of terrible admin, and yet they are always replaced by equally qualified teachers.
To the parents who say BASIS education is too crude and filled with useless busy work and endless homework, this is not a new thing! This hardcore educational system is a common practice in Eastern Europe which is meant to foster the the minds of students that are actually smart and not just products of a society where everything is handed to them and everyone wins a trophy. I know many students here at BASIS that should not be here because they simply can’t handle the educational rigors of the school. Those are the kids who need to go back to laid back public school where only the EXTREMELY stupid fail and even most of those are labeled as special ed and allowed to pass anyway! If your kid is the type of kid that struggles in public school then they don’t belong here. BASIS is for kids who actually have a successful future ahead of them so don’t expect anyone to help your puny little child that doesn’t know any better.
Several of my daughter’s teachers, while highly educated and experienced had no idea how to pass on their knowledge. Even more so, how to properly control a classroom so the students would learn. We moved her into an IB diploma program, where the academic rigor was similar but the teaching style and mentoring vastly different. (IB is more Western European vs Eastern. )She flourished and is now in an honors college and will have her master’s in Engineering by her 3rd year. It’s easy for a school to be ranked in the top 5 if you only graduate 50 or so kids per year per school. Try having a similar academic rigor and graduate 100’s of kids.
I was severly bullied at basis but when i told the teachers and admin about it they really didnt care due to my low grades. As an 8th grader i needed support from my teachers but even the admin and the teachers told me that i should just drop out. I suffered from bad depression because of the bulling and i told the school not once but three times. They also accused me of lying several times to ridiculous things because of omce again my low grades. They have this thibg caled acedemic support. Throughoit my yesrs there they placed me in it. It was humiliating because they would pull you out in the middle of class which at thay point everyone knew u were in the low grsdes and they would just force your parents to sign your journal for how bad your grsdes sre. Im curre tly in 11th grade but the wounds thag basis has given me has caused me to develope social anxiety and depression. I would never let anyone go there.
BASIS is a business, not a true school. Image matters a lot to them. They do not care about weak students or those whom they perceive to be weak. Their focus is on high scores in the AP exams. This is how they sell new student enrollment to parents – they promise to increase students’ exam scores. Unfortunately their teachers are way below par – most of them know nothing about teaching at all. You get to do well in the exams by doing all the homework. BASIS is a homework focused. As a math teacher, one is expected to have the students complete ALL the exercises in the John Saxon textbooks. For this reason, a student could simply buy the books and do the same thing at home.
BASIS is a pretentious organisation that does not care to teach students from where they are. If you can’t work according to their regimen, you are pushed out to go wherever else you want. BASIS treats its teachers like shit. I was hired to work in San Jose and fired even before I could teach because they didn’t like me or my ideas.
Don’t lose confidence in yourself! You are better off not being at BASIS.
Read my story here:
Advice to all parents considering sending their children to BASIS:
BASIS teachers are idiots. I was hired to teach at BASIS and got fired even before my first class:
The only reason you would send your child to BASIS, is to prepare them to score well on SAT and AP exams. You can accomplish this without paying all that money and sending them to public school. Here’s how:
Buy the John Saxon textbooks and have your child work through ALL the exercises. Then buy them AP Exercise textbooks from which they should work through all of those as well. Then have them study past exam papers. If they need help, get them a tutor. It’s cheaper and tutors are normally much better at the content than the fools hired by BASIS.
How do I know this works? Because I am a successful teacher whose students passed the SAT II math with perfect scores and not a single student of mine scored less than 4 on any AP Calculus exam (AB and BC). Many of my students have graduated top of their classes at prestigious Western universities that include Cambridge and Oxford.
Read about my teaching approach here:
I hate these bastards who run BASIS. They are nothing but scum.
Thank you for your honesty. When I first saw the new Shavano campus my thoughts were that this was a positive thing, a high performing school. These reports from parents are frightening. Yes, I can see how this private school would be willing to manipulate their practices and force “low performers” out to make their test results look great. These kids who are being forced out are the very ones who need help!!!!. It appears that this is a publicly supported private venture (for PROFIT) that is abusive to these helpless kids. Parents, SPEAK OUT!!!! Please, contact your local representatives. I cannot believe that a publicly supported school can be allowed to operate without a nurse!!!! No lunch program??? Not to mention an overly stressful academic program that can destroy a child’s self esteem. These BASIS schools appear to be a for profit venture that lures parents with test results that are deliberately manipulated. Please inform others. I was initially fooled by the nice looking building called a charter school. My opinion has changed.
Our campus has a nurse, nurses office and a lunch program. I volunteer to serve the lunch weekly. Not sure why some campuses don’t have these things. I know basis can suck for some but reading all these comments makes me sad. I wouldn’t send my kid here either if our campus was like this.
BASIS was something that I thought would help me in my life. I attended the school from 5th to 12th grade and mostly did it because my parents encouraged it and I wanted to stay with my friends. The workload was outrageous and I know that several people in my graduating class turned to drastic measures to relieve the stress. Teachers there are overall great people and a majority of them care about the students, but there are some that simply care about making money from the so called non-profit. The good teachers that are still there hate the administration and the Blocks. Everyone that hates the system is bullied into saying nice things about them.
BASIS also makes the kids and parents sign media releases at the beginning of the year because the school will purposefully try to generate press around their campus.Kids were interviewed all of the time, and when I went there, Julia Toews was breathing down your neck not to say anything too incriminating about the school. All of the publications are for show and I felt like the reporters’ pockets were lined before they even walked through the doors. It didn’t help that I heard rumors about kids that went to BASIS having parents in the media or with similar connections.
Finally, if you want to leave BASIS, good luck. You go anywhere else and they are not going to take your credits. I tried to transfer three times and each time I was told that I would still have to repeat a grade or I would have to go through classes again because they did not recognize the BASIS curriculum. This is not a school that I would ever send my kids to, even if they begged me.
How long did you teach math at the Basis charter schools? In your opinion, do other teachers at your campus feel like you do?
Yes. I did “bother” to read your LinkedIn article. Not easy to decipher the answer to those questions, otherwise I wouldn’t have asked.
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Since the age group of teachers here is too young, they are not matured/patient/wise enough to handle the kids. They are more like tutors and not teachers. I felt like they take everything personnel and are very rude towards the kids. The rules change every now and then keep confusing parents and will only communicate after the facts. For sure I realized that my child will not have good childhood memories if he continues here. Bottom line is no one will be happy neither the kids going to this school or parents. everyday will be like a nightmare as teachers keep complaining, parents keep punishing the children. Feeling very very sad for my kid for the pain he is going through and desperately looking to get back to public school.
BASIS is a corrupt school. Even teachers are not treated properly. There is rampant nepotism. Read my story here:
Very useful Thanks.
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Ya, I know somebody who made a suicide attempt at BASIS Scottsdale and the first idea they thought of is to suspend them… WTF?!? They called 911 to arrest the kid before calling the hospital to save their freaking life. Ya, and I don’t blame the kid, it’s not healthy to be suicidal from experience, but that’s what BASIS does to you, it gets you that stressed out.
BASIS is for sheep. If you think differently or learn differently you will not do well. We are taking our child out after trying for years, the stamina and drive required to do well is not realistic.
I’ve been told by my child that their peers are beat at home if they do not do well (mainly of immigrant families), I know of a family where both siblings have been held back, many of the peers do not have time to have fun. This is not a normal childhood! We don’t need mini-engineers, we need children who know how to innovate & be entrepreneurs and have the confidence to try and be that person. Basis destroys confidence if you are not a gifted sheep.
Basis may be a good school if you go by test scores. But test scores are not what makes a successful person.
I really like your comment, Really help
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My kid was accepted on Basis North Campus, I have more afinity to Basis schools for the program that they have. My husband and I are engineers and we would like more the kind of program that they have..but we have other schools offers at the same time. We would like to confirm the comments and why the people is still applying to this school (Basis in general) if are many bad comments or experiences around it.
I wanted to say that I go to basis and my parents force me but every kid in the school hates basis
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Love to have a personal invitation to debate with Dr Vasquez, I am 59 with tremendous children.. I am college Grad CPA, ETC..
What would you like to debate? Your post was not clear.
I James Olexa would also like to debate Dr. Vazquez. My position is that Basis School does a more than effective job of educating elite students. Like the Navy Seals do. It is my belief that Vazquez criticism is based his own bias and on cherry picking the results of students that can not perform at this level of academic rigor, compounded by parents that selfishly refuse to accept this and want to hold back the performance of an entire student body of elite performers. The regular public school system is perfect for them. Basis does receive public funding synonymously with the public school’s obligation to identify and separately educate gifted children. I am also 59, a minority and educated. Short of this I am no longer viewing this website. His posts are not factual or specific. “Olga Block does not like me” ” Students are all suicidal and on antidepressants” Seriously! It’s simply nonsense. He is speaking of the top rated school in the country. His comments do not reflect the intelligence of purpose (ie the Navy Seals) Contrarian. I am going to do like Basis and take the high road and ignore him. Best regards
BASIS is not about educating children, it is about punishing children. The staff of “good Germans” at the school are too desensitized and dissociated to have any sense of compassion or empathy, and they have mind blindness to the impact of their abusive behavior to children. They seem to get pleasure from punishing children. Isn’t this a sign of predatory behavior? I believe this school exists as a cover for adults who get pleasure from hurting children. I believe they are child predators and need to be exposed. I wonder if they take photos of children who are being hurt, crying, or abused, and post them on the dark web. Isn’t it time to call in the Texas Rangers???
Thank you for posting this. I was contacted by this company for a job. I have a daughter who I have been considering home-schooling, as I was. Having read this and done more research I could not, in good conscience, work here. I understand that some have a good experience, and that’s great, I guess. But the overall experience of everyone matters to each child as much as the individual experience. I cannot fathom as a a parent being satisfied that MY child is just fine while knowing that there are a number of students suffering alongside her. Again, my own personal choice. Best of luck to those that have had satisfactory experiences, and prayers to those who have not.
Thank you for your note.
Dr Vasquez Heilig. Thank you for allowing this post. It was honest and personal from the author. I appreciate the personal decision the parent made that it would not fit her child without a hearsay judgment on the school. I sincerely regret that she was influenced by the predominantly negative remarks and really regret that Basis lost this type of parent as a result. I am confident this author’s child will thrive in any academic setting. She is obviously an active caring parent. Kudos to her and regrets to Basis.
I’m a high schooler at BASIS’ top school, BASIS Scottsdale. We’re currently #1 in the country, and that’s for a good reason. I wanted to address one thing: the “unsafe conditions” you talk about. BASIS isn’t some utopia where young kids become perfect angels. There are jerks and bullies in every school; only in BASIS, the kids are filtered out by, at the latest freshman year of high school.
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As with any normal high school “bad kids” are not actually filtered out. They will stay if they want to stay as with a boy who is in his junior year at my BASIS who MOLESTED a girl and said death threats to another. Which the admin at this basis really didn’t do anything about, besides give a two week suspension which was downgraded to an in school suspension after TWO DAYS. They stay specially if their parents “donate” enough money to the ATF.
Sorry to disappoint you but BASIS is not #! in the country, unless you are having a contest to determine which school has mastered the level of dark arts to qualify as a Medieval Dungeon.
Thanks for posting this. I was considering Basis for when my little boy starts school but after seeing what other parents and students have to say about it not anymore. Seems like it’s just another scam in the form of a school.
I would be curious to know how many students will be graduating this year from your BASIS Scottsdale campus?
I just read a reply. “You have to teach my child no matter what”. It would damage the team as a whole. Put your child back in public school. Leave this elite school alone. It receives public monies as an alternative for exceptional students, not for you to drop your child there knowing it is not capable and making a statement like that. You are the scary threat to elite production schools. Again, put the student where it will thrive and stop placing the student where it’s lack of competitive ability will be magnified. Who does that? Thanks
I would be interested in knowing how many students are making the transition directly to mental institutions after graduation, or the state prison?
I am the proud father of a Basis Peoria student. It pains me to see all the complaining. Your child simply does not belong at Basis. Stop blaming the school for your child’s unhappiness. The school’s performance speaks for itself. It is able to do this because it does not waste time with children who need more confidence and /or intellectual skills to be a student at Basis. You should stop complaining. It may be why your student can’t compete there. Spend the time you spend complaining and doing psycho evaluations of students building confidence and academic skills in your child. Summarily, your child may simply not be qualified to attend school at Basis.
James, my family loves BASIS too. However, it is not helpful to attack people who are experiencing difficulties with or at BASIS, even if they are unfair in their treatment of BASIS. Further, it is BASIS’s position that they do not seek to “weed out” students. There is no question that BASIS needs to do a better job of communicating effectively with parents and students. The automatic reaction cannot be “BASIS isn’t for you.”
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I worked for BASIS, and anyone who says it’s not a BASIS policy to weed out students must have had a very different experience than I did.
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Did you read my comments? Please do and you’ll see how wrong you are. And as a reminder, BASIS is a PUBLIC Charter School This means regardless of where your child is academically they need to teach them.
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James your a being just mean and if they are not providing the required services for the child under the 504 accommodations then they are out of line. Please get a grip and understand at anytime one of your kids could have a tragic accident and then need an IEP for their disability and if Basis didn’t follow it, as a parent you would be upset.
Kids in exceptional services are not stupid but sometimes they need help with chunking test or work, or not being timed on test, maybe a fidget toy or stress ball. Some need music to listen to to have consistent rhythm and beat to they don’t have unplanned noise that pops up and distracts them,
Let me just explain this to you this way I have a son who has ADHD, Anxiety, and Clutting issues which is a speech dis-fluency. He is very smart and only 9 and is programming already he goes to another charter right here in Arizona. He is inventive and bright but he struggles with his working memory and need prompts and slowing down his rate of speech and not breaking up his word or his sentences. He specks at 203 WPM which is 47 WPM than were an auctioneer speaks at and he is literally so he just says what he thinks and sees and will tell you. I really hope that you gain some heart and more respectful ways of handling people that have kids who are in need of special accommodations or modifications.
I am a Upperclassman a Basis School. I can say from personal experience that the school administration is in fact… terrible. They make poor decisions, work poorly with students and implement draconian punishments for minor infractions. There is high teacher and administration turnover, funds are mismanaged, and students are targeted for their every move. The parents , the are by far the worst. Rich people do not take failure well. They complain to the teachers about every little tiny thing – which has caused the administration to not even bother to notice the mental health problems in the student population. The number of students on Prozac is staggering. Everyone wants to die. This school is not for the faint of heart – the majority of teachers are incredible, but everyone else is terrible.
I left before highschool. I went in eighth grade. I know if I stayed my mental health would have greatly deteriorated. I made a large group of friends with one of the greatest communities I could have ever asked for. I miss everyone. I don’t know how to function without the presssure. I wish I had stayed and died there.
As a student of basis. Im in 7th grade and been here since 5th i came looking to see what other people are thinking. And i see this stuff going on all day. This school is very depressing. I walk around the halls going class to class and almost all the kids there have some sort of depression. Most of our teachers at basis oro valley always hate on certain kids and favorite others. All the kids there just want to leave that school (including me). We have conversations about it alot throughout the day. But our parents dont know whats going on in our school lives. And when we do have visitors the teachers are suddenly nice.
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I’m so disappointed and dissatisfied with our experience at Basis Goodyear. I would never recommend a family to enroll their student at that particular location.
No library, computer lab, same bias teacher teaching both math and science, there’s no protocol for disagreement (i.e. staffing, meeting), no real student support!!!
We were considering moving to AZ and bringing our three high-performing kids to BASIS. Now we won’t bother. They’re trapped in the same race to the top delusion that’s gutted much of the social and moral fabric of the country; unfortunate for a school that wants to be thought of as exceptional to be really mediocre in so many ways.
I’ll also be sharing this with my several thousand followers on social media.
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Hi Robb, how can I get in touch with you?
We were considering moving from CO to AZ for our children to attend Basis.
Would be so grateful if we could connect. Thank you.
Thank you for posting this! I was considering attending the information session scheduled today at BASIS for the next school year but now I know not to waste my time. I realize my experience may be better than these parents but why risk it? Thanks again for all you do and for bringing these issues to light.
If you are looking for an academically rigorous program why not consider an International Baccalaureate program? My daughter, a former BASIS student in AZ, has thrived in the IB program at our local high school. It has provided her with the academic challenges she needs, but still allowed her time to participate in volunteer and club sport programs.
My daughter attended Basis when it first opened up. Olga Block did not like her & went around discussing her to other parents telling them to have their daughters stay away from her. She discussed her grades as well. I write her a letter after several unanswered calls and threaten to sue her ass. She immediately denied it but I had the other parents evidence and she apologized. I should have followed through & gotten her school closed down or fined back then.
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Is this true? My son has ADHD, Anxiety and a clutting disorder associated with speech, I am curious about how bad would they pick on him. I am one of those moms that will defend my child to the end. I am not one to mess with and know the right people to contact because of connections??
Emma – your son would be better off in a public school with special programs or allowances.