ASU charter school

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We visit a charter school operated by ASU’s non-profit division and examine the success behind BASIS charter school in Tucson.

Ted Simons
>> To that end competing globally may require raising the academic bar. It's something our guest Michael Block and his wife did when they started basis schools. David Majure takes us to one of those schools and shows us how A.S.U. is researching new ways to provide education.

David Majure
>> Basis Charter School? Tucson is divided into a middle school for fifth through seventh grades and this upper school, grades eight through 12.

Carolyn McGarvey
>> If you were here at 7:00 in the morning, you would be amazed how many kids around these tables, and the older kids stopping by, an eighth grader saying, do you need help with that? Are you ok with that? You know there's so much comradery here because they all know how intense the work is.

David Majure
>> That academic intensity has earned basis recognition as one of the nation's top public schools.

Michael Block
>> It's the rigor and expectations. We have extremely high expectations.

David Majure
>> Michael Block started the school in 1998, out of the concern that American schools were falling behind those in other developed countries.

Michael Block
>> I had my own experience teaching at university of Arizona that when you got a for reason exchange student they almost always were at the top of the undergraduate class. So you have to ask yourself, why is that the case? And it appeared to me and that environment that it was their high school education.

Carolyn McGarvey
>> I sometimes think we're not doing enough to strengthen the education system in America.

David Majure
>> Before Carolyn McGarvey became director of the Basis Upper School, she was a mom concerned about her own children's education.

Carolyn McGarvey
>> I felt that the education was too gentle. I felt that my oldest son at the time had been learning an awful lot more and I believe that she was showing signs that he wanted more.

Teacher
>> They calculate the velocity --

David Majure
>> He got it when he started attending basis.

Carolyn McGarvey
>> A lot of hard work. We take them and they get a very rigorous education. We immediately introduce them to biology, chemistry, physics.

Michael Block
>> We just focus on getting the best possible education for the students and we don't let much stand in our way.

David Majure
>> Every class is an honors or advanced placement class. Students must routinely take advanced placement exams and those scores are factored into their overall grades.

Michael Block
>> No one gets promoted. No one gets credit without mastering the subject. Also the teachers are held accountable. We reward teachers based on how well they do. With the students that they have.

David Majure
>> The school is rewarded with outstanding scores on the AIMS test and the state's top designation as an excelling school.

Michael Block
>> We're not the only ones who can do that and when you see other place around the world who do it you realize that this is generalizable.

Michael Block:Chairman and Co Founder of Basis Schools;Carolyn McGarvey:Basis Schools

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