A photo of me with my 2012 NaNoWriMo club accompanies this pretty great article about BASIS!
Teachers “have to be scholars” to teach at BASIS, Julia Toews, head of the Tucson school, told me when I asked what she looked for in her teachers. BASIS doesn’t require state teaching certification, but teachers must be “passionate” and “recognize the brilliance of kids,” she added.
Those kids are the other reason for the BASIS schools’ success. The rugged academics attract kids who told me they were bored at other schools and now revel in the challenge of vector calculus and molecular biology. At the Scottsdale campus, sophomore Charlie Murphy explained that he was “never challenged” until he arrived at BASIS in 5th grade. “I’m here for the academics,” he said.
I heard a lot about the BASIS culture: that “it’s cool to be smart,” that teachers “care,” that it’s “not an us vs. them culture.” “If there were popular kids, it would be the geeks,” Alia Gilbert, the Tucson 9th grader said.