(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)
I have served on the BASIS Scottsdale school board for the past few years, and I am happy to pass along this great news about our very high performing charter schools:
Scottsdale — On July 1, 2010, Dr. Craig R. Barrett will become BASIS School, Inc.’s next President and Chairman of the Board. The Arizona non-profit corporation operates some of America’s highest performing schools, BASIS Scottsdale and BASIS Tucson, and will be opening a third school, BASIS Oro Valley, in 2010. BASIS is planning to open at least three more schools in 2011. The charter schools serve students in grades 5 through 12.
Dr. Barrett, who served as Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Intel Corporation, has been a long-time advocate for higher standards in American education and is committed to making BASIS Schools a national presence. Dr. Barrett and his wife, Ambassador Barbara Barrett, first became familiar with BASIS Schools in 2006 when they visited the BASIS Scottsdale Middle School campus and sat in on courses in 7th grade chemistry and 8th grade algebra II. Their experience with the school, coupled with BASIS Tucson’s top ranking in Newsweek’s list of America’s Best High Schools, led the Barretts to become founding contributors to the BASIS Scottsdale Master Teacher Campaign. The Campaign not only helped the school expand to offer high school grades in 2007, it also enabled the school to recruit and retain a highly expert faculty which was, no doubt, behind Business Week’s assessment of BASIS Scottsdale as the “Top Arizona School for Overall Academic Achievement” in 2008.
In addition to their involvement with BASIS Schools, Dr. Barrett and his wife are generous supporters of excellent educational programs such as the Barrett Honors College at Arizona State University (one of the nation’s 3 best Honors Colleges according to Reader’s Digest) and the Thunderbird School of Global Management (ranked the #1 full-time International MBA program by Financial Times and US News & World Report). Dr. Barrett also co-chairs the Business Coalition for Student Achievement and Achieve, Inc., is a founding member of Change The Equation, the Presidential STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) Coalition, a member of the National Governors’ Association Task Force on Innovation America, and is Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of Science Foundation Arizona.
Dr. Barrett is devoted to improving American education, a goal that aligns closely with his new position as President and Chairman of the Board for BASIS School, Inc. “The average U.S. kid gets an education that is substandard, well below that found in other industrialized countries,” says Dr. Barrett, “BASIS is an isolated instance of excellence in U.S. K-12 education – by the time kids get through middle school, they have taken three or four years of high school math, physics, chemistry, and biology. As more BASIS schools open around the country demonstrating what is possible, parents are going to begin to question why their kids aren’t getting the same opportunity.”
Dr. Barrett received his BS, MS, and Ph.D. in Materials Science from Stanford University and joined the faculty of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering upon completing his Ph.D. Dr. Barrett has authored over 40 technical papers, as well as a text book on materials science entitled “Principles of Engineering Materials.” BASIS Schools is honored to welcome Dr. Barrett aboard.
I am thrilled for BASIS. I also hope that this may make Mr. Barrett more aware of the mundane details of standards & curricula, rather than the high-level policy views he promoted so far. His recent paean to Common Core standards in the WSJ was certainly not grounded in details.
I am thrilled to learn that both Basis schools in Tucson and Scottsdale use Saxon Math for grades 5-8. I don’t care if anyone buys Saxon products, but I do wish more would learn about John Saxon’s vicious battles he had to fight against the math establishment. In spite of efforts to destroy him, he built an upstart entrepreneurial publishing company into a multimillion dollar success from 1981-1996. Readers can learn about this original math warrior in my biography of him. It’s called John Saxon’s Story, a genius of common sense in math education. I had to self-publish it, as John did his first algebra book, and I could only afford to print 1,000 copies. Good reviews have come from those who have read it, however. I do believe that John is even proud that his story has finally been told.
Nobody cares about him, we care about his products which don’t stress understanding. Rather,they stress meomorizing.