After reading Dave Safier’s article critiquing Basis Schools, I decided to present another view on the issue. The insidious approach of tearing down anything that offers an alternative to traditional public school has got to be exposed if we ever hope to improve education. Instead of reform, we must all conform. If the results aren’t flawless, we use them as proof that nothing is worth trying to improve at all. At the 2010 orientation of BASIS Oro Valley’s opening, founder Olga Block said, “This is not a school for geniuses. If you are willing to work hard, you will be successful.” She was right. Many families aren’t prepared for the workload. When faced with the intensity of the work and amount of homework, they decided it wasn’t a fit for their family. Some kids spend hours a week in a sport; some are in theater or have devoted themselves to music. That is their choice. For my two children, school is their sport. They are bright, self-motivated, and hardworking, but not geniuses. They “practice” in the form of homework just about every day of the school year, missing some social events, sleeping in, shopping and the latest T.V. shows, but that is their choice. The notion that BASIS only takes and therefore only keeps the “smart kids” is not being fair to all the kids like mine who work very hard to be there. It also shows just how uninformed Mr. Safier is about Basis culture and criteria.


Kathy McMillin,


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