by David Safier
This horror story written by a parent of a child at BASIS San Antonio deserves to be read in its entirety. I don't know enough about the daily education at BASIS charters to write about the curriculum, pedagogy or atmosphere at the schools, which is why I stay away of those topics in my posts. I'm presenting this narrative without comment. People can read it and draw their own conclusions. As always, people who have personal experiences at any BASIS schools should feel free to comment, in agreement or disagreement, and add experiences of their own.
The narrative is on Gene Glass' blog, Education in Two Worlds. Glass is a Regents' Professor Emeritus from Arizona State University and a staff member at the National Education Policy Center (NEPC). I linked to a few narratives on his blog about BASIS charters in Phoenix in an earlier post.
I recommend you read the entire narrative, but here are a few excerpts.
Our son is a 6th grade student. His education at BASIS included Chemistry, Physics, Algebra, Art History, World History, Biology, Physical Education. Every night starting the first day of school, he was assigned between 3-5 hours worth of homework. Throughout the school year, he gave up all extracurricular activities in order to complete the homework requirements. By the end of the school year, he would come home at 4 pm, open his books and go to bed at 9 pm only stopping to eat dinner. If he did not have his homework completed 100% by the next school day, he would receive a zero on the homework assignment. The homework assignments and projects were also required on Saturday and Sunday.
There is not a requirement /regulation of a nurse at BASIS San Antonio. Our son became ill with the flu in December. 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. As a result, our son was placed in the PICU for treatment of pneumonia and the flu and missed three weeks of school.
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.