4 Tucson high schools score among top 10 in Arizona

Basis, UHS make list with Sonoran, Catalina Foothills
2013-04-24T00:00:00Z 4 Tucson high schools score among top 10 in ArizonaAlexis Huicochea and Jamar Younger Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

A Basis Tucson charter school is ranked second-highest in the nation and its Scottsdale campus is ranked fifth, according to U.S. News & World Report.

The charter school chain's midtown Tucson campus at 3825 E. Second St. was also listed as Arizona's best public school in the magazine's state-by-state ranking.

"A good high-school education is vital to preparing a student for moving on to college or to entering the workforce," Brian Kelly, editor and chief content officer of U.S. News & World Report, said in a news release. "The new 2013 Best High Schools rankings will help both students and parents wade through the increasing public school options available."

Julia Toews, Head of School for BASIS Tucson North, was pleased to see that the work of the charter school's students is being recognized.

"We're exceptionally proud of students and teachers," Toews said. "I think it's a great sign that an open-enrollment, tuition-free school can do so well.

"I think it shows all kids have great potential."

Basis Tucson improved its state and national ranking from last year when it came in at No. 6 nationally and No. 2 in the state.

Also making the cut was Tucson Unified's University High School, which was ranked No. 4 in the state and 29th in the nation.

This year's national ranking for University High is a drop from last year when it was hailed as the fourth best high school in the country.

But UHS Principal Elizabeth Moll is not concerned about the change in ranking, saying it's a constant variation.

"We've been as high as fourth in the country last year and we've been in the 30s other years," she said. "We're very excited to be ranked - 29th in the nation is pretty fantastic - and we're very proud of our accomplishments and the fact that our students are well prepared for their futures.

"We'll always strive to move higher in the rankings."

U.S. News worked with Washington, D.C.-based American Institutes for Research to develop the ranking methodology based on things like state proficiency standards, how well the schools prepare students for college-level course work and Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate tests.

In all, more than 21,000 public high schools in 49 states and the District of Columbia were analyzed.

TOP 10 in state

The top 10 high schools in Arizona are:

1. Basis Tucson, Tucson (Ranked No. 2 nationally)

2. Basis Scottsdale, Scottsdale (Ranked No. 5 nationally)

3. Gilbert Classical Academy High School, Gilbert (Ranked No. 28 nationally)

4. University High School, Tucson (Ranked No. 29 nationally)

5. Sonoran Science Academy Tucson, Tucson (Ranked No. 53 nationally)

6. Northland Preparatory Academy, Flagstaff (Ranked No. 77 nationally)

7. University High School, Tolleson (Ranked No. 92 nationally)

8. Catalina Foothills High School, Tucson (Ranked No. 354 nationally)

9. Chaparral High School, Scottsdale (Ranked No. 666 nationally)

10. Flagstaff Arts and Leadership Academy, Flagstaff (Ranked No. 776 nationally)

Contact reporter Alexis Huicochea at ahuicochea@azstarnet.com or 573-4175.

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