Rocketship Education Fights For The Rights Of Its Students

The charter school sector has always attracted criticism from some sectors of the press, but Rocketship Education founder Preston Smith believes his school system has been treated unfairly by NPR. Rocketship Education has been one of the successes of the education sector after being created in 2006 by former California public school educators, Preston Smith and John Danner. The pair began their charter school in a Church hall with a handful of students and now see their charter schools operating in four states and Washington D.C. just a decade later.

Now known as Rocketship Public Schools, the overall aim of the program developed by Smith and Danner has been to provide a supportive, creative learning environment for students at elementary level. Co-founder and CEO Preston Smith believes the NPR article was not a personal attack on his charter school system but showed a lack of understanding of how students are educated in the 21st-century. Among the complaints detailed in the NPR blog was a critique of the classroom management of educators across the charter school sector. Preston Smith and his staff work with similar regulations and school policies as those seen at other charter schools, including KIPP and Success Academy to provide a positive learning environment. Designated bathroom breaks and silent time are common practices in most schools where the day is broken up into manageable chunks.

The other two main criticisms leveled at Rocketship Education were the amount of technology in use each day and how long a student spends on school-approved technology. Rocketship Education believes its school policies are in line with those recommended by the former Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. who has often detailed his own classroom management issues. The educators at Rocketship Education are as hard-working as found in any area of the U.S. and use technology when it suits their own needs and those of their students. In using technology successfully, Rocketship Education believes students can receive more personal attention when their peers are using the educator-approved software.

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Rocketship Education Unleashes Student Potential

Public charter schools are increasing in popularity in the United States. They are making tremendous strides, and improvements in the education of children across the country. Rocketship Education is an innovative public charter school headquartered in San Jose, California. They have made strong impacts on the communities in which they serve. Their program of personalized learning has benefited students, teachers, and parents. Along with the tradition of parents visiting the schools and sitting in on a teacher’s classroom, Rocketship uses this concept to enhance student learning. The teachers go to the homes of students, and sit in on the home environment.

This allows for a better understanding of how to best serve a student. The system believes that in order to make a change, they had to create much more demand. Parents are requesting a K-12 system, so the school initiated a parent program for them to use their power to demand equality in schools, to gain political attention, and to hold various leaders accountable. Parents needed to organize, engage, and advocate for a quality middle and high school. Rocketship does not segregate students with disabilities as many public schools do. These students spend eighty percent of the school day mainstreamed into the classrooms.

Established in 2007 in San Jose, Rocketship started as a K-5 school, and has now grown to K-12 education. Their belief is in the insurmountable possibilities of great human potential. The belief of the Rocketship Education is that they are a combined effort of teachers, parents, students, and leaders. These entities work together to make it possible for low income communities in every state in the country to have better futures. The non-profit network of elementary schools guide student accomplishments, and achievements. It also essentially develops exceptional excellence in educators, as well as partnerships with parents.

When the public charter school system was first opened ten years ago, it set some very high goals for their growth. This has drawn much attention to the growth in student growth, and narrowing the the achievement gap. Rocketship Education is also a great place to work, where student potentials are being unleashed.