Category Archives: Charter School

Just How Inaccurate NPR’s Piece On Rocketship Public Schools Is

On Friday, NPR’s Education section released an article tackling Rocketship Public Schools’ teaching practices. They also claimed that not only were the school’s education standards below par, but a “high rate” of re-tests showed that teachers were helping their students through the exams.

The assumption boiled down to the claim that students were receiving an easy ride during their time with Rocketship Public Schools. The NPR Education article also seemed to suggest that these “significant” re-tests showed how weak the education standards are in Rocketship Public Schools around the country. However, the article in questions got the facts wrong about some key areas in their report.

The first among these is that some sources who work Rocketship Public Schools claim that their words were either misconstrued or taken out of context to fit the tone of the overall piece. Of the nine that were interview by NPR, six have claimed that their comments were mischaracterized. There are some other critical facts that the article gets wrong. Firstly is the question of re-testing at Rocketship Public Schools, which the report claims is widespread across the schools. See Rocketship Public Schools reviews

This couldn’t be further from the truth;, in the latest assessments in California, only six students retook a single test out of 4,565 tests that were administered. In the Spring assessments, only 15 students retook an exam out of 12,706 tests. Between that and the California statistics, it’s less than a fraction of a percentage. However, that leaves open the assertion that these exams were somehow rigged; if that were the case, then students would be out of their depths in Middle-School.

On the contrary, it’s been shown that many Rocketship Public Schools alumni have far exceeded many of their peers when they move on to new schools. Rocketship Public Schools are the market leader in non-profit public charter schools in the country. The teachers and other staff ensure that a student’s true potential is realized through the use of technology and working with students to develop themselves personally. Not only do the schools aim for academic quality, but growth as a person overall.

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Rocketship Shifting Focus To Reduce Achievement Gap

Rocketship Public Schools Formerly Rocketship Education has changed the attitude towards education. The public charter school network is dependent on state money and investment from sponsors and has an annual budget of $52.6 million. Recently the school slowed its expansion cycle to only two new schools per year but the size of the classrooms has been enhanced to accommodate more students. These super-large classes are run by two teachers and an aide, and they allow for specialized teaching and the use of computers in class.

The school has adopted a hybrid system of teaching that combines conventional instruction with personalized tutoring and online learning. The K-5 schools have received investments from various quarters including a $250 million expansion grant from the Education Department and from Tennis guru Andre Agassi, Netflix head Reed Hastings also supported the school’s growth in Bay Area with a $2 million donation. In Washington, D.C, the schools partnered with Apple Tree Institute to offer preschool services.

With the stellar score on national tests, the school is the best alternative for low-income communities. With 70% of its student base learning English as a second language, the school’s enrollment is pegged at 86% for disadvantaged. The main aim of the school is to reduce the achievement gap between the low-income and immigrant communities and their wealthier counterparts. With the success of its flagship school the Mateo Sheedy Elementary School in San Jose California, the school went through a rapid expansion that saw it expand to Nashville Tennessee and in Milwaukee Wisconsin.

The school also runs a leadership program for teachers and principals. This has elevated the institution to the height of the education sector, and with the goals, it has set being met, it is bound to rise even higher. The school recently underwent a leadership change when co-founder John Danner left, but it still held its course. The school also launched QueenHype, a program aimed at empowering girls, especially in communication. With a focus on discipline and attention to its students, Rocketship has changed the fortunes of those with low socioeconomic backgrounds.

Category: Charter School