Rocketship Education: Higher Levels of Parental Involvement Make A Significant Difference

Rocketship Education is a nonprofit network that encompasses public charter schools which serve the economically disadvantaged. Founded in 2006 by John Danner and Preston Smith, Rocketship has several goals for the organization, including working in conjunction with other charter schools, parents, and community programs toward ending the achievement gap in the next few decades. This will be accomplished in part by implementing a unique structure for learning that is led by teachers, but fully supported by parental involvement at home, as well.

The Rocketship Education structure goes above and beyond with their inclusion of parents in the educational process. Years of fine tuning the process has demonstrated that strongly encouraging the involvement of parents both with the children educationally and also in the school community is quite beneficial to the children. When parents become involved with their child’s education when they are young, parents also become lifelong educational advocates for the child. Read about parent involvement in the system here.

Approximately 75% of Rocketship Education’s students speak English as a second language and the backgrounds from which they come are quite diverse. Research in the areas of socio-economic challenges and languages often shows a cycle of inadequate education for these groups; however, Rocketship Education seeks to break this cycle. The program seeks to teach children in an individualized manner using the best determined means of imparting information at the most appropriate time through the best method possible.

Washington Monthly recently studied the work being done by Rocketship Education and compared the results to the press that the nonprofit institution has been doing. A well-known news source issued an exceptionally harsh and, by the standards of Washington Monthly, unjust review of Rocketship Education. The unbalanced article cited several practices that the news outlet found less than acceptable; however, the vast majority of these were standard practices in any school or educational system. Additionally, the article references the 501(c)(3) nonprofit as a “company” while it should be known that the process of educating youth is something that is done by Rocketship Education as a nonprofit. The article seemed biased, poorly researched, and the public should expect better from a long-standing news source. Read the whole article here

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