Rocketship Education: Flying to Higher Heights

Rocketship is a network of free schools based in San Jose, California. The network has been subject to unfair reporting from NPR in an article written by one of their one of their senior bloggers. It classifies the schools as a company which gives the impression that the organisation is a private for-profit business entity. When questioned about it the writer pointed out that the use of “company” was to avoid repetition but it was not understood why she did not use neutral words in the piece.

According to Alexander Russon at Washington Monthly the article does not make any comparison between other charters or neighbourhood schools. The writer pointed out that she did get quotes from a disgruntled former parent and a satisfied parent. The piece does not in anyway explain why parents favour and recommend the Rocketship network of schools and seem to simply be taking shots at the organisation.

Responding to the article CEO and founder of the Rocketship network of schools, Preston Smith, pointed out that the article only got one fact right and that is that students at Rocketship get very good test scores. He identified himself as a parent at Rocketship and pointed out that Anya Kamenetz did not visit the school and a number of parents who were interviewed expressed their displeasure at how their views were represented in the article.

The article that has been identified as an attempt to cut Rocketship Education down to size seems to only major on the testing in the school. The writer quoted sources who said they were asked to retest students, Preston Smith points out that the test scores quoted by NPR are from assessment tests given by the state and which the school cannot retest for.

About Rocketship Education

Rocketship Education is a network of schools that was founded in 2006. The schools serve low-income communities in Wisconsin California, Tennessee and Washington. In 2012 the organisation had 5 schools in the San Jose Area with each school catering to 450 students. Of these, 75% speak English as a second language and 90% are qualified for free school lunch.