Low-Income Communities

Rocketship Education Changing Tides

July 16, 2018

Rocketship Public Schools is comprised of a network of charter school and is based in Redwood, California. Founded in 2006 by Preston Smith and John Danner, Rocketship Education is primarily focused on a student from low-income communities. By adapting technology to traditional teaching and by taking advantage of targeted tutoring, the school has changed the perspective of the education system. Pundits are applauding the new techniques that the transformative schools are using as doing more than just educating the next generation.

Following the success of its flagship school Mateo Sheedy Elementary School, in San Jose, California, the schools went through a rapid expansion cycle and in 2013, it opened its first school outside California in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Later growing into Tennessee, the K-5 schools collaborated with Apple Tree Institute in Washington, D.C to offer pre-school. Other sponsors who have come out I support of the schools are Tennis pro-Andre Agassi and Reed Hastings of Netflix. The previous administration injected funding to the school, and in 2017, the schools received $250 million from the Education Department to aid its expansion.

To reduce the achievement gap, Rocketship Public Schools use a hybrid teaching model that combines classroom instruction, and personalized online learning and tutoring are done in small specialized groups to increase one-on-one contact between instructor and student. The school’s consistency in producing stellar scores has made one of the most sought-after institutions to cater for poor and immigrant students who cannot afford the expensive private counterparts.

The non-profit school has won many hearts and attracted investment by adopting a can-do attitude that gets hard-to-teach children to score as high as their better-off brethren. After the exit of John Danner, Smith was named CEO and the school went through a transition period, and its expansion slowed but now there have been changes such as the creation of super-large classes ran by two teachers and an aide, this is aimed at offering more specialized teaching and efficiency. Also offering leadership development programs for teachers and principals, the school has become the new beacon for the future of education.