The team at Rocketship Education recently reflected on the lessons they learned from their first ten years in operation. As a program designed to remove the gap found in the quality of education offered to students from financially sound backgrounds and those who come from low-income backgrounds, they place a lot of focus on making sure they meet the needs of their students. The objective of Rocketship Education is in align with their concepts of growth and empowerment. After ten years, they know it takes a commitment on the part of their teachers and parents to make a difference in the quality of education their students receive.
The team at Rocketship Education also took a look at how their program met the needs of children with disabilities and those coming from minority backgrounds. To facilitate these needs they developed a program around the premise of meaningful inclusion, which meant they also had to meet the needs of students who had behavioral challenges. They found the program worked best when students could remain with their classrooms in a flexible teaching environment.
In addition to meeting the educational needs of their students, the team at Rocketship Education also encouraged parents to take an active role in the educational process. When it came to making changes within a community, they found that the voice of parents carried more weight with local officials. The power these parents have over what type of education low-income students will receive can be seen in the movement in San Jose that led to the opening of better quality middle and high schools for their children.
Rocketship Education is built on the pillars of parent power, personalized learning and talent development. Since launching its first charter school in 2007, the network of Rocketship schools has grown to where they now have more than 20 schools in located in high-risk areas in four states. Not only do they want to eliminate the educational gap for children from low-income families, but they also want to help those communities develop workable models for their public schools that will allow every student to achieve their full potential.