Rocketship Education was founded on a vision of not just reducing the achievement gap found in most traditional schools today, but eliminating it altogether. This gap can be seen primarily in the success ratio between students from low-income backgrounds and those from middle to upper class backgrounds. In order to achieve their objective, the team behind Rocketship Education developed a program model for use in charter schools located in high-risk communities. This model was designed to provide high quality education to students from low-income families in a manner that could be sustained over a long period of time.
After ten years of operation, not only can the sustainable and positive effects of this program be seen in the number of schools currently offering it, but also in the gratitude seen in the students who have had the opportunity to attend. A recent article highlighted a challenge given to the students currently enrolled in the Rocketship charter schools. These students were given seven days and a sheet of paper to express how they felt about their education. Fondly referred to as Rocketeers, the papers the students completed reflected the gratitude they have for the way their teachers demonstrate the core values and dedication this program was built on.
In addition to the program’s mission to aid students from low-income backgrounds, it was also created to stand on three basic principles. Known as the pillars of the program, these principles include personalized learning, the development of talent and the power of parents. This helped create a program where classroom instruction could be tailored to meet the needs of each individual student. This instruction also includes encouraging students to tap into their creative abilities in order to unleash their full potential.
The team behind Rocketship Education understood the impact parents had on their communities. They invested in this power by giving parents a voice in the hiring process of teachers. Parents in the Washington D.C. area recently had the privilege of interviewing prospective teachers for this city’s first Rocketship charter school. This process gave parents input into the type of people who would be teaching their children.