Rocketship education is a system of public charter schools that serve people from disadvantaged communities. It was established in 2006 by Preston Smith and John Danner as a non-profit corporation aiming at the elimination of the achievement gap by creating strong schools models that help the students from the underserved communities achieve their goals. The basis of operation in Rocketship education model is the use of technology reinforced approaches that personalize learning to provide the students with the relevant content.
The model ensures that the content is provided at the right time, correctly, and utilizing the best method of delivering the content. The system provides parents with continuous updates by engaging them and giving them updates on their students learning. Rocketship ensures that the parents become their children’s and the community’s advocates in their entire life. With the continuous involvement of the parents, districts, other charter schools, and community organizations, Rocketship catalyzes the move to alleviate the lifetime achievement gap.
In 2012, the Rocketship Education was operating five schools that were accommodating about 450 students in average in each school. The motto of Rocketship Education is that all the students have the potential of attending a four-year college, and the journey starts from kindergarten. The students who get the services from Rocketship Education have displayed improvement and increased confidence. About 90% of them are eligible for free lunch, and more than 75 percent speak English.
In response to the media questioning the effectiveness of Rocketship Education teaching model and practices, a strong response was given by the group citing the report as unfair and with an inaccurate picture of Rocketship Education. According to the response given by Rocketship journalist Richard Whitmire, the media coverage did not make a comparison with the neighboring schools. The CEO of Rocketship Education issued a comprehensive response that brought up questions regarding the methods of designing school models. He also stated that some problems listed are just common challenges that both private and public are struggling to resolve. Rocketship Education CEO noted that the school has its system of classroom management.
The growing disparities between private school education and public school education are often used as a plot device for popular television shows and books. Children attending elite educational institutions are depicted as happy and successful while children who are in the public school system are depicted as troubled. While many people seem to write this off as simply something to entertain other parents understands that this is a growing problem for many schools all over the United States. Children are simply not receiving an education that is worthy of their talents in the public school system. When the public figures like Betsy DeVos, current Secretary of Education, are actively speaking out for children in the public school system then there is something completely wrong.
The archetype of a child who is going to a private school and learning at an accelerated rate is one that many parents want for their children. Many of them don’t understand that there are more options available to them in this arena than they think. Betsy DeVos spoke with an interviewer at Philanthropy Roundtable about this process many years ago before she was ever appointed to her current role. She wanted parents of all backgrounds to be able to offer this type of education to their children. She believed that many public-school children were being shortchanged when it came to their education. In fact, she has been so moved by the plight of public schools’ children that she has even opened her own charter school with her husband Dick DeVos. The charter school is built around aviation and helps teach children in a way that truly matters to them.
This is one of the foundational concepts for Betsy DeVos she believes that children are not being educated in a way that is meaningful for them. Children all over the nation are getting less out of the education process the more that officials try to streamline it. Betsy DeVos has always been a proponent of the private sector for education. One of the ways that she feels so strongly about education is through the private school. She believes that children are allowed to engage in more self-directed learning or learning that is relevant to them. While there can be no denying that certain basic principles need to be taught to every person it is also important for them to learn within a context that is meaningful for them. Betsy DeVos has been pushing for school choice for many years to ensure that children can learn in this way.
She explains to Philanthropy Roundtable that much of the work that she does is centered around advancing the educational goal of children that are not able to attend these institutions on their own. She wants parents to understand that there are options available to them through the notion of “school choice”. She hopes that more visibility of these programs will increase interest and they will continue to grow. She also pushes parents to look into homeschooling as it is a viable option to education that is still much better than the public-school system.
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