Last Friday, NPR’s Education blog published what many are calling a “hit piece” on Rocketship Education. As co-founder and CEO, I am used to anti-charter attacks like this. But my staff and parents are not. They flooded my inbox over the weekend with outrage over the voices missing from this story. As for the voices included in the story, 6 of the 9 named Rocketship sources contacted me to express their frustration over how NPR’s blogger mischaracterized their comments.
As I look back on the 2014-2015 school year, I am humbled by the amazing accomplishments of our teachers, leaders, parents, and Rocketeers. In San Jose, Rocketship families convened the first-ever mayoral forum organized by parents advocating for high-quality schools of choice. In Nashville, our inaugural class of Rocketeers earned the second highest growth score of all 73 elementary schools in the city. In Milwaukee, our teachers and leaders are redefining excellence in a city with robust choice but limited quality. And above all else, Rocketeers across our network averaged 1.7 years of academic growth in math and 1.5 years of academic growth in English Language Arts. This is what gap-closing student growth looks like. And while I know we can do even better in the school year already underway, I am incredibly proud of the impact we made in the lives of nearly 6,000 Rocketeers in the 2014-2015 school year.
Take a look at our Year in Review and I think you’ll see why now more than ever, I am convinced that together, we can eliminate the achievement gap in our lifetime.
This month, California released results of the new Smarter Balanced Assessment System. The first year of this more rigorous assessment exposes the severity of the achievement gap in California. But it also shows that our Rocketeers continue to beat the odds with strong academic achievement. Continue reading
For many Ward 8 families in the District of Columbia, finding the best school for your child can be a challenging endeavor. Great schools that go above and beyond are rare in many neighborhoods east of the Anacostia River. On the whole, DC has experienced an educational renaissance with significant progress in both the traditional public and public charter school systems. Many schools are realizing groundbreaking achievements. However, we are still far from equal access to great schools across all eight wards of the District. Families should not have to decide between a failing neighborhood school and sending a child across town for a decent education. Every community deserves excellent educational opportunities in their neighborhood. Continue reading
Teachers spend more than one thousand hours with their students each year. We make deliberate and conscious decisions for every lesson we teach. Everything in our classrooms – from the anchor charts and desk arrangements to lesson hooks and essay topics – are decisions we make to ensure our kids thrive and realize their incredible potential. It is key for teachers to have the autonomy to make these choices in our classrooms, but it is also imperative that we have a voice in the decision making at the school and network or district level. Continue reading
Middle School has often been described as the “Black Hole” in education. These critical years are filled with challenges ranging from the academic to the social and emotional. It is a time of great transition and often where the achievement gap between students widens. Continue reading
At Tipping Point Community, we pursue one relentless goal: To fight poverty in the Bay Area. We aim to provide game-changing resources to the 1.3 million people too poor to meet their basic needs here in our community, one of the most affluent regions in the world.
We take a comprehensive approach to poverty alleviation and invest in four key areas: education, employment, housing and health. Of these, we know that providing high-quality education is one of the best ways to break the cycle of poverty for good. When an individual graduates from college, he or she doubles their lifetime earnings, and paves the way for future generations of their families to pursue the path to and through college. Continue reading