Reconstructing Beauty: Empowering Our Girls for a Better Future

Standard
by LaToya Fernandez
Teacher, Rocketship Discovery Prep

Growing up in Hartford, Connecticut I learned the value of education early on. My mother was a workaholic providing for a family of seven and carried herself with strength and poise. Life at home was difficult at times, so I became immersed in school and extracurricular activities. Though involved in many organizations at school, I was still harassed for being African American, athletic, religious and just for being a girl. I was constantly teased about my hair. There were times in high school where I felt insecure about my physical appearance and capabilities. This motivated me to find my inner strength. I needed to become the Queen I was encouraging my friends to be.

Continue reading

Los Dichos: Values, Partnership and Cultural Identity in the Classroom

Standard
by Lorena Romero and Lety Gomez
Rocketship Parents, Rocketship Fuerza Community Prep

 If we want our kids to be lifelong readers, we as parents must read to them, with them and around them. Why not take this approach into the classroom? To help Rocketeers learn to love reading, many Rocketship parents, including us, participate in the Los Dichos Program through Project Cornerstone, an initiative of the YMCA of Silicon Valley. Los Dichos is a literature-based program emphasizing stories of Latino origin that not only benefits the students, but also benefits the parents.

The Los Dichos program helps parents, especially those parents who speak Spanish as their primary language, to be involved in their children’s education and instill a positive cultural identity. We begin by taking an introductory course on developmental assets by a Project Cornerstone staff. We meet monthly as a group to review and discuss lesson plans and activities before we go into the classroom.

Continue reading

Our Response to NPR “Hit Piece”

Standard
by Preston Smith
Co-Founder & CEO, Rocketship Education

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.

Continue reading

Strengthening our Ward 8 Community from the Ground Up: It Starts with Education

Standard
by Anthony Lorenzo Green
ANC Commissioner 8B04
Washington, DC

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

Investing in Education & Breaking the Cycle of Poverty

Standard
by Daniel Lurie
Founder & CEO, Tipping Point Community

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

Rocketship parent leader

Rocketship Parents Enrique and Maritza Awarded with 2015 Hart Vision Volunteer of the Year

Standard
by Kevin Bronk
Editor, Beyond

Last week at the California Charter Schools Conference in Sacramento, CA, Rocketship parents Enrique Esparza and Maritza Leal were honored with the 2015 Hart Vision Volunteer of the Year Award. Continue reading

Parent Voice Triumphs in Redwood City

Standard
by David Kuizenga
Vice President, Bay Area

On Wednesday, June 26, the power of parent voice prompted a 5-0 vote in favor of two new high performing school options in Redwood City: Rocketship and KIPP. Continue reading

Parent Leaders Strive to Leave Legacy for Their Children

Standard
by Maritza Leal
Parent leader, Redwood City

It is a challenging test to face the realities and circumstances of daily family life. But it’s certainly far more difficult to stand before our children and face them saying, “Come on, you can do it!” when we ourselves have failed; to tell them “Work hard in school ­– graduate!” when some of us have never finished the elementary grades. Continue reading

Seeking a Great Education for my Son

Standard
by Rony Turgos
Proud Parent, Redwood City

My wife and I have a son who is eight years old and was recently accepted to a Rocketship school in San Jose.

We chose Rocketship for our son after noticing that he was struggling in a traditional public school. Although he was falling behind his peers, he kept being moved ahead in grade levels. When our son was in second grade, we found out that he was at a kindergarten level for reading and math. My wife and I were heartbroken. We worked very hard with our son, and soon he began reading at the second grade level. But, we knew we had to find a better option. Continue reading

Richard Whitmire on Rocketship, Parent Advocates and a Movement Towards Equity

Standard
by Kevin Bronk
Editor, Beyond

Longtime education reporter Richard Whitmire approached our co-founders Preston Smith and John Danner in 2012 to request completely open access to follow our work for twelve months. Without any editorial oversight, we agreed. As a result, he gained insight in to our schools, our approach to innovation and witnessed the launch of our first region outside of California: Milwaukee.
Continue reading