New Study Finds Rocketship Graduates are a Year Ahead of Their Peers

by Preston Smith
Co-Founder and CEO

When we launched Rocketship ten years ago, we decided to focus exclusively on elementary school. We believed that if we helped our Rocketeers build a solid foundation in those early years, they would thrive in middle school, high school and beyond.

But those tween years are tough. Navigating new social codes can wreak havoc on a student’s self-esteem. And learning how to manage a radical shift in academic independence takes time to develop. There’s no doubt that middle school is one of the most challenging transitions in a student’s academic journey.

So we decided it was time to examine how our Rocketeer alumni perform in middle school. We engaged SRI International, an independent nonprofit research center, to conduct a three-year study on the performance of our Rocketeers in middle school.  This study followed nearly 2,000 students in seven San Jose middle schools with high concentrations of Rocketship graduates. SRI rigorously compared academic performance, socio-emotional skills, and student confidence navigating the middle school transition between Rocketeer alumni and their peers in middle school.

The results are in. Rocketeers are a year ahead of their classmates in math and reading after the first and second years of middle school.

Continue reading

Padres líderes invitan a la comunidad al 2016 Foro de Candidatos

by Eva Heredia and the
BEYOND Editorial Team

Scroll down for English

El Jueves 27 de Octubre será un día especial para muchos de nuestros padres en la comunidad de San José. Esta fecha marca el 2016 Foro de Candidatos, un evento organizado enteramente por padres líderes.  Este dedicado grupo de padres de Rocketship, KIIP, Alpha y Voices llevan seis meses planeando y promocionando este foro para crear un espacio donde la comunidad pueda escuchar las plataformas de los candidatos locales. Han retransmitido por la radio, distribuido folletos y llamado a cientos de familias, todo para garantizar que la voz de su comunidad sea presente e escuchada.  

Continue reading

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

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