Rocketship Education is a non-profit network of public charter schools. It was founded by John Danner and Preston Smith in 2006. Rocketship Education opened its very first school in 2007 in San Jose, California. The students in the organization’s flagship school obtained grades nearly as high as those of Palo Alto School District on a California’s state assessment.
This achievement earned the organization many praises as an innovative alternative for the income disadvantaged students. Over the five years that followed, Rocketship Education witnessed rapid and significant growth that led to the opening of six more schools spread in the San Jose Area. A leadership restructuring saw Danner leave the company in 2013 with Smith becoming the chief executive officer.
Rocketship Education has been collaborating with community organizations, educators and parents to create a complex network made up of quality public schools. The primary objective is to give the financially disadvantaged children and learners of English language an opportunity to join college. These efforts have borne fruits as 25 high performing public charter schools that serve low-income communities have been launched since the first school was opened in 2007.
Things are done a little out of the norms compared to what happens in regular schools. For instance, the parents in the charter schools are usually given the opportunity to participate in the recruitment of teachers. The process entails a group of teachers interviewing every teacher before the hiring decision is made. The feedback from the parents has always come in handy in the determination of whether an interviewee gets the job or not. This is a task that parents hold in high regard and therefore approach it with the seriousness it deserves. This is part of the innovative approach of engaging parents in the establishment of the academic foundation of the schools.
The work of Rocketship Education have earned a lot of recognition. Prominent personalities who have been thrilled by the organization’s efforts have funded particular projects. For instance, Andre Agassi, the former world’s best tennis player spearheaded the development of a new charter school known as Rocketship Rise Academy in the Woodland Terrace neighborhood in Washington D.C in 2016.