The education system in the United States is gradually splitting into a dual system made up of the traditional system and the chartered schools. While chartered schools host motivated students with big dreams, the traditional educational model remains with reluctant learners. At the helm of chartered schools is Rocketship Education. The nonprofit foundation currently operates over 20 chartered public schools in the nation.
Rocketship Education is the invention of John Danner, a Silicon Valley Entrepreneur. The huge gap between the academic performance of the privileged and the poor children was the primary motivation for the invention. Danner’s goal was to provide an education system that offers quality education to all children irrespective of their family’s income.
In 2007, Rocketship Education began its operations in the low-income communities of San Jose. Some of its unique features were its curriculum, parental involvement and core values and financial model. The programs at the schools comprised of a social-emotional curriculum in addition to the traditional curriculum. The social-emotional education was necessary to help the students develop social skills. Many children from such noble communities have problems controlling their emotions and handling conflicts.
Parental Participation and Core Values
Across the network of schools, parental involvement is a shared trait. They are involved in the selection of teachers as well as the school’s core values. All Rocketship schools share four core values. The values are; Persistence, respect, Responsibility, and Empathy. Each school has it unique fifth core value that represents its mission or vision. Rocketship United, for example, has “Gratitude” as its fifth core value. Rocketeers are encouraged to practice these values in the community.
Additionally, chartered public schools in the Rocketship Education’s network have an exceptional financial model. Unlike other charters, Rocketship’s financial plan enables it to operate sufficiently on government funding. The schools do not require funding from private donors after the initial costs of startup.
One contributor to this sufficiency is the organization’s embrasure of technology to re-engineer the teaching and learning experience. Lessons through the computer are done twice daily. The plan saves the school about 25% of labor cost. The savings are used to employ other staff and construct new facilities.