Rocketship Education is a charter school company that builds schools in disadvantaged neighborhoods throughout the U.S. They’ve operated for ten years and in that time they have learned some valuable lessons that they want to share with other school systems. Here are the ten major things Rocketship Education has learned by building schools all over the country in every kind of disadvantaged neighborhood.
1) Personalized learning starts with stronger relationships between teacher, student and parent. Each member is essential to the learning equation; therefore teachers and parents must also build a relationship as well as teachers and students. Rocketship teachers start each school year with a visit to the home of the student where they get an opportunity to meet and get acquainted with the parents.
2) Rocketship Education currently only teaches elementary students. Rocketeers go on to public school or other charter schools for higher education, because Rocketship doesn’t see a large demand for Charter high schools.
3) Parents who exercise their power can change the school system. In San Jose Rocketship Education has opened a middle school and a high school, because the parents were active demanding attention from the political leaders and better schools.
4) Rocketship believes integration of students is not the solution to helping marginalized communities. Integrating teachers of different ethnicities, creeds, races and classes is the answer.
5) For those who believe in equity, where you send you kids to learn is the action every you should take to ensure you are living what you preach. Rocketship provides an opportunity for everyone to learn by providing them with a quality education.
6) Rocketship has learned that including the disabled in the general classroom helps not only the disabled child but also the able-bodied child as well. The able-bodied child learns that there are others that need additional help and they can offer that help, which they often do.
7) Rocketship learned from a flex-model of teaching it tested. Now, Rocketship knows that an adult learning model of continuous learning, goal setting and feedback works.
8) Rocketship has defined the mindset that is ideal for their teachers. They seek teachers who like continuous feedback on their performance and love the idea of mastering their craft.
9) For any school to thrive it must develop healthy partnerships with public agencies, school boards, zoning commissions and bond financing boards.
10) Public Education can be excellent. Rocketship has been seen by many as a free private school. It’s not, but it wants the world to know it’s a charter school changing public education, so its new name is Rocketship Public Schools.