The idea of hiring who will teach your child has come to reality thanks to Rocketship Education. Here, a group of parents helps in hiring teachers’ months before classes begin by taking part in interviews at the Charter schools. The parent participation culture started in San Jose, California where Rocketship charter schools began. Rocketship gained national prominence due to its blended-learning style that is personalized. The parents undergo training to do panel interviews while at other time school meetings are arranged for finalists to meet parents.
Rocketship is a non-profit network of public elementary charter schools that serve disadvantaged communities across the US especially low-income with limited access to excellent schools. They aim to remove achievement gaps and build a scalable and sustainable school model which catapults students to better achievement in underprivileged communities. Rocketship Education uses a teacher-led instruction model that is technology assisted in personalizing learning according to the need of each student. This is done by using the correct method of instruction in giving the student the right content. The use of parents helps to build lifelong community advocates.
Founded by John Danner and Preston Smith in 2006, its flagship school students scored as equally well as Palo Alto School District students on the state assessment. This score earned them praise providing hope and acting as an innovative option for students from low-income families. Five more schools in San Jose followed this over five years. When Danner left in 2013, Smith became CEO, and Rocketship Education opened a school Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The opening was followed by more expansions in Nashville, Tennessee in 2014 before going to Redwood City in California. The California expansion was driven by a well-organized campaign by 500 parents in 2015. In 2016, Rocketship Education partnered with Apple Tree Institute in starting K-5 in Washington, D.C.
Their approach to personalized learning helps to forge a deep understanding of the unique interests and needs of each student and family. The parent leadership program adopted by Rocketship Education positions them on the driver’s seat in advocating high-quality middle and high schools, which was their objective something that has already taken shape.