Rocketship Education is a non-profit network of elementary charter schools dedicated to low-income students. Founded in 2006, the non-profit organization was established to build a sustainable model to help students in struggling communities across the country. Rocketship Education’s model is led by the teachers and supported by technology. Every student has personalized lessons to fit their needs and Rocketship works to develop relationships with students’ parents. With the help of parents, community organizers, districts and other charter schools, Rocketship Education hopes to eliminate the achievement gap.
Rocketship Education has opened 25 new charter schools in the San Jose area. According to a study in 2014 by Harvard and the University of California, Berkley, children who were born in the late 80s in San Jose had just as much of a shot at prosperity as children born in more progressive countries like Canada and Denmark. However, since housing prices have skyrocketed and a majority of middle-class jobs have disappeared, lower-income families in San Jose have been struggling.
A study from the Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) states that poorer students in San Jose have had a month of additional learning in math and reading when attending a charter school.
The DC Public Charter School Board has voted to allow Rocketship Education to open around eight schools. The regional director of Rocketship, Jacque Patterson, hopes that the schools will operate more like a neighborhood school instead of the district’s other charter schools. While any child can apply to their schools, Rocketship’s primary focus is on children from the Ward 8 neighborhood. A school could host up to 350 students in kindergarten through the second grade. 40% of applications so far have come from families living in the Woodland Terrace housing community. Rocketship also hopes to meet up with parents and organize events for parents to attend.