Rocketship Education is a non-profit charter school based in California. It was founded more than a decade ago at the Silicon Valley with the aim of providing quality chartered training to students from low-income backgrounds. Currently, Rocketship has more than 13 schools with more than 6,000 students in Tennessee, the San Fransisco Bay Area, Nashville, Milwaukee and another in Washington D.C. Despite its success in the quality of training in Chartered networks, the NPR carried out a publication recounting concerns on various issues from employees, students, and parents. Some of the issues highlighted on twitter pointed out the tech-heavy learning model employed by the institution where students spent up to 80 minutes on a single program, the teacher to student ratio and student bathroom breaks.
The technology model
Smith from Rocketship Education clarified that with the tech model, the 80 minutes were spread across learning different programs, such as myOn, ST Math, Lexia, and Dreambox. The importance was not placed on how much time is spent on technology but on what exactly the student does at the time provided. Rocketship Education uses a Lab rotation model clustering small groups of students together before they get more comfortable with technology upon, which the teacher takes more control over the technology used and the integration into the curriculum. The teacher-student ratio is not unique to Rocketship, but a common issue among various schools. What is essential is the adaptability and creativity of the institution to ensure that student intervention at every stage.
Regarding bathroom breaks, Secretary John B. King Jr recounted his time as the Managing director of Uncommon Schools, a charter management network that is based in New York. He pointed out that discipline is a complicated issue because public discussions around it are mostly binary and rely on extremes. It is, therefore, essential to understand the challenges behind creating a healthy student culture and encourage discussion around these issues. Rocketship Education has been lauded by many parents and leaders for the provision of quality chartered education, creating a well-blended structured institution that incorporates technology and individualized training for each student.