Charter schools are growing tremendously in popularity. Once only seen in the most urban of cultures and subcultures, charter schools are now popping up all over the nation. These schools are performing quite well as a blanket statement, and they allow children who might otherwise have found challenges in the unyielding ways of traditional school; however, don’t get alarmed, these schools come with plenty of structure of their own.
The model for Rocketship Education first began with five schools offering publicly funded K-5 college prep schools. The tuition was entirely complementary with 90% of the attendees at that time qualified for free lunch and over 75% of the students learning to speak English as their second language.
It was, perhaps, Rocketship’s motto which got them through the challenging times: “At Rocketship we believe that every child deserves an excellent education, that every child can attend a four-year college, and that the path to college starts in kindergarten.”
Founded in 2006 and based in San Jose, California, the school has now grown to five schools featuring 450 children in each school. Notable financial contributors to the Rocketship Education Program have included the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Netflix, as well as many others who help make this dream a reality for all involved.
Rocketship suffers its share of critics, but the critical statements being heard recently center around long hours, tight discipline, and ritualistic classroom protocols are sometimes quite true within the confines of safety and the business model. What Rocketship never stated was that they were the only ones out here trying to create a more successful school model and struggling through the challenges to succeed, as they found this obvious. We realize that charter school have to rely on various alternative options to pull the school together strongly, so it was never intended to sound otherwise.