Rocketship Education is a non-profit network of 18 public charter schools founded in 2007 by Preston Smith and John Danner. The first school was in the Bay Area. The schools then moved to Milwaukee in 2013, Nashville in 2014 and to Washington DC last year. The story of the school started in 1999 when a priest, Father Mateo Sheedy, noticed a gap in the education system in Washington. He engaged the two founders in a bid to improve the system. After his passing on, the two continued with his dream. Rocketship Education is built on the mission to bridge the gap in achievement in the low-income areas. The school looks deep into the challenges that affect low-performing schools and communities in a bid to improve future opportunities for the kids.
Rocketship Education adopts a unique model from other ordinary schools. The school believes in teachers’ empowerment and parents’ engagement to be fully transformative and inspire communities. The school has developed training programs for teachers. The training ensures that they are equipped to be resourceful to the students and the communities. Rocketship Education believes in the uniqueness of every child. The approach adopted by the school ensures that the kids learn in their best way. The system merges technology, tutoring, and some instruction from the traditional way of learning. The parents and the communities are not left behind in the system. Rocketship Education endeavors to bring out the leadership in them while empowering them to advocate for their kids.
The unique model adopted by the school has been effective in improving the students’ performances. Rocketship Education believes in establishing a good educational foundation for every child. It is for this reason that the school concentrates on developing elementary schools. The school, however, follows up on the performance of its graduates in the middle schools. A 3-year investigation performed by SRI International showed that these graduates are always ahead of their peers. Rocketship education performance in math, English, and Language Arts is always in the top 10 percent of elementary schools in California. In Nashville, the school comes second in academic growth in the public elementary schools.