Rocketship Education, a network of charter schools in California, Tennessee, Wiscounsin, and Washington, has recently recieved attention from many in education. Rocketship Education separates itself from other schools in a few distinct ways. One of Rocketship’s primary focuses is personalizing student learning. Differentiation and adapting for students isn’t a foreign idea in most classrooms, but Rocketship’s approach takes personalizing the classroom experience to the next level. They emphasize that understanding the student’s family is an essential part of understanding the student’s needs. Because of this philosophy, Rocketship makes sure to make annual home visits in order to create powerful relationships with students and parents.
Diversity is somewhat of a “buzzword” in many career fields, but Rocketship is dedicated to creating culturally adaptive and responsible schools. Rocketship’s take on the matter of diversity is certainly unique; they believe that teacher diversity is just as important as student diversity. By bringing in a diverse roster of educators, Rocketship believes they can bring diversity to the students, rather than having the students bring the diversity to the school.
To further reinforce Rocketship’s commitment to community involvement, look no farther than their hiring process. In Rocketship schools, teachers must be interviewed by a group of parents before they are hired. In The Washington Post article detailing this process, the thoughts of some parents are outlined: “There was this one candidate who had a good background, but her attitude, I didn’t like that.” This involvement of parents makes them feel as if their input matters, and in many ways, establishing that bond between teachers and parents is the first step in creating an effective, trusting relationship between all of the parties involved. Rocketship’s commitment to excellence has pays off, and many of their schools produce high test scores. This scoring validates their approach and confirms that Rocketship’s model is something real, authentic, and worthy of emulation.