Launching to Success: Rocketship Education’s Unique Approach

While some debate is held about what makes a school effective, several factors are commonly considered important. Inclusion, for instance, is a popular concept among those interested in the progress and development of local schools. Other topics, like parental involvement, are more controversial. Rocketship Education, a network of charter schools, carries a philosophy that consists of a healthy mix of tested certainties and calculated wagers. Rocketship’s belief system tests the boundaries of normal and offers something unique to their students. Ultimately, Rocketship delivers quality education, and their test scores indicate that.

One of Rocketship’s primary intentions is to bridge the gap between teacher and parents. Often, the relationships between teachers and students are limited, or worse. Sometimes, parents and teachers spend the school year arguing over trivial matters, which seems strange. The parent and teacher both want the same thing – the success of the child. Rocketship realizes that, and tries to open the lines of communication between parents and teachers by implementing approaches like annual home visits. Because Rocketship is only an elementary program as of now, parents are the only ones capable of requesting change within the community. Up to this point, parents have done a great job of being involved and have been an integral part of Rocketship schools.

To put Rocketship’s emphasis on parental involvement into perspective, consider that Rocketship requires all new teachers to interview with parents before getting a job at the schools! This type of shift is radical to some, but ultimately, it appears to make the parents feel like an actual part of the team. The Washington Post wrote about Rocketship schools and this process, and in the article, the weight of the parents’ opinions is made clear: “The parents’ feedback has ‘swayed some candidates to get an offer, and swayed some not to get an offer.'” The article also gives some quotes from parents who are appreciative of the chance to learn more about teachers. Despite its deviations from the norm, Rocketship’s approach is effective. Perhaps more schools will consider revamping their philosophies to coincide more with Rocketship’s demonstrably successful one.