Category Archives: Learning

Rocketship Education Proves That Personalized Learning Creates College-Ready Graduates

Rocketship Education, a nationally lauded California-based public charter school network, typically opens non-profit schools in low-income neighborhoods. By boosting college readiness and supporting English language learners, Rocketship is giving youth from low-income communities an equal chance to succeed, with an education comparable to that of youth in high-income neighborhoods.

In a unique method for interviewing teachers, Rocketship involves parents by letting a group interview potential teachers. While parents do not have the final say, their opinion holds sway. Rocketship Education is distinctive in other ways as well, especially in their dedication to involving parents in other ways as well. In a D.C. school under construction, a room for parents with computers that have Internet access is being built. Parents waiting to pick up their children can locate and apply for jobs online.

Rocketship’s mission is to further the late Father Mateo Sheedy’s goal of helping all children meet the basic academic requirements to attend college. Higher education is the way out of poverty, but Father Sheedy saw children in his parish ill prepared for college. While Father Sheedy died before the first Rocketship Education opened in 2006, his dream is coming alive with 16 schools, all with students who show high academic achievement.

When a school personalizes learning for each student the way Rocketship does, no child is left behind. Online learning programs, peer group projects, small group instruction and more help eliminate the gap between different types of learners. Currently, Rocketship Education schools serve Northern California, Milwaukee, Washington DC and Tennessee. While the non-profit charter school network is working to open more schools in these communities, they do not plan to enter any new states until at least a few more years. Considering that they are waiting lists at their schools, they would serve the communities better if they worked to build enough schools so that every parent can give their child a better chance of being academically prepared for college.