Rocketship Education was misrepresented by an article put out by NPR, and they painted an inaccurate picture of the school. While NPR blogger Anya Kamenetz pointed out a few noteworthy issues, she really missed the mark. The questions that came to the surface such as the use of technology in the classroom, how the staff is allocated, and how classrooms are managed, are not questions for Rocketship schools but are issues that need to be addressed by all schools across the entire country.
When it comes to classroom management, NPR was quite harsh when writing about the policies of Rocketship schools. Most of the regulations and rules enforced by Rocketship schools are not unlike the rules and regulations followed by many other schools, and they are implemented in order to keep a functioning and productive classroom.
Another question that came up was how technology was used. NPR scrutinized the amount of time spent on technology-related activities and reported that students spend almost 80 minutes every day on technology. It has been clarified that students actually spread that time across many different programs such as ST Math, Dreambox, myOn, and Lexia.
Intervention was still another topic under the microscope, and NPR accused Rocketship schools of giving challenging tasks to underqualified teachers and were expected to manage groups of 80 students. It really all depends on how you define “underqualified.” Many schools rely heavily on these “underqualified” teachers to assist certified teachers and to give additional help to students who need it.
Rocketship Schools has some impressive numbers. They have served 18,000 students ad 82 percent of their students come from low-income families. Their mission is to unlock the full potential of their students while fostering an enriched environment where they can learn and be free to express themselves. They’re a network of non-profit schools that help their students to be successful and to build their confidence in a loving environment. Their students are given the tools they need to be the best that they can be. They want to eliminate the achievement gap that is present in our society as well.