There can be little doubt the growth of charter schools in the U.S. has become a controversial subject in the media. However, much of the media coverage has been described as unbalanced and without merit by many education experts and journalists alike. Following an NPR report focusing on the work of the charter school, Rocketship Education, the CEO of the nonprofit decided it was time to put right the many media wrongs.
Many of the complaints made about the coverage of Rocketship Education in the media made by CEO Preston Smith focus on the use of language in the NPR article. In the article, Preston Smith took exception to Rocketship Education being described as a “company.” Words such as organization and nonprofit would have been more fitting for the charter school network which does not make a profit and seeks to assist low-income families.
Established in 2006, Rocketship Education has been building a loyal following across the U.S. for the good work the charter school network has been doing for just over a decade. Preston Smith founded the network along with fellow former California public school educator, John Danner. Establishing Rocketship Education came from a belief in the duo that members of minority groups in San Jose had lost their ability to escape poverty through education because of a failing public school system.
The tech-savvy educators have made sure elementary school students are prepared for a world where the digital environment is becoming ever more important. The NPR article of 2016 attempted to criticize the use of technology within the 13 locations the charter school operates in. However, Preston Smith sought to clarify the technology situation in the school system with a few facts. Firstly, Rocketship Education uses a rotation system where a group of students spends time using mobile devices with other working closely with an educator. The Rocketship Education model also calls for high-quality software to be made available to students with just five key apps used to further much-needed skills.