— Posted in Education
If NPR’s Piece Was So Accurate Then Why Did 90% of Students Return to Rocketship Public Schools This Year?
Rocketship Public Schools is a nonprofit charter network of public elementary education. This elementary school chain is designed specifically to serve low-income children living in the communities of California, Tennessee, Wisconsin, and Washington D.C. Preston Smith, the co-founder and CEO of Rocketship Public Schools, started his career in San Jose, California, where he saw the lower-income living and education system first hand, and became inspired to improve it. Smith is still a resident of San Jose, along with his wife and two children who attend Rocketship Fuerza Community Prep.
There was an article that NPR had published on their education blog attacking Rocketship Public Schools. Preston Smith personally wrote this blog on the74million.org defending Rocketship Public Schools, calling it an “anti-charter” attack, and a “takedown piece.” He stated that he had gotten used to these kinds of negative opinions and media coverage, but that his staff and parents of the children attending the schools, was not. In fact, they were all outraged by the story and how it was inaccurately told. Apparently, a lot of people were left out of the story, and the ones who were included were frustrated that NPR’s blogger didn’t even get their comments right. See other reviews here https://www.yelp.com/biz/rocketship-public-schools-san-jose
There was a misrepresented comment that one person that the NPR blogger cited, and later she came to Smith in frustration over it. The only comment that Smith claims the NPR reporter got right was the one made about the school’s impressive results. However, Anya Kamenetz, the NPR reporter, didn’t even bother digging deeper into the reasoning behind the achievements at Rocketship Public Schools, instead she just gave biased personal opinions on the anti-testing thesis, and made undermining comments about the school in general. Smith explained that it is ultimately necessary for schools based within high-poverty communities to essentially eliminate the achievement gap, which is difficult, and it is hard for people who haven’t worked or lived in such communities to understand. Regardless of what Kamenetz’s report portrayed on their testing curriculum, behavioral management, and technology use, Rocketship Public Schools continue to see much success, despite not following other schools regular curriculum.