The contribution of the Institution
In April 2017, 374 parents Tennessean parents signed an open letter to the Metro Nashville Public Schools Board, and Shawn Joseph, the board’s director. The parents from 19 different public chartered schools were expressing their indignation towards the continued attacks by the board on these schools. In the open letter, they unequivocally requested the board to cease from attacking these institutions and instead focus on improving educational services in other public schools.
Among the schools whose parents joined hands to defend were Rocketship Northeast and Rocketship United. These schools belong to the Rocketship Education chain of chartered public schools. The organization launched its first public chartered school in 2007 in San Jose. In less than ten years it has expanded to have more than 25 schools nationwide. The massive parental support is due to three factors
Unlike zoned public schools, Rocketship Education schools were instituted to provide affordable quality education to children in high poverty areas. Starting at San Jose, the foundation has equipped numerous students with critical skills to progress in life. The schools’ high performance has given children from the low-income background a chance to attend college and universities. Even districts such as Alum Rock Union Elementary School District has partnered with the school to improve the performance of their students and prepare them for college.
Parental involvement is a unique operational technique of Rocketship Education. Parents are involved together with educators to create an environment conducive to the delivery of quality education. Besides paying fees, the parents actively take part in the hiring of teachers. Often, selected parents do participate in the interviewing of shortlisted candidates. Sometimes, the schools organize meetings where these candidates meet the parents. In such occasions, both parties share their expectations and goals
All Rocket Ship schools share four core values namely; Respect, Responsibility, Empathy, and Persistence. The fifth value is unique to every school. Parents and teachers of every school choose the fifth value. Daily, each Rocketeer is required to recite these values and live them out in their lives within and outside the school.