Rocketship Education announced, in partnership with Milwaukee Common Council, today plans to bring eight high-performing charter schools to Milwaukee starting fall 2013, marking the beginning of its expansion into a national presence beyond California.

“Expanding Rocketship’s innovative model nationally in partnership with the City of Milwaukee is a critical step towards eliminating the achievement gap within our lifetime,” said Rocketship Education CEO John Danner. “We are eager to partner with cities, school districts and communities across the U.S. that share Rocketship’s sense of urgency. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with Milwaukee and learning from the Milwaukee community in the next 12 months so that together we can ensure that Rocketship schools continue to be transformative for students, families and community members.”

The charter agreement with the Milwaukee Common Council will allow Rocketship to begin opening its schools in 2013 to reach 4,000 K-5 students by 2017. Rocketship, which has developed scalable public schools in the last decade to close the achievement gap, plans to only open new schools if existing locations are meeting high academic benchmarks.

“I am excited that Rocketship has chosen to make Milwaukee their first city outside of California. We are excited to have them as part of the City of Milwaukee’s educational ecosystem and I look forward to their role in providing a rich and thriving educational environment for our children,” said Milwaukee Common Council President Willie Hines.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said, “I am pleased to welcome Rocketship schools to Milwaukee.  Their track record of performance with low-income kids is impressive. Rocketship will add to the great school options we have in this city.”

“Though some saw Milwaukee as a dark horse for Rocketship’s first expansion site, the urgency and collaboration between city government, the business community, nonprofits, local high-performing schools and foundations quickly elevated Milwaukee to the top,” said Abby Andrietsch, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Schools that Can Milwaukee. “I believe Rocketship Education, in conjunction with the high-impact collaboration across Schools That Can Milwaukee’s partner schools, will create a tipping point for transformational change in Milwaukee education.”

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