Rocketship Ready to Takeoff

Rocketship Education a charter network in development in San Jose, is working hard to create the future.  It’s an early hybrid–a blend of online and onsite learning. Kids spend about a fifth of their time learning basic skills online; this allows Rocketship to run a long day/year program and pay great teachers more than traditional schools.  Rocketship spends less than half as much on facilities as local districts uses modular buildings on small campuses.  These are just two examples of their obsession for performance and productivity.
Culture is a key part of the school model.  Visit a classroom and you’ll see evidence of Core Values–Respect, Empathy, Responsibility, and Persistence–in action.  The quality of instruction is top notch.  There are for TFAers at each school.
A very talented management team is working hard to make this model scalable–even in California.

Tom Vander Ark

Tom Vander Ark is the CEO of Getting Smart. He has written or co-authored more than 50 books and papers including Getting Smart, Smart Cities, Smart Parents, Better Together, The Power of Place and Difference Making. He served as a public school superintendent and the first Executive Director of Education for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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1 Comment

John Danner

Thanks Tom! Frankly, I think we look a lot like other high performing schools except that we also spend a chunk of the day doing online learning and another chunk doing intensive individual interventions. The individualization that this affords means that almost no kids at Rocketship are below grade level, it's just hard when you are getting hit by so many parts of the program trying to remediate. We've kind of been amazed that individualizing instruction is not commonplace in 2010 and would love to share anything we can with other schools to increase this everywhere.

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