Craft in the City

The Story Behind the Rise and Success of Rocket ship Education

Founded in 2006, by John Danner and Preston Smith, Rocketship Education is a non-profit network of charter schools. Currently, Rocketship Education has its headquarters located in Redwood City, California. The first school opened under Rocketship Education network was located in San Jose, California. This was back in 2007. The students there worked and studied hard and as a result, they scored very high marks in their frequent assessment tests. This made the organization receive recognition and praise from all over and expand greatly. In fact, within 5 years, Rocketship Education had opened 6 more charter schools in San Jose, California.

In January 2013, the organization’s leadership changed. Preston Smith became the Chief Executive Officer of the network following the exit of John Danner. Even so, Rocketship Education continued to grow and expand across the region. In August, the same year, the organization opened a new school in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This was the first school, Rocketship opened outside California. A year later, Rocketship expanded into Nashville, Tennessee. Rocketship did not just stop there, it stretched out its network into a 4th region, Washington D.C. It is also in the same year that, through a partnership with apple its K-5 schools started offering preschool teaching.

The schools under Rocketship Education network are truly unique. In most scenarios parents usually have no idea who is going to be teaching their children until their children are enrolled. At Rocketship education, that is not the case. There, parents actually take part in the hiring of teachers. At each and every school under the network, parents join job interviews or meet the finalists and assess them before landing the job. The parents like this particular set of arrangement since they say it gives them an insight of who is going to be working with their children. Parents also get to know the candidates’ personalities in order to come up with the most suitable person for the job.

All in all, the growth and success of Rocketship cannot be embedded solely on the management and the parents. So many people have played a role or two in ensuring the network runs efficiently. For instance, Andre Agassi, a former tennis player, through Turner-Agassi Charter School Facilities Fund has funded many of Rocketship’s chartered schools.

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