Rocketship Education (RSED) is a network of non-profit public charter school systems headquartered in Redwood City, California. The school system focuses on elementary-level education, enrolling grades K-5. RSED has recently added a preschool level to one of its latest schools in the Washington D.C. area.
RSED has been expanding rapidly since its inception in 2006, opening almost 21 schools in a twelve year span. The majority of their schools are in California, in the Bay area, but the organization also has schools in Washington D.C., Nashville, Tennessee, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. RSED has plans to expand to other cities and states in the future such as New Orleans, Louisiana and Indianapolis, Maryland.
The purpose of Rocketship Education is to close the gap in quality education and achievement between students from low-income families with those from middle-class or upper-class families. At one time, the achievement gap between blacks and whites was significant, but now this racially-fueled gap has greatly improved over the decades and the achievement gap is fueled by a difference in income. RSED is narrowing this gap by placing charter schools in the low-income neighborhoods and inviting community participation in the governing and functioning of the school.
RSED schools provide the the latest in education technology and a blended-learning approach that includes teacher-led instruction, online learning, group tutoring sessions, and independent learning so that the education process is tailored to meet each individual students’ learning style. Students rotate classes each day unlike traditional elementary schools. They rotate between Humanities, STEM, Learning Lab and Enrichment.
Traditional schools are location-based, meaning that students must attend these schools that are zoned for their area. Unfortunately, schools are also funded in a manner that mirrors the income-level of their area, so schools in lower income areas often get less funding. This puts these students at a disadvantage because the school can’t provide the latest and most advanced resources and programs. The resources and experience that Rocketship Education provides changes this dynamic because their focus is to bring the best in education to poor people. As RSED continues to expand, poverty-stricken students will have the same educational advantage as the rich students.