California’s Rocketship Education Platform Is Changing The Direction Of Public Education

Public education is a hot topic right now. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos isn’t a fan of the current public school system, so she is on a mission to change it. Changing the public school system is necessary, according to education experts, but DeVos is creating issues by not listening to what public school teachers have to say. And Betsy isn’t really interested in what students have to say either. Trump wants to turn the public school system into a for-profit industry. And DeVos believes schools should be profit centers too, but she also wants to add the religious teachings to the public school curriculum, and that is creating an enormous amount of resistance from people across the country.

But not all public charter schools conform to Betsy’s idea of mixing religion with education. Rocketship Education, a California-based charter school program, believes kids get a foothold on the education process at home. Rocketship’s CEO Preston Smith isn’t afraid to talk to teachers and students about education. Smith wants all Rocketship students to leave the school knowing they have the tools to be successful in this ever-changing global economy. Rocketship teachers spend a lot of time with students, but they also make what Smith calls, “house visits.” Those visits give teachers an idea of what happens in a student’s life at home. And in many situations, teachers discover serious home issues that hinder the education process.

Visiting low-income families, and bonding with them is a priority in the Rocketship Education system. Those visits produce a one-on-one relationship and that relationship helps students focus on learning, according to Smith. All the external challenges surface when teachers know their students’ habits, and what kind of home life they experience. Rocketship teachers know how to bring families and education together, and Mr. Smith thinks students appreciate the attention that the process creates.

Rocketship Education respects their elementary school teachers and students. Smith thinks his non-profit approach to the public charter school system produces the kind of results DeVos and her staff are looking for. But education experts say DeVos is part of a Trump administration education trap, and that trap can be dangerous in several ways.

Several cities across the country have Rocketship at least one public charter school. Tennessee, Wisconsin, Washington D.C. and California have Rocketship schools, and the test results from those schools show Rocketship teachers and administrators are doing the right things in terms of an education platform. Rocketship students learn the basic knowledge they need to function in elementary public schools and beyond, but they also learn how to be contributing members of society. The budget cuts, in-school arguments, lack of supplies, and the lack of support from the top don’t exist in the Rocketship program. Students and teachers have everything they need to move to the next level in the education system.

Teaching is the profession that makes all other professions a reality, so Rocketship educators keep learning while they teach. Teachers need positive reinforcement, and Rocketship teachers get a lot of that, according to Mr. Smith.

Rocketship teachers and students enjoy a relationship that students in typical public schools miss. Betsy DeVos and her for-profit charter public school system are not set up to offer students that kind of relationship either. The test scores in some DeVos motivated charter schools in Michigan are not that promising, according to recent media reports. But Rocketship test scores prove Smith and the staff at Rocketship are doing a lot of the right things when it comes to protecting the quality and the resourcefulness of the American education system.

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