Rocketship Education has built a successful charter school network for more than a decade from its base in San Jose, California. The not-for-profit organization has faced criticism from those who are resistant to the evolution of the U.S. education system. One of those who decided to take aim at Rocketship Education and the wider network of the charter schools was NPR blogger, Anya Kamenetz who based an article on the Rocketship Education model. Media and journalism experts have stated the article published by NPR was deeply flawed as it lacked the balance expected from an internationally respected news outlet.
Rocketship Education CEO, Preston Smith found himself unhappy with the view of his own charter school network and the wider range of educational institutions on offer across the U.S. The charter school network began with a single class in a San Jose Church hall which has grown to 13 locations in California, Tennessee, and the District of Columbia. San Jose was known as the gateway to the U.S. for those immigrants arriving from South and Central America chasing the “American Dream.” During their time as educators in San Jose Public Schools, Smith and fellow Rocketship Education founder, John Danner saw this gateway closing to minority groups.
In his response to the article from NPR, Preston Smith explained his belief in the charter school system and its growing popularity across the U.S. Rocketship Education is just one of a number of charter school networks across the nation the NPR article took aim at, with Smith stating he was unhappy the article did not provide any evidence of why the charter school system is continuing to grow in popularity. One of the major complaints about the Rocketship Education model in the article from NPR was the problem of classroom behavior and management. Preston Smith points to former Secretary of Education and Uncommon Schools charter school head, John B. King Jr. who often tells of his own problems managing behavior during his time as a full-time educator.