Was NPR Right About Rocketship Education?

NPR raised a lot of questions against the financial policies administration of Rocketship Education, arguing in favor of public schools. It is rather fallacious since the author even admits that their programs have significantly raised test scores.

No charter school network is without its faults yet such a large-scale charter movement has not been attempted prior to Rocketship. In an article with Edsurge, the arguments were dismantled to show how these problems are not unique to this public charter school.

First of all, the idea of excessively allowing bathroom breaks will likely go against the parents’ opinions. Schools across the country, and even the globe manage bathroom breaks in their own unique way and there isn’t even a widespread standard in public schools. Besides, restricting bathroom usage to students is bad for their physical and mental health.

The article believes that their idea of classroom culture is forceful, particularly when it comes to mandated silent time. Classroom management also varies greatly in public schools and there are always difficulties finding the right balance. As mentioned in the article, even the Secretary of Education does not have the right methods formulated.

The media’s view of classroom management can be one-sided since only a handful of schools are in the spotlight. They have the power to paint a picture, whether positive or negative, of just about any school. If they want to set the narrative for their own personal vendetta, then that can be done through a poorly fact-checked article.

Rocketship Education is not shy about their technology usage within their public charter schools, yet it seems that it is too much for NPR. Students use their computers up to 80 minutes a day, making it seem that their time should be allocated elsewhere.

The real debate should be whether technology is better at teaching than traditional methods. Even public schools are experimenting with immersing students in computer programs. As most of these programs are still quite young, it is difficult to gauge if it is better or worse for students.

The balance of technology will be a constant battle, whether it is elementary to university level education. The amount of time in which Rocketship’s students are spending on the computer isn’t even much higher than the norm.

Even if this public charter school is not optimal, would it be worth having an intervention from the government? This is the same local government that has failed poor neighborhoods in the cities of this country. Impeding schools that produce superior test results would be reverting progress. As current national test scores show, the United States even has trouble competing with third world nations in educational advancement.

Rocketship Education

Rocketship is a chain of charter schools with a mission to bring high-quality education to underprivileged parts of the United States. Most of the criticisms are addressed without thorough facts and without comparing numbers to public schools. The problems that exist in Rocketship schools are dwarfed by the government mandated educational crisis in the country.

The company is located in Redwood City, California but it spans to multiple parts of the United States. Sine 2007, they have operated as a non-profit organization and partially uses public funding for their charter schools.

They are a part of a movement of charter schools around the nation that wants more public funding going towards charter schools. In order to improve the educational crisis in this country, public schools districts shouldn’t have a monopoly on how education funds are spent. In fact, most of it has been squandered and less money is spent on quality teachers.