The typical classroom setting is all too common across the nation. Rows of desks lined parallel until they have consumed the bulk of the room all facing a dry erase board. From the stage in front, the teacher will describe concepts or write equations on the board for a room full of students whose minds have wandered off long ago. Tests are distributed on occasion, to see what portions of the lecture managed to stick in the cracks of the disinterested spectators. Standardized bubbles that demand to be filled in the prescribed way or else the student’s ability to think will come into question. The older children attending these schools will likely experience several reprieves throughout the day marked by a ringing bell. This time will be spent relocating so the process can begin again until they are finally granted mercy and sent home.
This has been the way that education has operated in the United States for decades now. Many thoughtful citizens have noticed that it no longer seems to be fulfilling its purpose. A large achievement gap has made its self-apparent, primarily affecting low-income communities. Innovative Charter schools such as Rocketship Education have begun forming to address this growing threat. Rocketship Education is a nonprofit group founded in 2007. Their formation was motivated by the belief that every child is capable of achieving greatness with the right foundation.
The experience of a Rocketship Education school is far different than the traditional classroom. Instructors take the time to meet with families in their homes in order to build a connection before the school year has even begun. During this meeting, they pick up on whatever concerns, interests, weaknesses or strengths may be unique to the student. They use this information to build a lesson plan that caters to the child’s needs. Instructors also go to great pains to remain in contact with parents and inform them of any way they can lend aid to their child’s education. This method has proven successful since Rocketship education implemented it. When compared to their public school counterparts Rocketship Education’s students perform up to a grade higher on standardized tests.