Rocketship Education Rockets to Close the Growth Gap

Measurements of proficiency and growth play a fundamental role in the determination of a child’s academic progress. However, it is important to acknowledge the difference in proficiency and growth. Growth exhibits the amount that a student has learned over an allotted amount of time while proficiency is strictly a measurement of grade level. Academic instruments such a MAP, or Measures of Academic Progress, allows us to track individual student growth over a the course of an academic year. While it is important to track the growth of all students, tracking the growth of poverty stricken students is crucial because they often fall significantly behind in rates of growth and proficiency. Since their initial opening, Rocketship Public Schools has been using MAP and haven proven the value of emphasizing individual student growth over proficiency. Despite common assumption, it is possible for economically disadvantaged youth to grow more than a grade level. Rocketship Public Schools has closed the growth gap among disadvantaged youth with their implementation MAP and their prioritization of individual academic growth.

Rocketship Education is a network of charter schools founded by John Danner and Preston Smith in 2006 with approximately one thousand employees. Rocketship Education is a nonprofit public elementary charter school that aims toward repairing the growth-gap among economically disadvantaged children. The schools focus on personalized learning to match the individual academic and growth needs of their students. In addition to personalized learning, the school also depends on methods such as parent engagement, teacher diversity, and technology to aid in the closure of the growth gap.

Parent engagement is developed by building programs to propel parents into political leadership among their communities. Parent engagement with students is promoted with the annual home visits that the school makes to ensure parent student engagement. Teacher diversity also plays a fundamental role in children achieving their highest level of academic achievement. Teachers who belong to different races, ethnicity, and backgrounds has a huge impact in student learning. Rocketship Public Schools also ensure that their teachers embrace personal growth and feedback with a willingness to learn and master their teacher skills, even teachers with seniority.