In the 1980’s San Jose school district used to provide hope to low-income families by providing the students with an education on par with top progressive countries. This is not the case today since there has been a clear separation between the area’s wealthy and poor families. With many of the middle-class careers disappearing it has become increasingly difficult for the poor to assimilate and prosper.
Public charter school networks, like Rocketship Education, have been working to serve low-income students since 2007. With over 25 public charter schools, Rocketship education has been paving the way for the less fortunate and non-native speakers for a shot at college.
So, what does Rocketship Education do differently? They get the parents of course. Rocketship gets employee applicants in front of the parents during the interview process and is told what performance is expected from them. Parents have taken the role serious with some applicants have even walked out mid interview because the expectations were too intense to keep up with. School employees also make home visits during the academic year and hold events to ensure the parents that progress with their children is being made. One principal at Rocketship even remarked that this level of involvement is to educate the parent on how to communicate with future teachers that the students with encounter when they leave the Rocketship system.
Since the academies have gained popularity, unfortunately, some students are put on a waiting list which can take years for a letter of acceptance. This growing popularity even sparked parents to take action in the Franklin-Mckinley district, in which hundreds of parents petitioned their community to grant a new charter school. It is uncertain if approval will come, but it highlights the program’s success as locally zoned schools has not met the children’s needs.