Rocketship Public Schools are Misrepresented

Rocketship Public Schools had a commentary written about them by NPR and had stirred up quite a bit of controversy. The article that was published on 6/24 has been either loved or hated by its readers, but it lacks in balance and breadth. Critics and many of them supporters of Rocketship Public Schools feel that the article did not paint a fair picture of the network of schools and had primarily focused on the challenges rather than what the schools have going for them.

The article failed to compare Rocketship Public Schools with other public schools and the original piece written by blogger Anya Kamenetz applauds the network of schools. Yet she points out the many flaws of the school and suggests that these are practices are quite common to other charter schools. Rocketship Public Schools had a fairly tech-heavy model that the school followed, but they realized that it would have to change as well as lower its expansion goals which have been a subject under scrutiny in the past, but that is to what is a concern at this point in time.

The article does not contain very much information or insight as to why the schools are popular and do not give any context for the few critical anecdotes that were in the piece. Rocketship Public Schools was also referred to as a “company” which is certainly not an accurate word for describing a network of charter schools and especially a nonprofit organization. NPR declined to hold Kamenetz or editors Susan Vavrick and Steve Drummond accountable or to even make them available to discuss the story, so their Twitter responses are only feedback to go on at this point.

Kamenetz feels that the article is fine since it quoted a happy parent as well as an unhappy ex-parent of the school. It is a curious matter how the word “company” got past the editing process, but it did, and no one wants to talk about it. It seems that no one at NPR wants to address any of the questions that people have for them.

See Rocketship Public Schools overview https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/rocketship-education#section-overview

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