Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion at Rocketship
In 2019, Rocketship launched our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion team to help unleash the full potential of our incredible staff by purposefully pursuing representation in our communities, breaking down barriers to power, and creating a safe, collaborative environment that celebrates our differences. We recognize the systemic inequality of opportunity in our society and seek to address those disparities through:
Create a diverse collective of change agents with voices, experiences, backgrounds, and identities (at all levels), that authentically represent the communities that we serve.
Acknowledge that systemic advantages and barriers exist in our society at large and work to break down those barriers to ensure all staff, families, and students have equitable access to opportunities regardless of identities.
Cultivate a culture of belonging where people of diverse values, backgrounds, and identities are valued and respected, as well as heard in decisions that impact our collective work.
Educator Diversity Benefits All Students
An increasing body of research shows that student achievement and attendance go up and suspension rates go down when students have at least one same-race teacher. Yet a recent federal report from the Institute of Education Sciences shows that America’s teaching force hasn’t increased in diversity, with 79% of the nation’s public school teachers classified as white in 2017-18. While public schools saw a slight increase in Latinx teachers since 2015, there was no change in the share of Black teachers, which has actually declined since the 1990s.
71% – identify as people of color. Equity in education is about providing each student with what they need to succeed. This includes learning from teachers who offer both windows and mirrors – people who bring new perspectives, as well as reflect students’ backgrounds and experiences. That is why Rocketship is working relentlessly to ensure that our Rocketeers are taught by a representative team of educators who bring experiences, ideas, and perspectives to our classrooms that truly connect with our kids and communities.
Culturally Responsive Curriculum
At Rocketship Public Schools, we’ve built our curriculum and school culture around a culturally-responsive pedagogy. This means that our curriculum designers, teachers, and leaders are all consciously aware of the different identities they inhabit, the identities and experiences their students bring into the classroom, and work to honor and recognize the intersection of those experiences through the curriculum. Learn more about the key pillars of a culturally responsive curriculum here.
Multilingual Learners Program
cultural experiences. As educators, we build upon the foundation that has already been set and support students in their journey to becoming bilingual, and eventually biliterate. Through our partnership with families, we strive to demonstrate our view that multilingualism is an asset and that we value home language and diverse cultures. When we all work together to create a culturally relevant and inclusive school environment, our students and families thrive.
In 2020-21, 44% of all Rocketeers were emerging bilingual students. We help our multilingual students make steady progress toward English language proficiency and achieve grade-level standards in all content areas. Beyond academic success, Rocketship also celebrates multiculturalism in the classroom through its Los Dichos program, a multilingual literacy and reading program ran by parent volunteers, which exposes Rocketeers to new cultures and helps instill a strong sense of cultural identity and pride. Learn more about Los Dichos here.