For Second Year in a Row, Rocketship Leads Top Schools in Bay Area for Underserved Students
By Rocketship Public Schools
Each year, Innovate Public Schools recognizes the Bay Area public schools achieving excellent results for low-income Latino and low-income African American students. Their annual Top Bay Area Public Schools for Underserved Students Report examines state test results to identify schools that are closing the achievement gap. Since Innovate’s first report in 2014, few Bay Area schools have achieved this honor. Out of 1,278 schools in the Bay Area only 51 schools made the list in 2017-18. We are proud to report that seven of those are Rocketship schools. For the second year in a row, Rocketship had the most schools of any charter network or school district featured on the list.
Our schools make up seven of the 27 public elementary schools in the Bay Area recognized as closing the gap for low-income Latino students in math including:
- Rocketship Discovery Prep
- Rocketship Fuerza Community Prep
- Rocketship Mateo Sheedy Elementary
- Rocketship Mosaic Elementary
- Rocketship Rising Stars
- Rocketship Si Se Puede Academy
- Rocketship Spark Academy
Rocketship Fuerza Community Prep is one of only 10 schools closing the gap for low-income Latino students in English Language Arts.
Rocketship Mateo Sheedy is the only public school in the entire Bay Area to make three lists – qualifying as a Top Public School in math for low-income Latino students and in both English and math for low-income African American students. Mateo Sheedy is also one of only two schools named Top in the Bay Area this year for low-income African American students in either subject.
Furthermore, there are only eight elementary schools in San Jose recognized by Innovate – and seven of eight recognized schools are Rocketship schools!
Rocketship is raising the bar for schools serving low-income Latino and African American students across the Bay Area. This report looks at how schools in the Bay Area perform on the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) with low-income African American and Latino students. Though many of the best public schools in the state and country are found in the Bay Area, very few schools give the same opportunities to succeed and qualify for college to low-income students of color. According to Innovate, “In the Bay Area, the odds are low that low-income Latino and African American students get to attend a school that truly unlocks their potential. Only six of 20 low-income Black or Latino students are graduating eligible to attend a public university in California.”
Schools achieving gap-closing results are categorized as those where low-income students match or better the proficiency rates of the California state average in math and/or English Language Arts, while maintaining low suspension rates. Out of 1,278 schools in the Bay Area, 702 serve a significant low-income Latino population and 237 serve a significant African American population. Only 51 schools from those groups made the list of gap-closing schools – and 7 were Rocketship schools, with Rocketship Mateo Sheedy being one of two out of 237 named for excellence in low-income African American education.
Rocketship Discovery Prep has made the Top Schools Report three years in a row. With almost seven of 10 students classified as low-income and Latino, plus a steady increase in learning for these students over the past three years, how do they do it? “By focusing on a culture of joyful learning, high expectations, and a deep sense of belonging for all students, parents, and staff, the school has pushed students to higher levels of rigor,” says Chaka Hajji, Rocketship Discovery Prep Principal. “We’re building an authentically happy community and experience for kids. This is a school where we celebrate and we have fun, but we also push. We’ve cut down on how much we’re doing: We’ve gone for depth over breadth. We’re placing the emphasis on whether or not kids are doing the thinking– not whether or not they complete a packet or a worksheet.”
Congratulations to all the Rocketship students, families, teachers, school leaders, and supporters who made these accomplishments possible! This report underscores what we see every day on our Rocketship campuses: that our collective of parents, teachers, leaders, supporters and students are catalyzing a movement to transform the future for underserved communities across our country.
Published on April 30, 2019