Rocketship Ranks in the Top 10%, Again
by Preston Smith, Co-Founder and CEO, Rocketship Public Schools
I am proud to report that our Rocketeers in the Bay Area outpaced students in every community we serve and across the state on the 2016-17 California state assessment!
In math, 54% of our Rocketeers met or exceeded state standards compared to just 40% across the state and 38% across the districts we serve. The state average improved just one percentage point while Rocketship moved up three points. In ELA, 44% of our Rocketeers met or exceeded state standards – which puts our network on par with the state average. The state did not improve upon last year’s average in ELA while Rocketship moved up three points.
Nearly 9 out of 10 Rocketeers in the Bay Area are classified as low-income. These are the students that underperforming public schools have let fall behind for far too long. To track our progress toward eliminating the achievement gap, we pay close attention to how our low-income students perform compared to similar students across the state and local districts.
Rocketship is once again in the top 10% of all California elementary school districts and charter schools in both math and English Language Arts (ELA) performance among low-income students.
In ELA, 42% of Rocketeers classified as low-income met or exceeded state standards – ten points ahead of the state average of 32%.
In math, 52% of Rocketeers classified as low-income met or exceeded California state standards – nearly double the state average of 27%. Notably, our low-income Rocketeers beat the California state average for all students by 12 points! This is what it looks like to eliminate the achievement gap!
Standardized test results are just one measure of achievement and can’t fully capture all the components of academic success. Yet state tests provide an objective and comparative view of the quality of our schools. They shine a light on the persistent achievement gap in our communities and help us hold schools accountable to serving all students with the excellence that every student deserves.
We have more work ahead to get every single Rocketeer on a college bound path, but we are proud of the progress our Rocketeers are making. Year-after-year, our low-income Rocketeers outperform the state average for all students in math. In ELA, our low-income Rocketeers are now just 3 points behind the state average for all students – cutting that gap in half.
Of course, we’re not aiming for average. Our Rocketeers deserve an excellent education and we won’t settle for anything less.
Preston co-founded Rocketship Public Schools in San Jose in 2006. Prior to founding Rocketship, Preston was founder and Principal of LUCHA Elementary School, part of the Alum Rock Unified School District in San Jose, CA. After its first three years of operation, LUCHA was the fourth highest performing low-income elementary school in California. Preston began his career in education as a Teaching for America (TFA) Corps member at Clyde Arbuckle Elementary School (CA). In 2003, Preston was named “Teacher of the Year” at Arbuckle and was nominated as one of six finalists for TFA’s Sue Lehmann award, given to TFA corps members with the highest academic classroom gains in the nation. Preston is also an Aspen New Schools Fellow. He lives in San Jose with his wife and two children who attend Rocketship Fuerza Community Prep.
Published on October 6, 2017