The Problem Of Unfair Criticism Strikes Rocketship Education

The arrival of charter schools in the U.S. educational system has been a controversial subject for the media with public schools chronically underfunded. For the majority of those who have attended charter schools, institutions such as Rocketship Education have proven a success in providing a brighter future for thousands of students. Rocketship Education focuses on the elementary level to provide a positive start for students. The co-founder and CEO of the institution, Preston Smith believes the number of parent activists who have been striving to extend the charter school system to middle and high school levels.

Criticism in the education sector is always expected and often goes without a major response from the school in question. However, a recent NPR article prompted a personal response from Rocketship Education’s Preston Smith following the publication of a 3,800-word blog by NPR. The public broadcaster and blogger Anya Kamenetz reported on the policies of Smith’s charter school program in a negative way without the requisite balance added to the article. Nowhere in the article did Kamenetz address the reasons for Rocketship Education growing from a single class to have 13 locations across the U.S. in just over a decade.

One of the major issues for the team at Rocketship Education was that of a single disgruntled former parent providing the majority of the basis for the article. In the blog published by NPR, classroom management policies were called into question at Rocketship Education where bathroom breaks are scheduled by educators. The criticism of these classroom management policies was deemed unfair by Preston Smith because he almost every educational institution in the U.S. operates in a similar fashion. The decision to interview a single happy parent and one unhappy parent as the basis of the article has been criticized in most quarters as inappropriate when such a large amount of research is already available on the development of charter schools.

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