The not-for-profit charter school, Rocketship Education has been at the heart of this educational sector since it was launched in 2006 by Preston Smith and John Danner. The charter school program began in San Jose, California and has gone on to sweep across the nation as the fight for a better education system continues to attract new entrants. A recent article for NPR has offended many parents, educators, and staff members of Rocketship Education as its reporting has been called unbalanced and unfair.
One of the major issues seen by members of the Rocketship Education community with the NPR article was the use of the word company to refer to the charter school system. Rocketship Education is a non-profit providing the highest level of learning possible for its elementary school level students and their families. By referring to the charter school system as a company, CEO Preston Smith believes the wrong message is being sent to the potential students of the not-for-profit and their families. Preston Smith was quick to dismiss the response of writer Anya Kamenetz to his complaint about the use of the word company, which he found unhelpful and unfair. Other options were open to the writer when describing Rocketship Education, including organization.
Many of the problems seen by Preston Smith focus on the balance of the piece written for NPR, which he and many other commentators do not believe was fair. The writer of the piece responded to criticism by stating the piece included the views of a happy parent and one unhappy family member of a student. Anecdotal evidence was taken as a matter of fact within the article without Rocketship Education being given the chance to respond with its facts about the piece. Providing context would have been a helpful aspect of the article which backs up neither the problems identified by the writer or the success of the charter school. Despite the problems, Preston Smith believes the article provides an excellent starting point for an in-depth discussion into how children are educated in the U.S.