The controversial subject of charter schools shows little sign of leaving the media agenda in the near future. One member of the education sector who has refused to accept his nonprofit being maligned in the press is Rocketship Education CEO, Preston Smith. The CEO and former public school system educator were prompted to respond following the publication of a blog by NPR writer Anya Kamenetz many journalists stated was unbalanced in its coverage of life at a Rocketship Education campus.
Rocketship Education has a long history of achieving success in terms of building brighter links between community members and educating students to reach their maximum potential. The CEO was also a founding partner in the nonprofit organization which is based in San Jose, California where the first school opened in a Church hall. Finding inspiration for the development of Rocketship Education was easy for Preston Smith and his fellow founder, John Danner as the duo hoped to assist low-income students in some of the poorest parts of San Jose.
A major sticking point for Preston Smith and his fellow leaders at Rocketship Education was the use of language within the NPR article. Throughout the article, Rocketship Education was referred to as a company, instead of being referred to as a nonprofit or organization. Preston Smith was obviously keen for Rocketship Education not to be confused with any for-profit group entering the educational sector.
Preston Smith was not limiting his response to an unbalanced view of Rocketship Education alone but hoped to put right any assertions the entire charter school sector. The NPR blog used anecdotal evidence from a parent pleased with their Rocketship Education experience and one unhappy parent. Preston Smith stated his belief the entire charter school sector should not be judged from the word of two parents without the reasons behind the success of the sector being explored.