March 21, 2019

Dissecting the Unbalanced Publication by Anya Kamenetz about Rocketship Education

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There was some controversy that came about on Facebook and Twitter about Rocketship Education. Coincidentally, the story has gained some support from the likes of Audrey Watters. Such individuals commended the efforts of Anya Kamenetz, the NRP Blogger who came up with the story that was geared towards exposing the institution and some of its practices.

Some of the information present in the blog that was published by Anya Kamenetz has never been reported before. The main issue is that the publication was not balanced. Most of the Rocketship Education supporters came out to criticize Anya Kamenetz suggesting that the information she presented was not fair at all. She should have also focused on the challenges that are present within the institution. To make sure that the information in the article was “in-depth,” she should have compared the school with other neighboring institutions.

Rocketship Education has grown over the years, and it currently has more than 13 branches under its leadership. The school has been acknowledged over the years for being innovative. Nevertheless, the piece by Anya Kamenetz focused on some of the unpleasant practices within the institution. Kamenetz went ahead to report that these practices are also standard in other public charter schools. The students in these institutions are subjected to high amounts of pressure, and they also study for long hours. Some of these practices have also been scrutinized since they are not as suitable for young children.

As an innovative institution, Rocketship Education also embraced a tech-heavy model that brought about some restrictions that hindered some of the expansion goals of the school. Through Twitter, Anya Kamenetz defended her publication despite the allegations that there was no balance present within the context she wrote. Kamenetz went ahead to talk about a happy parent and an ex-parent who is not pleased. Despite all these allegations, Anya Kamenetz did not write about why such institutions are so popular although she was quick to paint a bad picture of such schools.

The main question is, do other schools retest and limit bathroom breaks. Is there a considerable number of parents exiting the school when compared to other neighboring institutions? Kamenetz should have also looked into the staff turnover and compare it with other public charter schools around. Although the piece is deep, it is too narrow. The other problem is that Anya Kamenetz made Rocketship Education seem like a “company” and in reality, it is more of a non-profit organization since it is a public charter school.

See the system’s vision and mission here http://www.socialimpactexchange.org/organization/rocketship-education.

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