Our Theory of Change

Eliminating the Achievement Gap Across the Country

Although we were founded in San Jose, we know the achievement gap doesn’t just impact the Bay
Area, but stretches across the nation. Every day, millions of students across the country aren’t getting the education they need. There’s absolutely no difference in the academic potential of these students compared to students in high-performing schools. There are differences, however, in their environments, their communities and their opportunities.

To overcome those differences and eliminate the achievement gap, we must continue to open high quality schools in neighborhoods where there aren’t many options for an excellent education. We plan to open clusters of schools in regions across the country, effectively serving 25,000 students by 2017 and ultimately changing the lives of millions of students. We’re actively building partnerships with communities across the country, and we want you to join us.

To do this, we're focused on a few core beliefs that will help us grow our network:

"Rocketship will be a critical partner in the work to prove what is possible for students in Tennessee.  With a track record of success and a culture that supports students and teachers, we are honored to have them as part of the Achievement School District."

Chris Barbic

Superintendent, TN Achievement School District

Community Support

Great schools start at the community level. Before we explore other factors, we look for signs that the community has recognized the need for great educational options and is willing to partner with organizations to open excellent schools


Founding Team

At the head of every great school are great leaders. We’ll work with each community to select four to six local teachers and leaders who we believe can excel in a Rocketship school. They’ll train in existing Rocketship schools and help us prepare to launch the new region.

Political Support

State and local politics can prevent high-performing charter school networks from opening in high-need communities. We partner with community organizations to assess the current political environment and create an action plan for establishing a successful charter school program.


Local Financial Support

A unique factor of the Rocketship Model is that a region of eight schools is financially sustainable on public funding alone. To support our start-up growth, we build a base of financial support from local philanthropists and organizations. This ensures financial stability as we build out our network.

Our parents are:

  • Active advocates in their local community.
  • Important partners in charter applications & renewals.
  • Leaders & participants in monthly community meetings.

Parents Transform Communities

Recognizing the Power of Parents as Leaders

Great schools and teachers can make a tremendous difference in students' lives, but nothing compares to the power of parents as leaders. We cannot have the same transformational impact on our communities as the parents who have lived in these neighborhoods for years.

Parents play a key role in our mission of closing the achievement gap within our lifetimes, advocating for high quality education and making a positive impact on their communities long after their students graduate from Rocketship.

Ongoing parental advocacy is the most powerful way to transform traditionally underserved communities into places where all kids have access to high-quality education options.

We're thrilled to see many Rocketship parents continue to engage in community organizing and local politics, working for quality schools throughout their communities. After watching their Rocketeers succeed and learning how we approach education, these parents have taken their advocacy efforts to the next level, attracting and organizing high quality middle and high school options for their communities and beyond.

"Rocketship has changed my family's future by helping us realize what we are all capable of. My daughter has become a confident student and I have found my voice as an advocate for her and all children in my community."

Karen Martinez

Rocketship Parent & Advocate
Alum Rock Union School District Board Member