Rocketship Education Convenes First-Ever 'Charters 2.0' Conference

Jun 22, 2010, 15:29 ET from Rocketship Education

SAN JOSE, Calif., June 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Rocketship Education (, a leading network of high-performing urban college preparatory elementary charter schools, today announced it has convened leaders in the charter school movement to address "Charters 2.0" – the next generation of growth for charter schools.

"The last 10 years – 'Charters 1.0' – has been about proving that we can close the achievement gap.  The next ten years – 'Charters 2.0' – will be about maintaining that super high quality, while scaling to thousands of schools across the nation," said John Danner, Rocketship co-founder and CEO.

The focus of the conference, the first of its kind, is to provide a pragmatic, grounds-up, interactive venue to anticipate and evaluate the challenges and opportunities for charter schools to maintain quality while growing rapidly.  Through case studies, small-group assignments and structured feedback sessions, attendees will explore: how to incorporate technology into the curriculum, how to hire and retain top-quality teachers, how to engage parents to become involved in schools and education issues in their communities, and how to anticipate school growth into new communities.   The sessions are bookended by keynotes from Reed Hastings, Netflix CEO and education philanthropist, and Don Shalvey of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, education entrepreneur and co-founder of Aspire Public Schools, a thriving charter school network.

"Rocketship has 'cracked the code' in overcoming the two toughest barriers to progress in education today – money and teaching talent.  They are poised to transform public education by creating high-quality schools at unprecedented scale.  This conference is an outstanding opportunity for charter school leaders to share best practices to benefit the entire movement," said Reed Hastings, Netflix CEO.

"In my 40 years of experience, I've never been more optimistic about the future of public education," said Don Shalvey, Deputy Director for US Programs at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.  "Charter schools have demonstrated that we can close the achievement gap and accelerate innovation.  We are in an excellent position to scale rapidly, while maintaining high performance."

To further the "Charters 2.0" national dialog regarding scale, next month Rocketship intends to host a blog,  The blog will serve as a focal point to disseminate best practices and commentary regarding rapidly-growing, successful and sustainable charter school networks.

About Rocketship Education

Founded in 2006, Rocketship Education ( is building a national network of outstanding urban college preparatory elementary charter schools, based on a revolutionary education model – the hybrid school platform – that combines traditional classroom teaching with targeted online learning in a computer lab.  The Rocketship hybrid school model allows for much more effective individualized instruction and a cost savings of $500K per school per year, which then gets reinvested in quality and scale.  By pioneering the hybrid school model, galvanizing parents to transform the political system, and developing exceptional classroom and school leaders, Rocketship has proven it can drive world-class student achievement. For example, after its second year of operation, Rocketship Mateo Sheedy Elementary School (RMS) ranked #5 overall in its school district, and #3 in low-income elementary schools across the entire state of California.  In 2009, Rocketship received a $5M grant from Reed Hastings and the Charter School Growth Fund, and has already established its role as a prominent thought leader in the charter school movement.  

SOURCE Rocketship Education