The criticism of the Rocketship Education charter schools system by a blogger from NPR has started a snowball effect which sees supporters of the educational institution fight for their side of the story. Rocketship Education has seen very few issues with problems surrounding its use of various classroom management techniques, but the article stirred up a groundswell of criticism over the unbalanced and seemingly unfair attitudes of the writer towards Rocketship Education. Like the majority of charter schools, Rocketship Education has been battling a prejudiced media intent on driving forward an agenda against changing the way school is taught in the U.S.
Rocketship Education admits it has had to change its approach to certain aspects of school life since it was established in 2006 in San Jose, California. A technology-heavy initial approach has seen tech use scaled back but still playing a key role in the way students are taught. The NPR article was questioned over unfair assumptions made about how much time could be spent by a child on a tablet during school hours, which the NPR article stated to be upwards f 80 minutes in a single sitting. In his response to the article by Anya Kamenetz, Preston Smith explained his belief that technology use was integral to the development of a 21st-century school system but all programs must be approved by a certified teacher. In general, charter school teachers use large group sessions with technology to provide them with the opportunity to work one-on-one with students on a regular basis.
Perhaps the most worrying aspect of the relationship between NPR and Rocketship Education has been the lack of communication between the two organizations. Rocketship Education has been looking for answers about the standard of the reporting in the article published by NPR and has yet to receive an answer. In a worrying development, Preston Smith went so far as looking for a response from the ombudsman of the organization regarding many of his concerns but has yet to receive an answer.