Rocketship

Education and the State of the Union

President Obama has an opportunity to put the spotlight on public education in his annual speech Tuesday night. (Photo courtesy of United States Government Work)

Two eagerly awaited American events take place this week: the State of the Union address and the Super Bowl. The broadcast audience for Super Bowl XLVIII on Sunday will be significantly larger than the President’s State of the Union address on Tuesday. However, there should be no doubt that the state of the National Football League—concussion issues aside—is better than our Union’s.

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Will Children Lose in Morgan Hill Charter School Battle?

County education trustee Joe Di Salvo wants to see public school districts cooperate with charter schools, such as Rocketship.

It’s sad to see some of the data on how poor and minority children perform in school in San Jose and the greater Silicon Valley, says Santa Clara County Board of Education Trustee Joseph DiSalvo. The results of longitudinal student test data have long indicated a sizeable achievement gap—a gap that threatens our region’s long-term economic viability. We can and must do better, especially in a district like Morgan Hill Unified.

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Rocketship Asks City for Help Securing a $35 Million Loan

Rocketship schools have been cropping up throughout Santa Clara County, where the company eventually plans to operate upward of 20 campuses.

A private nonprofit charter school chain wants the city to act as a conduit financer for a $35 million loan to build another campus and make improvements at a couple others. Rocketship schools, owned by San Jose-based Launchpad Development Company, will ask the City Council to approve the bond issuance when it meets Tuesday. The council also considers plans to regulate pot clubs, accept an insurance settlement for a burnt-down historic home and OK a contract with the city’s police union.

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Rocketship Might Build Tamien Campus After All

This map shows where Rocketship charter schools are located within San Jose’s Washington/Tamien neighborhood. (Image courtesy of http://www.StopRocketship.com)

Despite vocal opposition from some community members, Rocketship Education could receive approval to start building another charter school in the Washington/Tamien neighborhood. The City Council this week will consider selling the nonprofit educational company an $850,000 parcel of land to develop the new campus. Also on the council agenda is an underfunded gun buyback, a contract agreement with the electricians union and an urban village plan.

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Charter, Public Schools Can Coexist

Kids can benefit when traditional public schools and charter schools work together, Board of Education trustee Joseph DiSalvo argues.

Two events I attended this week provide some optimism about traditional public and charter schools’ ability to coexist. Stories of eliminating inequality in public education are playing out in real time all over the valley. We should stand proud of how the region is rising up to form powerful coalitions to lobby elected officials and public leaders.

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