Rocketship Education

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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Morgan Hill Charter School Clash Could be Coming to County Level

Students at Gilroy Prep, a Navigator charter school, are scoring high on the annual performance index (API).

Last week’s column was meant to highlight the struggle many of us on the Board of Education are having with approving or denying a particular charter. Should we err on the side of complying with state law or give more credence to social justice issues, relative to equity and excellence for every child. Certainly the adherence to state law is a solemn part of the oath we took when sworn into elected office.

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Charter School Wars Heat Up; Can Cooler Heads Prevail?

Some students who transferred from Communitas Charter High School to the Campbell Union High School District may still be able to receive credit for their work.

The Santa Clara County Office of Education hosted a special meeting Saturday for a charter school study workshop. Approximately, 50 community leaders, elected school board members and parents participated in a discussion on the role of charters and traditional public schools in meeting student academic needs. Even though all those who spoke appeared to have the right intentions, eliminating the achievement gap is a divisive issue.

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The Education Terror Threat is Real

If we used the old Homeland Security Advisory System to measure the domestic threat of our education results, parents, students and school officials would be seeing red.

Last month I asked: How many more years will Silicon Valley put up with broken promises made to our children, before it is too late for us to recover from the lack of political will? The clock is ticking on a very real domestic threat.

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