Rocketship Education Exemplifies Changes for Nashville’s Public Schools

Rocketship Education has proven that growth does matter to the overall educational improvement of every child. Their rocketeers have repeatedly taken their students from behind their peers in learning to at or above grade level after one year. Last year, 146 rocketeers started school below grade level, but ended the year at or above grade level. Rocketship has successful teaching methods beginning with their assessment testing system.

Rocketship has used the NWEA Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) testing system for years. They prefer MAP because it regularly monitors and measures student learning. MAP has effectively monitored the growth of Rocketship’s students who averaged a jump of 1.2 years in reading and 1.35 years in math. With national date indicating that a child born into a poor family will enter school behind students in less impoverished circumstances. Most never catch up, but with the MAP assessment test, students can be monitored and tested for their learning progress.

Tennessee is realizing that MAP is a better assessment test for their students. Last year, Director Joseph of Metro Nashville’s public school system implemented the MAP assessment test for all the students. They are among the 7,400 schools that now use MAP. Like so many metropolitan areas, Metro Nashville has many underprivileged students attending their public school system. Consequently, many students start out behind and it will require an effective teaching system and an assessment test like MAP to insure that these students catch up to their counterparts before reaching high school.

Rocketship notes that 70% of their students come from disadvantaged communities. Still, a large percentage of their students reach and surpass their grade level only after a year of study. Rocketship Education is an excellent example for Tennessee. Currently, there is only one Rocketship United Academy in operation in Nashville and it only serves grades K-4. Using Rocketship Education as a guide, Nashville, Tennessee could see their elementary students greatly improve their grade levels if they continue using the MAP assessment test. By using the growth indicated by the MAP test, Nashville teachers can design an education program that helps their students continue to grow, meeting or exceeding their grade level.