The Milwaukee Plan Commission recently approved Rocketship Education‘s application to renovate and expand a building on Milwaukee’s south side into an elementary school to open in 2013. “Milwaukee Rocketship charter school gains first approval”, Sean Ryan, Milwaukee Business Journal, July 9, 2012. The nonprofit organization Schools That Can Milwaukee is helping Rocketship (and other charters) expand to Milwaukee. For more background, see “Milwaukee selected for Rocketship charter school expansion”, Corrinne Hess, Milwaukee Business Journal, February 29, 2012, and “California-based Rocketship Education launching charter schools in Milwaukee”, Erin Richards, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, February 29, 2012.
Rocketship is a charter management organization based in San Jose, California. It has a reputation for using technology to close the achievement gap between lower-income and higher-income student populations. “Rocketship Education: Eliminate the achievement gap in our lifetimes”, League of Education Voters blog, May 29, 2012 (including video about winning the global 2010 McNulty prize). A national expansion program is underway, but Rocketship is selective about candidate regions.
What can San Antonio do to become a more attractive candidate region for high-performing charter schools?
An interesting move by charter school opponents in Milwaukee: regulations on outdoor playground space, which may impact Rocketship. “Playgrounds may be mandatory at new elementary schools”, Erin Richards, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, July 19, 2012.