Broken Promise: District Collobration

Rocketship Broken Promises
In the late night of Dec 14th, 2011, the Santa Clara County Office of Education approved 20 Rocketship county charters. Rocketship bypassed the local district, going straight to the county for approval, short circuiting the local community’s ability to hold Rocketship accountable.

During that meeting, Rocketship made a number of promises, which they have subsequently broken. This is the second in a series of 3 posts outlining Rocketship’s broken promises.

Pam Parker, then president of the Santa Clara County School Board Association represented the regional local school board’s concerns that Rockethip had bypassed local control by going straight to the SCCOE for approval of the 20 Rocketships, instead of first petitioning local boards (her comments are in the video below).

The board then questioned Rocketship on their attempts to work with local school boards. In response to that questioning, Rocketship agreed to relinquish one of the 20 charters if a local school board approved a Rocketship.

San Jose Unified School District approved a local district Rocketship charter in an unanimous vote on Nov 17, 2011.

On October 19th, 2013 the Santa Clara County Office of Education held a charter school workshop. San Jose Unified’s Chief Business Officer, Stephen McMahon, stated that Rocketship had subsequently relinquished San Jose Unified’s charter, and in fact, had refused to even meet with San Jose Unified officials.

Rocketship agreed to work with local districts, and relinquish county wide charters if a local district was willing to collaborate with them. Instead, Rocketship refused to work with the districts, and relinquished the local charter instead of the county wide charter. Local authority and oversight was lost in the process.

Rocketship should relinquish 4 charters based on their performance contract, and another charter based on their promise to work with local districts. Total Relinquish Count: 5

Preston Smith promises to relinquish a county charter if a local school board were willing to approve a Rocketship charter, a promise which Rocketship has broken.