Rocketship growth plans go full throttle towards Franklin-McKinley

Rocketship hopes to gain approval for a 5th school that is in or very nearby downtown San Jose Franklin McKinley school district.  A vote is scheduled for April 14th

Rocketship FrMc Map3
Map of Franklin McKinley school district elementary schools and nearby Rocketship school locations.

Rocketship’s growth plans are again on full throttle.  Rocketship’s billionaire patron & former California State School Board president, Reed Hastings, just kick-started Rocketship’s $17 million dollar expansion plan with a $2 million donation.  That comes after Mr. Hastings put $1.5 million dollars into the California Charter School Association Political Action Committee in hopes of achieving his stated goal to “get rid of school boards” by 2045.

Rocketship’s Bay Area growth target appears to be Franklin McKinley school district.  The district board will vote on a new petition on April 14th, 2015.  Franklin McKinley already has two Rocketship schools fully inside the district (Rocketship Mosiac and Rocketship Spark Academy), and two more Rocketships that border the district (Rocketship Alma and Los Suenos). Petition analysis

Kindergarteners spend 80-90 minutes a day in front a screen

Rocketship’s charter petition includes a daily schedule that puts kindergarteners in front of a computer screen for up to 80-90 minutes.  The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests no more than 1 to 2 hours of screen time per day; suggesting instead that children receive more creative free time.  It should also be noted that minority children are already exposed to excessive screen time in their homes (see study).

From Rocketship’s petition, Appendix A V, page 51

Kindergarten Student Teacher Ratio — 37 to 1.

Rocketship’s petition includes a student to teacher ratio of 37:1 for grades K-3, slightly lower than current Rocketship’s 41:1 student to teacher ratio.  Note that kindergarten students would have a student to teacher ratio of 37:1 while 5th graders would have a student to teacher ratio of 20:1.  See Appendix BO, tables A & I.

Number of students
Number of Teachers
Student to Teacher Ratio

Rocketship still requires parent volunteer hours?

Earlier this year, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson ruled that charters cannot require volunteer hours after a report by Public Advocates found that a third of charters illegally required forced work hours (including Rocketship).  Rocketship’s petition quizzically requires parents to sign that they will commit volunteer 30 hours per month, then later says that it’s not really required.  The translation and verbiage to be presented to low income Spanish speaking parents was not included.

Rocketship Parent Agreement
From Rocketship’s petition, Appendix A V, page 92

The full petition packet, downloaded from Franklin-McKinley’s website is archived below.


  • Rocketship Principals have minimal knowledge running school, they are ignorant and do not address serious bullying concerns and they brush families off rudely at Si Se Puede. It’s unfortunate. The Principal’s last words to me before transferring my child out of charter school 6/2014 were, “I DON’T CARE WHAT BULLIES DO INSIDE OR OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM” all I care is about there numbers there was a teacher present in the meeting and she was shocked and sad to hear those words. I found out that teacher is no longer there — she quit. I would’ve gotten my child out of this charter school sooner, my child was in the worst environment any child can be put through — a hostile unsafe environment from the same bullies constantly and staff retaliating against my child. I talked to a few parents recently and found out children attending Si Se Puede mentioned sadly bullies continue to do as they please at this school. That’s unfortunate nothing is being done protect safety of the children at this school and no parent will speak up in fear of retaliation.

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