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’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).
StopRocketship.com 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).
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.
The full petition packet, downloaded from Franklin-McKinley’s website is archived below.
- #1 FMUSD Cover Letter.pdf
- #2 FMUSD Petition Signatures.pdf
- #3 Rocketship Franklin McKinley Petition_FINAL.pdf
- #4 FMUSD Appendix A – PART I.pdf
- #5 FMUSD Appendix A – PART II.pdf
- #6 FMUSD Appendix A – PART III.pdf
- #7 FMUSD Appendix A – PART IV.pdf
- #8 FMUSD Appendix A – PART V.pdf
- #9 FMUSD Appendix D.pdf
- #10 FMUSD Appendix F.pdf
- #11 FMUSD Appendix G.pdf
- #12 FMUSD Appendix J.pdf
- #13 FMUSD Appendix BO-1.pdf