Taking Education Reform From Launch to Stable Orbit

Despite all the sturm und drang of education reform debates, despite all the noise and nonsense, the trajectory of American public education hasn’t changed a whole lot. Even the biggest, most comprehensive reforms have mostly ended up as tinkering around the edges. Richard Whitmire’s new book, On the Rocketship, takes a look at Rocketship Education’s unapologetically ambitious effort to break the deadlock. I review Whitmire’s book—and Rocketship’s prospects—in a new Talking Points Memo column:

At its core, Rocketship dares to ask “Why not?” when it come to truly audacious reforms to American public education. Whitmire’s book covers the rocky road they’ve traveled as a result. Big gambles do, in fact, deliver equally (at least) large challenges. After a series of rapid wins and school openings in the Bay Area, things became much more difficult. Their opponents have gotten increasingly organized, considerably slowing the network’s rate of growth in the area. Still, Rocketship opened a school in Milwaukee, and is opening schools in Nashville, Washington, D.C., and elsewhere in the next several years.

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[Cross-posted at Ed Central]

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Conor Williams

Conor Williams is a Senior Researcher in the Early Education Initiative at the New America Foundation. Find him on Twitter: @ConorPWilliams