SRI examined middle school outcomes of Rocketship alumni and their peers who attended non-Rocketship elementary schools.
Rocketship Education is a national nonprofit network of public elementary charter schools serving low-income communities with limited access to excellent schools. Founded in 2006, Rocketship Education is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation whose mission is to eliminate the achievement gap by building a scalable and sustainable school model that propels student achievement in underserved communities across the country. Rocketship’s instructional model is a teacher-led, technology supported approach to personalized learning. As K–5 educators, they aim to provide students with a strong academic foundation during elementary school so that students can be successful learners during every stage of their education. To evaluate their performance against this goal, Rocketship Education contracted with SRI International in 2014 to conduct a rigorous independent evaluation of Rocketship alumni’s middle school readiness and academic success compared with peers who did not attend a Rocketship elementary school.
With the ultimate goal of providing Rocketship Education with data to inform future planning and make adjustments as needed, the key evaluation objectives addressed in this report are:
- Understand how the middle school performance of Rocketship alumni compares with that of non-Rocketship peers who enter middle school with similar demographic characteristics.
- Understand how Rocketship alumni transition to and perform in middle school, initially and throughout.
- Identify differences in socio-emotional attitudes and mindsets (e.g., self-efficacy, motivation, and grit), academic behaviors (e.g., studying, completing homework, and paying attention in class), academic aspirations, and school satisfaction levels between Rocketship alumni and their middle school peers.