The fight between the NPR brand and Rocketship Education shows no sign of abating after the non-profit charter school system started to fight back against an unbalanced article published by the public radio brand. The article has angered many who work with Rocketship Education and those who are supporters of the charter school network as a whole because of its lack of balance when discussing why the school system has been such a success. Preston Smith believes there is a lot to be grateful for in the work of the educators at the school and does not feel an unfair article should be published about them.
The Rocketship Education charter school has been one of the fastest growing of the 21st-century and has established itself in 13 locations across the U.S. The classroom issues mentioned by NPR blogger Anya Kamenetz are the same problems the majority of schools across the U.S. face on a daily basis, regardless of whether they are a charter school or in the public school system. The CEO of Rocketship Education, Preston Smith has cited the former Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. as detailing his own classroom management issues in dealing with a large group while providing excellent tutoring for individuals. The NPR blog detailed a number of apparent issues, including limitations on bathroom breaks and quiet study time. Smith explains these are common policies in the public school system and for charter schools throughout the U.S. with time management the key to an ideal learning environment.
Unlike the NPR article, Preston Smith likes to expand his area of research into any subject and soon found himself questioning the reasoning for the publication of the blog. An area of concern for Rocketship Education’s leadership team was the fact NPR has recently been fighting to distance itself from the work of many of its donors. The Gates Foundation has been a major supporter of NPR for many years and financially supports its own charter school program. A conflict of interest Rocketship Education may be seen as collateral damage within.