There is an important correlation between the growth within a community and the test scores of the children who attend schools in the local area. James Robinson wants parents to understand what it takes to record, analyze and do something about the schools in which they enroll their children. As the founding principal if Rocketship United Academy, it is his business to know all about the relationship between institutions of education and the citizens they serve.
Specifically, his concern and focus is on schools throughout the Tennessee area. Robinson points to Davidson County especially in his warning for better standards and practices regarding student growth. While other results meet the standards of being TNReady, school at the elementary level depend on proficiency scores to determine their progress. This is something of a disservice, as other standards of assessment provide a better look at how well students in a school perform.
The NWEA Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) gives pinpoint accurate information. These measures are better than proficiency scores, because they track student scores and progress no matter where the learning starts from. It lets administration and facilitating staff know how far a student has come while receiving an education in a district. This is preferred information over just knowing how close a class of students comes to meeting or beating the national average.
Rocketship Schools have a perfect record of using the MAP tools available to them and praise Metro Nashville Public Schools for doing the same in recent years. The significance of having and using MAP really shines when there are students assessed in a system as falling behind. If they are not brought up to speed as soon as possible, their chances of never testing above average in nationally only ever increases over time.
That is where the Rocketship National Academy comes into play. It has a penchant for taking students in under privileged communities and then teaching them to learn and test at level on par with other students across the board. This academy is known for taking students who are a full grade level behind when compared to their counterparts and educating them until they test a whole grade higher. These are not just the numbers for special cases that walk through the Rocketship doors. On average, students at this academy grow leaps and bounds under proper guidance.