Rocketship Education is a Victim of Journalistic Malpractices

Rocketship charter schools was highlighted in bad light by NPR and consequently, many people have come up to criticize the coverage terming it unbalanced and far-fetched. As much as part of the piece is in breadth and balance, Rocketship Education supporters came out to say that the piece may not have painted a fair as well as complete picture of the network.

The piece was written by Anya Kamenetz highlighting the problematic practices at Rocketship charter schools. However, supporters of the network believes that it was unfair for the head blogger to compare the network to neighborhood schools. The report highlighted the high pressure, long hours, tight discipline as well as ritualistic classroom protocols and stated that the protocols are in line with the protocols in other charter school networks. Read the whole article here

On the other hand, Anya Kamenetz defended the piece saying that it fairly expressed the feeling of both a happy parent and a happy ex parent. The piece, however, fell short of explanations as to why the Rocketship Education ‘s schools are popular and loved by many people. It highlighted challenges that are not unique to the network of charter schools.

The piece also referred Rocketship Education to as a company sparking conversations along the lines of being privatization-oriented or commercial. The defenders of the piece downplayed the concerns that rose from the term “company” saying that even non-profit companies depend on for profit companies for materials and services. Anya Kamenetz said that the word was used as a good writing style to avoid mentioning the name of the network numerous times in the piece. The explanation has been found unsatisfactory because Kamenetz could have referred Rocketship Education as a non-profit or organization. The piece came out as a take-down rather than a straight journalism.

It has been an argued that the piece might have been designed to spark controversy. There was a number of journalistic questions raised from the piece that should be addressed. NPR has remained firm on its stand that the piece was up to standard and it has been unwilling to do anything to engage or reflect on its practices. See more on this article.

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