In today’s classroom, it is a common practice for tutors to assess the learning of students by administering some assessments in the course of any given year. The information obtained is used to inform the educators how a student has grown academically in respect to the skills or subject matter from time to time. However, this information obtained doesn’t tell the educators how a student has developed academically relative to other students. In reality, it becomes difficult to know if the growth of a student is a big leap forward or slightly minimal.

According to James Robinson, the founding Principal of Rocketship United Academy in South Nashville, many schools throughout Tennessee learned the level of academic progress the students made recently. That means once the next results get released, the focus on the elementary schools in Tennessee will be entirely on the student proficiency. However, most public schools in Nashville are currently using another form of assessment called MAP (the NWEA Measures of Academic Progress) to track the progress of their students. This kind of evaluation tells you the level of individual student growth in a school year.

Mr. Robinson states that the proficiency scores are significant, but they only tell you the grade level of a student at a particular point in time. However, the growth scores, also known as value-added scores, tell you how much your student is learning during a specific period, in spite of where their starting point.

Rocketship Education is a group of public elementary schools which serve low-income students in areas with limited access to good schools. Using a combination of traditional instruction, targeted tutoring, and adaptive technology, Rocketship endeavors to meet the special needs of every student. Rocketship Education believes that remarkably transformative learning institutions go beyond educating students; they also engage parents, empower teachers and inspire communities.

The bold mission of Rocketship is to remove the achievement gap through continuous innovation. Rocketship Education is rapidly expanding opening 1 to 3 new schools every year. It is expanding to Nashville, Indianapolis, New Orleans, Washington, and Memphis. The institution expects to serve more than 250,000 low-income students.