At Rocketship Education, a public K-5 charter school system for low-income students, our mission is to close the achievement gap within our lifetimes, reports. The three pillars of our blended learning model are: individualized learning for our students, rich professional development for our teachers and school leaders, and parent and community engagement. Our system-wide score of 855 on the 2012 Academic Performance Index (API) made us the top-performing school system in California serving primarily low-income students. As we continue to grow in California and prepare for national expansion (our first school in Milwaukee will open in Fall 2013), I reflect on what has allowed us to be so successful up to this point. Of primary importance has been freedom from the traditional school bureaucracies and special interests that can often handicap districts in their efforts to implement meaningful reform. We are extremely fortunate to have always been able to operate in a way that is constantly and unequivocally geared towards student achievement so that no student has to be subject to the destiny of demographics…

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