According to a recent article, San Jose was once the beginning of the American dream. A landmark study was conducted in 2014 by the University of California, Berkeley and Harvard University and found the children who were born in the early 1980’s to families with low incomes had an excellent chance for a prosperous future. A future on a par with countries like Canada and Denmark. Unfortunately circumstances for the lower income families in San Jose has worsened. The prices for housing has skyrocketed, middle-class jobs have almost completely disappeared and the poor and the rich have segregated. Positive changes are being made in the lower income communities in San Jose.
Rocketship Education is a network of public charter schools operating on a non-profit basis. They work with the parents, educators and organizations in the community in the creations of a public school system that places quality first. This helps children from lower income families and children just now learning the English language have the ability to attend college. These efforts have led to 25 public charter schools with high performance standards being created for the communities with lower incomes. The first school opened in 2007.
The study conducted by the Center for Research on Educational Outcomes found that both students learning the English language and students residing in poverty in San Jose showed a gain in learning math and reading. Every year these students spend in charter schools has showed a gain of over a month in their learning capabilities. Districts including the Franklin-McKinley and Alum Rock Union schools have become partners with charter schools to boost the students readiness for college and improve their achievement.
Local business leaders are giving these schools critical support. The CEO from Netflix is Reed Hastings and he is supporting local education with a fund for $100 million. The CEO of Facebook is Mark Zuckerberg who along with his wife Priscilla Chan are financially helping in technology and investments. Facebook is also donating engineers for the development of a personalized learning platform for the Rocketship Education charter schools. The movement in San Jose is gaining power and beginning the transformation to once again being a land of opportunity.