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High Test Scores At a Nationally Lauded Charter Network, But at What Cost?

In interviews over the past two months, current and former employees at Rocketship Schools emphasized the pressures on employees and students.

They recounted instances of inadequate supervision, bathroom accidents and even infections due to denial of restroom visits. And they voiced concerns about a disciplinary measure the company calls Zone Zero. Several current and former staffers said this practice, in effect, amounted to hours of enforced silence.

A handful of the employees also reported, and internal emails corroborated, a practice of having students retake standardized tests to increase scores. The current and former educators linked that practice to the company’s policy of tying 50 percent of teachers’ pay to growth in student test scores.