Their handshake added an unexpected jolt to the closing session of the New Schools Venture Fund summit in San Francisco last month, and with good reason. Acting D.C. Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson and Reed Hastings, Netflix co-founder and California charter school entrepreneur, sealed a deal to bring eight Rocketship Education schools to the nation’s capital.
Or did they?
Henderson said she considered the handshake serious. But she also cautioned there was a long way to go before Rocketship, which has drawn national attention for its “hybrid” school model combining classroom and online learning, has a presence in the District.
“There are a lot of logistics to work out before we can more forward,” she said. Hastings, co-chair of Rocketship’s national strategy board and one of its several major Silicon Valley investors, was supposed to meet with Henderson in the District recently but had to cancel. She said they have a call scheduled for later this month. Hastings did not respond to a phone message last week.