4 Things Rocketship Education’s Founder and CEO Preston Smith Learned in its First Decade

When Preston Smith, then a teacher with more than 15 years’ experience, founded Rocketship Education in 2007, he had no idea of the lessons he’d learn throughout its initial years of operation. Rocketship is a system of public charter schools targeting students residing in low-income neighborhoods with little educational opportunity. Its 18 schools are known for achieving relatively high standardized test score on a regular basis, unlike a majority of schools in impoverished areas. Smith, Rocketship’s current CEO, assimilated several key values from his ten-year tenure at the system of schools he created. Listed below are just four of the many he picked up along the way.

Students and schools at large benefit from teachers visiting students’ homes

Rocketship requires educators to make home visits to students and their families once per academic year. Forming unique learning outlays for students is more effective in doing so, as teachers pick up on key insights from their parents, things that students themselves would rarely, if ever, notice.

Assembling culturally diverse teams of faculty

Rather than bringing together culturally different groups of students, schools striving for excellence should search for and employ teachers from various backgrounds. Only afterwards should students of diverse backgrounds be recruited by schools.

Pushing schools, including Rocketship, to adhere to lofty standards

In improving schools nearest young children, parents must push for unmatched educational excellence. Albeit it’s better than nothing, speaking out against school boards, administrators, and educators simply isn’t sufficient for pushing schools to improve. Parents should sign children up for the best schools where attendance is feasible, forcing educational bodies to improve their offerings, or else lose students.

Public education should be turned to more often than private

Parents with relatively high salaries tend to enroll their kids in private schools. Although they cost thousands of dollars every year of attendance, caliber of education is typically higher than that of public schools. However, as Rocketship’s tenure throughout struggling areas throughout the United States, public schools can provide as quality eductions as any other learning institution.