Preston Smith, a relatively young educator, founded Rocketship Education back in 2006, with the school’s first year of operation in 2007. In its first ten years of operation, longtime CEO Smith has learned a number of important lessons from his experience. Let’s dig into three of the most valuable.
- Parents, guardians, and families should demand more schools
Rocketship Education is a K-5 primary school that teaches children at the most vulnerable, influenceable times of their lives. As such, Preston Smith’s Rocketship Education is arguably far more valuable to students than a, let’s say, for example, a 6th through 12th grade school. RSED has no plans of branching out into older ages and higher grades. However, this does’t mean parents should stop trying to obtain top-notch education for their children after 5th grade. Instead, they should lobby for better schools past 5th grade – this starts with Rocketship Education lobbying parents to do such.
- Parents should be inherently involved in interviews
Students at Rocketship’s public charter school system, which includes students no older than 12 or 13 years of age, at latest, should never be involved in interviewing potential teaching or administrative candidates – they’re simply too immature. However, parents themselves are asked to interview candidates in grouped, panel-style, face-to-face capacities. First, they’e instructed how to properly carry out such interviews. A few weeks afterwards, parents, alongside just one educator from Rocketship, intensely screen applications. This makes almost entirely certain that educators will fit RSED’s mold of being pliable, plastic, and never static in responding to feedback and criticism, an equally important part of the hiring process.
- Teachers, not students, should first be diversified
Every single one of RSED’s locations are tucked away in low-income, money-poor areas. Unfortunately for America at large, these locations are often packed full of minorities. As such, both teachers and students’ backgrounds and ethnicities should be diversified, with an initial emphasis placed on educators. Diverse bases of teachers will actually engage students further than without.
Rocketship Education was founded in Redwood City, California, and has eighteen facilities across America. Housed in low-income areas, RSED consistently brings abnormally high test scores to low-income students, beating out those of many private schools in the process.