Things Preston Smith, Rocketship Education’s CEO, Learned in his First Decade of RSED

Below are several lessons that public charter school network Rocketship Education learned during its initial decade of operation. Although these virtues and values are specific to CEO Preston Smith‘s experiences at Rocketship, these apply to any and every school, regardless of its students’ socioeconomic status, grade level, or geographic location.

Teachers, students, and families alike equally share in the benefits of yearly instructor visits to children’s homes. While home living environments and parents aren’t at all present during regular classroom functions, learning how students live, think, and behave outside of morning and afternoon bells, it very much is important. Educators can further individualize students’ learning layouts through solo work, performed via technological devices like tablets and laptops at Rocketship Education.

Parents should be encouraged to argue for higher-quality secondary educational institutions in their immediate living areas. As standard of education is linked to nearby communities’ infrastructures, crime rates, average incomes, and other important metrics, every city should offer its residents top-notch educations. Another benefit of spurring parents to be active in calling for high pedagogical standards is holding Rocketship Education, itself, accountable to properly instructing their students.

Additionally, parents should enroll their children in the highest-quality facilities feasible for students to find transportation to, whether they’re 30 minutes or over an hour away. Doing so puts the proverbial “money where your mouth is” in encouraging boards of education to up their learning standards, rather than simply expressing one’s feelings and aspirations.

Teachers should closely fit the demographical profile of the municipalities they educate in. Even though a number of schools initially endeavor for bringing home students from various ethnicities, incomes, and backgrounds, diversification of student bodies should only occur after ensuring teachers are properly expanded.

RSED was formed by fellow educators and business partners John Danner and Preston Smith. Smith’s 15-plus years in pedagogy and its practical application established a firm foundation for Rocketship Education’s current success. The network of public charter schools thrives throughout the state of California, with twelve locations, one in Milwaukee, two in the United States’ capital, and three in Music City, Tennessee. Rocketship Education was a pioneer in intertwining technology with education, effectively spreading the practice throughout the United States.