Rocketship Education’s Founder and CEO Preston Smith Learned These Things in His First Few Years

Preston Smith learned a number of valuable insights from his first ten years at Rocketship Education, a network of public charter schools in the contiguous 48. Similar to the faculty at every educational institution, when educators actively learn from practical experience, an incalculable number of benefits can be derived from basic, everyday activities.

Despite many institutions placing the diversification of student bodies at utmost importance, equally branching out the demographical characteristics of teachers, principals, and administrators should always be performed first. This is especially true for the low-income areas Rocketship Education functions in, as students generally have better attitudes towards learning when their teachers’ qualities closely resemble their students.

Parents are arguably the most dear resources schools can tap into. Students’ guardians serve three major functions at Rocketship Education: they regularly lend feedback to instructors and principals, helping their precious children obtain the highest-quality learning experiences possible; they assist in interviewing incoming teaching candidates, offering insight most administrators aren’t privy to; and holding nearby schools accountable for their standards through enrolling children in institutions offering the best education obtainable.

Children with developmental and learning disabilities should typically spend a maximum of one-fifth of their time at school in special education classrooms. Including these students in traditional classroom settings around peers with and without specialized learning needs is integral to raising confidence and willingness to learn.

While not every school has ready access to sufficient resources to do so, hiring employees with taxing educational backgrounds suggests they are pliable and plastic, able to conform to recommendations without extensive training and retraining. Rather than hiring employees and forcing them to mold to a school’s students, educators should be hand-picked and paid more than their peers in order to facilitate such plasticity.

Rocketship Education’s group of eighteen public schools are situated in four states across America: three in Tennessee, one in Wisconsin, two in America’s capital, and twelve spread across California. An integral part of the system’s success is their charter status, meaning it’s eligible to receive funding from government agencies, without having to meet their unpersonalized, broad sets of local educational standards. Rocketship Education’s students, most of whom belong to impoverished families, are regionally known for achieving consistently high test scores, proving that public schools can operate as leading educational institutions.

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