Preston Smith and John Danner created Rocketship Education, a public charter school, in central California in 2007. The first Rocketship Education academic program took place in a church in San Jose, helping low-income kids get quality educations. Since that first year of operation in 2007, Rocketship Education currently boasts more than eighteen locations across the United States of America, all of which are located in places that are economically disadvantaged. Preston Smith has spend a number of years, even before Rocketship came to fruition, teaching impoverished kids. As such, he’s had a proverbial fire burning inside him to provide top-notch educations to young people that are statistically less likely to lead rewarding lives. With more than 16 years of educational experience in tow, Preston Smith was subject to several life lessons in being an administrator, and, more recently, the chief executive officer, of Rocketship Education.
According to an article Preston Smith published in May of 2017, here are a handful of things he outlined that being a leader at Rocketship Education taught him.
Invariably, some babies are born with disabilities. Some are physical, some are mental. Most are noticed immediately or in infancy, whereas a few are noticed later in childhood, particularly when kids attend school for the first time. Rocketship Education employs a meaningful-inclusion model, in which students with disabilities are placed in general purpose classes for about 80% of school days, helping them feel more confident, in turn performing better in school.
Parents should exude pride that their students are enrolled in school, public or private, either one. While it’s undoubtedly true that most private schools are better than their public counterparts, Rocketship Education is on par with most private schools in the areas each location operates. As such, parents should always be proud of their kids’ enrollment, and never spread bad sentiments about public schools.
Even though most schools try to get students from a variety of different backgrounds, Rocketship Education tries to get teachers from various backgrounds. Even further, teachers are selected from backgrounds that closely meet that of their particular classrooms, boosting educational performance.