Rocketship Education and What Preston Smith has Learned from It

John Danner and Preston Smith founded Rocketship Education in 2007, a public charter school nestled away in a small San Jose church. While the nonprofit organization’s scope has widened significantly since its inception over a decade ago, its principle foundations remain the same. Throughout current President Preston Smith’s first ten years with Rocketship Education, he’s picked up on a virtually innumerable tally of tidbits of information every educator throughout the United States – the world, for that matter – should know about.

Some schools prefer to diversify the demographics of students, typically reflecting well in statistics shown to parents, administrators, and local government officials. However, the efficacy of this student-first mentality in respect to diversification is far from ideal. At Rocketship Education, administrators at each of its 18 locations aim to diversify the characteristics of its teachers prior to even thinking about altering the makeup of their respective student bodies. It might cost more money to accomplish this goal, but it’s far more effective in regards to how well students are able to be respectful towards authority and retain information.

Parents, the ones who choose to enroll their students in top-tier public schools belonging to Rocketship Education, are asked to perform a variety of functions for the facilities in which their children are attending.

As parents are more concerned about students’ welfare than anybody else, they’re trained to conduct interviews once every year in the form of broad, panel-style screenings. This allows applicants to get thoroughly screened, being certain that what they’re about to face in a position at Rocketship Education is highly demanding. This weeds out bad apples, or those simply not dedicated enough to perform such diligent tasks.

Another function that parents facilitate is bringing students’ teachers to visit their places of residence. Doing so allows them to more appropriately detail kids’ personalized education plans, something that Rocketship Education is known highly for.

RSED, the official initialism of Rocketship Education, was created in Redwood City, California. Preston Smith was an early childhood educator for several years prior to founding RSED, whereas John Danner was heavily involved in technological applications in education, yielding an ideal team for creating a top-notch school system.