Preston Smith founded Rocketship Education ten years ago, in 2007, alongside business partner John Danner. Danner recently left the educational system a few years ago to excel in other endeavors, although Mr. Danner was a technological genius that helped the school implement personalized learning plans into its repertoire to boost students’ learning experiences. Preston Smith has remained with Rocketship Education the whole way through, currently serving as its chief executive officer.
Coming from a long working history of educating kids in low-income regions throughout poverty-stricken areas of San Diego, Smith’s positioning of the eighteen schools he oversees in this neighborhoods helps poor families enter their students into top-tier public schools. Rocketship Education has eighteen locations, ranging from 12 in California to 3 in Tennessee, from which CEO Preston Smith has learned a number of things about the education process. Let’s peer into several pieces of knowledge he’s picked up over the last ten years.
Meaningful inclusion actually works
Many schools place students with special needs in classrooms with only disabled students, rather than general educational classrooms that house students of all abilities. Rocketship Education sends its disabled students throughout at least 80 percent their time spent at school in classrooms with the remainder of students without disabilities. This prepares teachers for better dealing with them, students for living around them, and helping young disabled people live in the “real world,” something that specialized classrooms don’t necessarily provide to students.
Parents should push for more
Parents should relocate their children to different schools if the ones they’re currently enrolled in aren’t performing up to par. Schools have no incentive to beef up how rigorous their programs are if parents don’t remove their students from enrollment and place them in competing school systems. When parents do this, public schools, including the likes of Rocketship Education, are more likely to give students unforgettable educational experiences that strengthen their lifetime prospects.
Visits to home
Another unique aspect of Rocketship Education is requiring its instructors to visit students’ homes once a year. This helps them more closely personalize education plans, causing them to learn more.