Three Things Rocketship Education CEO Preston Smith Learned in Ten Years

Public education is a necessary part of modern, developed societies. Another feature of most societies is income inequality, in which people holding the highest net worths make up a disproportionately large stake in the world’s total currency and asset supply, with everybody else bearing the brunt of the load. Further, low-income neighborhoods, cities, and regions have, on average, far lower qualities of education than their wealthier counterparts.

Fortunately for these low-income areas, Preston Smith founded Rocketship Education, a network of public charter schools found throughout the United States. There are currently 18 locations across America: 12 in its home state of California, 3 in Tennessee, 2 in the nation’s capital, and 1 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Its charter status allows it to receive funding from private sources and from government agencies in tandem, without having to adhere to the often-unfair rules of local school boards.

Throughout Preston Smith’s first ten years of funding, working for, and overseeing the operations of Rocketship Education, he picked up on a number of things every educator should be privy to – here are a few of them.

Rocketship Education is known across the nation as a pioneer in personalized education, in which technological devices and software allow students to work on their own for a certain portion of each school day. While the bulk of Rocketship students’ time at school is spent listening and contributing to lectures, tech-assisted personalized learning is integral to its success as a school. President Preston Smith feels it’s important for teachers to visit the home of children at least once per school year, affording them the perception of what it’s like to be each of their students, effectively bumping up the efficacy of personalized instruction efforts.

Parents are asked to be integral functions of interviews for new teachers. Students tell parents things at home they wouldn’t dare tell anybody else. As such, parents – as long as they’re given proper instruction beforehand – help screen out bad applicants with ease.

Another important aspect of success as a public school is for its constituents and associates to be proud of their involvement with public schools.