Some of the Things Rocketship Education’s Founder Preston Smith Learned Since Its Creation in 2007

Charter schools are able to obtain funding from local and state governments, without having to adhere to the rules, regulations, bylines, and guidelines that boards of education lay out for their constituents. Oftentimes, especially in large metropolitan areas that have wide variances in their school locations’ characteristics, single sets of rules don’t work well, leaving some schools behind and in the dust, having to fend for themselves, while others, typically the “better,” higher-quality schools, are inherently advantaged.

Fortunately for low-income areas, Rocketship Education has 18 facilities across America that suited exclusively in places with failing educational systems, low incomes, and high crime rates. These latter two problems often root from bad education, something Rocketship Education is rapidly eliminating and replacing with top-notch learning experiences. Preston Smith co-founded Rocketship Education ten years ago in the heart of California, right on the border of the Golden State’s infamous Bay Area. Staying true to its location of incorporation, Rocketship Education has never been and currently isn’t short of innovation, displayed as true with its status as a pioneer in integrating technology in the classroom. Throughout the first ten years of Rocketship’s operation, Preston Smith has learned innumerable useful, highly valuable pieces of educational info. He shared them in a self-written article earlier this summer, below of which are only a few.

While many schools want to have diverse student bodies to impress regulatory agencies, school boards, and parents, Rocketship Education isn’t concerned with falsely appeasing its students’ parents and other interested parties. Rather, RSED’s students’ demographics are analyzed, then teachers are brought in to meet their characteristics. Even though many schools do it the other way around, it’s much better to match teachers to students, than vice versa.

School administrators should first test out any experimental plans, outlines, or changes on small samples of schools. Rocketship Education did this several years ago with its flex model, a way of teaching that flopped in two of the locations it was tested. Despite overall positive performance and teacher satisfaction, Preston Smith decided not to roll out the flex model at all its locations, citing potential problems.