Vital Ideologies Rocketship Education’s CEO Adopted Throughout the Institution’s Initital Decade of Operations

Rocketship Education CEO and founder Preston Smith created the organization in 2007, having since learned a number of important strategies, behaviors, methodologies, and traits associated with educational success in low-income areas Rocketship serves.

New ideas for educational success don’t always have to be rolled out. Spending money towards the development of such programs, as Rocketship developed and decided not to roll out a few years ago with their flex model, without results is better than implementing them without a net benefit. Smith decided not to unveil it at all eighteen locations because of quality control issues, despite select schools performing well with the program.

Special needs students are regularly included in normal classroom activities, with most developmentally disabled students spending at least 80% of their time at school in these environments. Every Rocketship facility houses multiple special education teachers, although limited exposure in these settings encourages students to feel better about schooling.

Rocketship Education employs parents as volunteers in evaluating candidates for positions as instructors, sending feedback to administrators each week about their students’ teachers, and lobbying nearby school systems to meet high standards of education. If these standards aren’t met, parents are encouraged to enroll their students in the best possible public school – this ideology also holds Rocketship accountable, as parents are explicitly instructed to transfer their students if the school fosters subpar education.

Most people don’t have to think when answering the question, “Do low-income areas have bad schools?” Impoverished regions’ economies don’t possess enough resources to provide top-tier, or even moderate quality, educations to their students. This causes a cycle of poverty and general lack of success in students’ future careers. Preston Smith realized this need when founding Rocketship Education, today spread across eighteen low-income boroughs of metropolitan areas packed to the proverbial brim with residents. Despite instructing students hailing from poor backgrounds, the school’s overall test scores are almost always higher than their urban educational facilities’ peers, consistently among the ranks – if not exceeding that of – expensive, private schools. RSED’s status as a nonprofit charter school helps their locations obtain significant financing, propelling their students’ success year after year.

 

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