Category Archives: Educators

Preston Smith, Rocketship Education, Being a CEO, and What Lesson’s He’s Learned

Preston Smith formed Rocketship Education, a nexus of public charter schools teaching grades K-5, in 2007. With help from John Danner, a tech guru, Rocketship Education was birthed in one of the most innovative areas in the world: San Francisco’s Bay Area. Founded specifically in Redwood City, California, the group of charter schools are located in economically disadvantaged places around the United States, currently totaling 18 institutions as far west as California’s 12 facilities, east as the nation’s capital hosting 2 schools, north as Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s 2 locations, and even three in Music City – formally known as Nashville, Tennessee.

Having assumed the role of chief executive officer in early 2013, Preston Smith has learned a number of things in his ten years at Rocketship Education. Let’s dig deeper into these things, which Smith detailed in an article available to the public earlier this year, in May of 2017.

Parents should boast about their children being enrolled in public schools, particularly Rocketship Education. While not every public school’s educational standards match that of their private counterparts – in actuality, most don’t even hold a flame to private school’s rigidity – Rocketship Education is unarguably one of the top public schools in the United States. Its students often score very high on standardized tests, those that measure how well particular schools have instructed their students.

Administrators and teachers must bring in the opinions of others, whether they’ve been involved in education outside of being a student, or not. School employees, even those of Rocketship Education, don’t always think from multiple viewpoints, as doing so without assistance is incredulously difficult. As such, Rocketship Education’s CEO Preston Smith encourages his administrators, in addition to the employees overseen by these admins, to listen to all sources of information, no matter who it’s sourced from.

Teachers need to be pliable in their instructional methodologies. Teachers that are not good at adopting new methods of teaching often have short tenures at Rocketship Education. These instructors are found by offering high salaries and interviewing teachers from all walks of life. Further, teachers also visit students’ homes every year, something that only open-minded teachers are able to effectively do.