Preston Smith, one of the co-founders of Rocketship Education and its chief executive officer, recently commented on the lessons they have learned since establishing their first charter school ten years ago. The first school was located in a San Jose, California, church and it has since grown into a company with a network of charter schools in several California cities as well as Washington D.C. He says that his nonprofit is always a work in progress as they strive to give the best education they can to the kindergarten through fifth-grade students that attend their classes.
Rocketship Education was founded on the concept of personalized learning. They combine traditional instruction with technology in order to teach children. They also believe that learning starts at home which is why they visit each student’s home once a year. This helps them to identify the unique interests and needs that each student has in order to teach them in the best way possible.
Many parents have pushed for Rocketship Education to expand to a K-12 system. Preston Smith says they haven’t done this for a number of reasons, with the main one being it would hurt their ability to engage with parents outside of the schools. They also want the parents to push for equity in education after they leave Rocketship Education so that they advocate for all public school students to receive a better education.
Most of the students at Rocketship Education are minorities that come from low income families. Public schools don’t do a very good job of educating these types of students because they are too strapped for resources. Rocketship Education provides a high quality education to these students so that they can escape the circle of poverty.
Rocketship Education work as a nonprofit organization. They work with parents, educators, and community organizations in order to support the children’s educations. They are now a network of 25 public charter schools which help students, including those where English is a second language, get the education they deserve and are on the path to a college education.