Preston Smith created Rocketship Education ten years ago with the help of John Danner. The network of nonprofit, K-5 public schools is unarguably the pioneer in individualized learning. Although Rocketship Education’s instructors obviously fill the majority of their school days with traditional lectures that include every student in each classroom, at least 45 minutes each day are allocated towards games, puzzles, and other learning tools to help students learn about concepts they’re struggling with or don’t know well after listening to lectures.
Rocketship Education has provided a number of lessons to Preston Smith in its initial decade of existence, particularly in the past four years, in which Smith has been the chief executive officer. He published an article just a few weeks ago in which he detailed important things he’s picked up from being intimately involved in Rocketship’s activities. Let’s peer into several of these important lessons, largely able to be applied to any pedagogical setting.
Parents are brought for panel-style interviews every time there is an or are openings for new staff positions, whether they’re for teachers or administrators. These highly useful resources are also asked to remit surveys about their kids’ thoughts about current happenings at school, how well they’re retaining knowledge, and whether they’re getting along with other students, as well as thoughts towards their respective teachers.
Everybody who works for Rocketship Education is trained to listen to all sources of information, especially that of investors, zoning commissions, school boards, and every individual or group in between.
Every student that is enrolled in public schools should think highly of their “public” names, as should their parents, family members, friends, and others.
Even more importantly than other things mentioned herein, developmentally disabled students should spend most of their time in general classroom settings, around their non-disabled and disabled peers, all in the same mix.
This network’s students often score very high on standardized tests on the local, state, and even federal level, beating out many private schools on the way to the top. This proves that public schools, like Rocketship Education, can be worth their salt, after all