Rocketship Education is a charter school that was started in California, but today serves students around the nation. Like most charter schools, Rocketship Education was created by teachers, parents, community activists, and entrepreneurs. All people who have a stake in the children of the future help to create and manage these schools to help ensure that they are successful for all student populations. It was a team effort to get up and running and is still a team effort to keep it operating. Rocketship Education has the main goal of teaching and engaging students to help them succeed and grow as people.
While all of the students that attend Rocketship Education schools are on different proficiency levels, the teachers and administration at Rocketship Education are still held responsible for closing the achievement gap. The achievement gap is the distance in proficiency in each subject for all students. All students, regardless of race, socioeconomic status, gender, or those with or without disabilities, and regardless of where they start the year at academically are responsible for ending on the same level. This is an incredibly difficult thing to do. For example, if you have a student in fourth grade that enters the year reading on a first-grade level and another student who starts the year reading on a third-grade level, by the end of the year these students should be performing very similarly.
Closing the achievement gap is a difficult task for any school but Rocketship Education has made closing the achievement gap part of their mission. To help close the gap, they have implemented teacher-led instruction, the collaboration between stakeholders, and technology to reach all of their students. They have learned from past criticisms and are using the critiques to change the way they operate their schools. They have used their past successes and failures to further the education of each student to ensure that all students are successful. By closing the achievement gap, Rocketship Education is ensuring that all of their students are set up for success both in and out of the classroom.
See Rocketship Education’s mission and vision through this link http://www.socialimpactexchange.org/organization/rocketship-education.
Preston Smith is the leader of nationwide public school chain Rocketship Education, a post he’s held since 2013, as both the President and Chief Executive Officer. However, Mr. Smith was one of two co-founders that created the business in 2007. As such, he’s been inherently involved with the operations of the educational institution throughout the majority of his working life.
Along with the help of business partner John Danner, the two created Rocketship Education, along with its personalized learning core value. Without Danner, the school likely wouldn’t be the success it is today.
Being so closely involved with the unique public charter school system that is Rocketship Education, Mr. Preston Smith is privy to loads of information that most others, including fellow educators, simply don’t have access to.
Meaningful inclusion refers to the policy that children with special needs spend about three-fourths of their time allotted at school in general classes, rather than being kept away from the rest of students, instead smothered with other special needs students in classes that don’t offer any immediate or long-term benefit.
Every single one of the eighteen locations that Rocketship Education can be found is a low-income student body needs to be matched with the teacher next hired. It doesn’t make sense to add students to classes just because they are similar to teachers. However, when filling the void that a teacher leaves upon the departure of the job, it’s important to find demographics close to that person. This only matters because there are many different races in low-income areas, and doing anything to help keep students on track is worth it in the eye of reasonableness.
Several years ago, Mr. Preston Smith had an idea for another type of teaching called the flex model. In short, it allotted four teachers to large classrooms, and was intended to help increase what kids learned. In the pilot of a handful of schools the flex model was rolled out in, it worked. However, because its results were not consistently positive throughout the school system, Smith felt he should scrap the model, including the thousands of many hours that went into creating it.