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.