Rocketship Education’s Tutoring of Its President, Preston Smith, in Its Very First Decade

Education opens doors in furthering one’s career in academia, finding jobs at higher-paying entities, more rapidly moving up ranks of managerial roles, not to mention many other general lifestyle applications. While America is loaded with schools – homeschooling programs, public, private, charter, boarding – in general, not all of them offer sufficient preparatory work for succeeding in college, or life in general.

Most everybody is familiar with economic inequality, most simply explained with the wholly-colloquial statement “The rich are getting richer, and the poor are getting poorer.” One effect of the wage gap between – making up the majority of America – the lower- and middle-classes and – on the other hand, making up no more than 2% to 3% of the total population in the United States – upper-class individuals and families, includes areas at economic disadvantage having very curriculum- and resource-poor schools.

When Preston Smith graduated college and first became an early childhood educator in the city he’d spent all his life, San Jose, he saw firsthand how bad low-income, culturally-diverse schools were. Rather than doing nothing, he became principal of two schools and founded one prior to the birth of Rocketship Education in the summer months of 2007. Throughout those first ten years of operating Rocketship, Smith learned the following things about low-income pedagogical applications in public charter schools:

Charter schools are able to receive funding from governments and private investors without having to adhere to guidelines local school boards set out. Even though they’re not required to listen to school board members, community members, or anyone else, all 18 of Rocketship’s location pay close attention to what people have to say. This results in a well-rounded perception of current events in RSED’s nearby communities.

Those with disabilities are included in general classes for a whopping 80% of their time spent at school. According to Preston, this is called the meaningful-inclusion model.

Bringing in teachers that fit racial, ethnic, and demographic backgrounds of students helps them pay attention and exhibit more respect to teachers.

Lastly, in order to craft personalized learning plans with fine-haired detail, teachers make house visits to students’ homes and discuss how they live, behave, and think. Without these house calls, personalized education would be much more difficult, not to mention less effective.