Preston Smith, the current chief executive and 2007 co-founder of Rocketship Education, published an article less than a month ago, in mid-August of 2017. He revealed ten things that he learned from his foundation, working for, and more recent operation of Rocketship Education as its CEO. Here are six of the items he detailed regarding the ten total lessons he learned throughout the first ten years of the pioneer in personalized, technologically-assisted learning.
- For top-notch personalized learning, teachers should make annual home visits
No matter the manner in which students act in the classroom, it’s impossible to determine what type of home they live in. Some rotten kids live in large homes with the most money, and the sweetest kids might live in the tiniest homes whose parents have no educational attainment or steady source of income, although these sentiments seem backwards. Either way, regardless of a child’s behavior, Rocketship Education mandates yearly visits to student’s home to most closely personalize their learning layouts.
- Parents help in interviews
Unlike most other schools, parents make up a large part of interviewing panels. Parents are often strict in interviews, helping weed out bad selections.
- Parents also help by sending feedback regularly
As students tell parents things nobody else hears, soliciting feedback from them is highly beneficial.
- Parents, once again, are encouraged to found schools themselves
Because RSED only offers grades K-5, parents must find other schools for 6th grade, onwards. As low-income areas often have bad schools, parents should bring together committees in hopes of starting their own schools, just as co-founder Preston Smith did – twice.
- Special students should be treated normally
Per RSED’s “meaningful-inclusion model,” special needs students are kept in general purpose classrooms the majority of their school days.
- Always keep an eye out for changes that would best improve school-wide performance
Even though Rocketship Education has firmly established itself as a leader in public education in the United States, the system isn’t perfect. A few years ago, it was going to roll out the “flex model,” although Preston Smith decided against it because not all locations performed well with it. It’s always a good idea to constantly monitor performance and potential improvements.