Results for category "Individualized Learning Plans"

How Rocketship Education Was Founded and What Preston Smith has Learned Thus Far

The first installment in the now-thriving network of Rocketship Education schools was titled Rocketship Mateo Sheedy Elementary School, of which Preston Smith served as its Founding Principal beginning in July of 2007. At that same time, Smith also served an additional role – Regional Director. That first school, of which Preston stayed there for one month short of two years, exhibited higher test scores on California’s state assessment than all elementary schools in Santa Clara County and its seat of San Jose, better than all low-income schools except two in the state of California, ultimately ranking its 925 API above 99% of the entirety of public schools in California.

Preston Smith has since moved up to President of Rocketship Education, filling the role in 2012, roughly seven years after he founded the public charter school in 2007. The school system’s success is largely due to personalized learning, a relatively recent innovation that Rocketship pioneered, entailing educational software on personal-use technological devices (e.g. tablets, laptops) used by students between thirty minutes and two hours each day at school, administered outside of traditional, general classroom lectures.

As President of RSED – the official initialism of the public charter school network – Smith has spent countless hours developing educational plans. One of them was the flex model, an open classroom atmosphere with one quasi-administrator called the school leader, in addition to three “normal” teachers. Preston rolled the flex model out at a few pilot schools to test its efficacy in real-world utilization. For several reasons, it failed at all but two schools. Although those two schools could have done well with the flex model, Preston decided to keep it under wraps – actually, scrap the entire plan – because he felt it was important to treat all facilities under Rocketship’s jurisdiction with equal trust.

Parents are asked to conduct interviews on applicants whenever necessary. The unique combination of existing administrators and unpaid parents creates a dynamic that effectively weeds out worm-filled, red teachers-desk apples.

Another, more important aspect of successful public schooling is the fact that parents must be proud of being involved with public schools. RSED, for example, is better than most nearby private schools – and free, to boot!