What Rocketship Education Taught its Founder During its First Ten Years

Rocketship Education was founded in 2007 by John Danner and Preston Smith, a technological guru and early childhood educator, respectively. Often shortened to RSED, the duo’s creation is a network of public charter schools spread throughout the United States, from California’s Bay Area to the nation’s capital, on the east coast. Thanks to John Danner being so astute in regards to technology, he was an integral part in creating personalized education opportunities for each and every student, in which all children have access to technological devices with specialized lessons that build on precisely what they’re having trouble with.

Although Danner is no longer with Rocketship Education, Preston Smith has stayed alongside the now-successful educational institution throughout the past decade, pouring his heart and soul into the organization. Just as every involved person with a passion for the field in which he works does, Smith picked up a cornucopia of knowledge he feels every educator should be familiar with.

Teachers should be of diverse backgrounds prior to building student bodies that are more diversified than teachers. Students are statistically more likely to learn more effectively from those who share their classmates’ average racial and ethnic background. As such, even though it might cost significantly more to hire employees from backgrounds that might not necessarily be in abundance in pedagogy, the results are clear-cut for Rocketship Education, and they’re likely to be for every other educator within our great nation.

Students with any type of mental disability are often placed in special education classrooms, if not for the majority, the entirety of the time they spend at school. At RSED, children with learning and developmental disabilities are included in their regular classrooms with non-disabled peers for an average of 80% of their time at school. This helps build teachers’ ability to deal with disabled people, students’ familiarity in interacting with said classmates, and helping acclimate people with disabilities to real-world settings.

Teachers, administrators, and everybody else involved with public schools need to solicit information from as many people as possible. It’s normal for educators to not let any one person’s ideas influence their decision-making abilities, although they should always solicit opinions from as many people as possible.


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