Preston Smith is confident that the future of San Jose can be changed through providing students with K-5 personalized learning. The educator, who is the founder of Rocketship Education, notes that the public education sector in the region has continued to deteriorate. This situation has dimmed the future of many children in San Jose. However, Smith is confident that the creation of more schools using Rocketship’s model can help in improving the learning environment. In his recent article with The 47 Million, he discussed the lessons that he had learnt from managing Rocketship Education for ten years.
First, personalized learning should begin at home. Parents should take time to learn about the needs and interests of their children. This strategy will enable guardians to provide their children with resources that build their weak points and enhance their interest. Moreover, integration of technology to support personalized learning is crucial part of the learning process. In its efforts to enhance personalized learning, Rocketship Education visits the homes of every student each year. This strategy provides teachers with the opportunity to educate parents on their children’s interests and needs.
Creating demand for personalized learning will help in changing the education structure to K-5 system. Since Rocketship Education is an elementary school, students are required to return to the traditional public schools after the fifth grade. Smith is pleased that parents and investors are putting more efforts towards ensuring that children do not repeat classes. Karen Martinez has opened high-quality middle and high schools based on the Rocketship Education’s model.
Teachers are the key to creating culturally responsive schools. At Rocketship Education, all students are welcomed. There is no filter based on class, creed, race or ethnicity. Although the school believes in diversity, it does not see the need for children from African American background to leave their families in order to attend a great school. In addition, the school believes that teacher diversity is good for the students.
About Rocketship Education
Rocketship Education is a network of schools offering K-5 personalized learning to students from low-income communities in California, Wisconsin, Tennessee and Washington D.C. Preston Smith founded the school ten years ago at the basement of a local church in San Jose. It has since grown to become of the largest school networks in the country. Rocketship Education seeks to provide students from poor families with an opportunity to break the poverty circle.