The very first Rocketship Education school was opened a decade ago. It was located in a San Jose, California church where children from around the area were taught in a new way. The Chief Executive Officer of the company, Preston Smith, has said that in the intervening years they have learned a number of lessons about running a charter school.
One of the things that Rocketship Education is known for is personalized learning. One of the ways they accomplish this teaching style is by visiting each student’s home once a year. They have found that by having a teacher at the student’s home rather than having a parent come to the classroom makes for a stronger relationship. In this way each student can be taught in the way that works best for them.
Another lesson he says they have learned is to honor and respect the power held by parents. They help parents develop their ability to hold political leaders responsible for their actions and have better, more accountable public schools. Rocketship Education teaches children up through 5th grade only so they want the public school systems to provide a high-quality experience beyond that grade. Not only for the benefit of children that had attended Rocketship Education but for all children.
Supporting Rocketship’s cause, former tennis champion Andre Agassi was on hand to open their school in the Woodland Terrace area of Washington D.C. He was honored to cut the ceremonial ribbon that launched the opening of the Rocketship Rise Academy located there. He said that public education is floundering in the United States and that charter schools offer a better path. This is especially true in areas that are low income as the schools don’t have the tax base to operate in a way that provides a nurturing and highly educational environment.
One of the main issues in San Jose that Rocketship Education addresses is the ever-widening gap between the rich and poor. In San Jose the rich and poor have segregated and the middle-class has increasingly disappeared. The poor areas have poor public schools which is why Rocketship Education is increasingly important in educating children that are from low-income households.