Preston Smith founded Rocketship Education in the year 2006. Rocketship is a charitable organization of public chartered schools. Later in the following year, Rocketship opened their first school which performed very well on California state assessment. This outstanding performance led to the opening of more of its branches in various parts with parents requesting for the opening of a branch in some of the regions. In 2013 Smith became its CEO after the previous one had left. Rocketship then expanded to different places like Nashville, Redwood City, and Washington D.C.
Rocketship Education is an excellent alternative for students from families with low incomes as well as people who want to learn the English language. Since its establishment, twenty-five new public charter schools have been opened. Rocketship Education has been able to achieve its success not on its own but through the efforts of parents, educators and the community at large. Majority of the students in rocketship schools come from communities that are highly stricken by poverty. These children according to research have problems managing their emotions responding to provocations among other challenges due to the high stress they are exposed to from a very tender age. Rocketship Education has structured its curricula to give attention to such aspects of these children’s lives. In a week social-emotional lessons are taught thrice in the morning community meetings. The curricula are well organized and divided to fit students from the upper grades as well as the ones from the lower classes.
Recruitment of teachers at Rocketship Education schools is not a reserve for the school administration. Parents get involved right from the beginning. The parents together with teachers select the teachers they want hired to teach their kids even before classes begin. Parents from each campus are divided into groups and trained so that they can form part of the interviewing panel. In other cases, the finalists meet with parents in community meetings where they get to know them and give their opinions. All rocketship Education schools share four core values: respect, empathy, responsibility, and persistence. The teachers, leaders and support staff also share in one common attribute: gratitude.