Preston Smith is the founder of Rocketship Education, an American network of eighteen public charter schools in impoverished areas. Rocketship was founded in 2006 in Redwood City, California, located on the border of the Golden State’s Bay Area, a region known for innumerable startups whose competitive advantage is innovation, manifesting itself in every way imaginable – and then some. In its first eleven academic years of functioning, Mr. Smith noticed innumerable things – not to mention countless others – that stood out among others. Let’s delve deeper into three important tidbits of info he picked up.

  1. “Public” schools are powerful schools

It’s true that most public schools aren’t of high caliber, due to low funding and not being able to hire top-notch teachers. However, it’s important for students, parents, and everybody else involved with Rocketship Education and every other public school to be proud of the “public” name.

  1. Teachers must be plastic

Not like Barbie Dolls, silly! Rocketship strives to hire teachers that accept criticism well and don’t take feedback to heart. To meet this goal, Rocketship pays its teachers significantly more than other schools. Further, in interviews, candidates are informed about this requirement, and not considered for hire if they’re not 100% OK with it.

  1. Parents screen candidates, not exclusively administrators

Parents know what their children look for in instructors. As such, Rocketship trains several parents every year to interview incoming candidates. Plus, these interviews are very rigorous, and some candidates have even walked out mid-interview because they felt they couldn’t stand up to Rocketship’s extremely difficult requirements.

Rocketship Education was founded by longtime chief executive officer Preston Smith and former employee John Danner, the latter having branched off to form his own educational institution several years ago. There are eighteen schools across America, of which twelve are located in Smith’s state of residence and Rocketship’s place of birth, the Golden State; three in the District of Columbia; one in Milwaukee; and two in the Southeast’s Music City. The public charter school system is able to accept investments from individuals not related to the government or boards of education, allowing it to operate freely of local boards of education, boosting it’s effectiveness – this layout is to credit for Rocketship’s top-notch standardized test scores, year, after year, after year.