Rocketship Education CEO, Preston Smith has recently struck back after a blogger for NPR published an unbalanced article about the charter school system. Some praise came in from social media users, but journalists and charter school supporters criticised the work of blogger Anya Kamenetz for its unbalanced view of the subject. Journalists and commentators described the article as unbalanced for lacking both critical and supportive viewpoints to back up its anecdotal evidence.
Rocketship Education was established by CEO Preston Smith and John Danner who both worked as educators in the San Jose, California public school system. Since establishing the charter school network in 2006, Smith and Danner have become innovators in the education sector. Among the main innovations of the pair is the need for teachers to spend time with their students in their home environment to gain a better understanding of the issues each student faces.
Preston Smith appears to have decided to go public with his annoyance at the view provided by the NPR article because the issues identified at Rocketship Education are the same as those experienced by educators across the country. Technology, staff, and classroom management are all issues school managers across the U.S. are struggling to solve every day.
Three main issues have been addressed by Preston Smith as he defended the Rocketship Education model following the NPR article. Technology has always been something charter schools have been the forerunners of and tech-savvy students at Rocketship Education are given a series of high-quality apps. Preston Smith believes the use of technology is a part of the education sector every educator will have to accept in the future. The second major issue addressed in the NPR article was that of culture and school rules which Rocketship Education uses to ensure each campus does not descend into chaos. School-wide restroom policies are common across the U.S. because anarchy would reign without a strict set of rules and regulations.