Preston Smith on Retaining Teachers in Low Income School Districts

In Chapter 21 of 22 in his 2014 Capture Your Flag interview, elementary charter school network CEO Preston Smith answers "What Has Your Experience Taught You About Developing and Retaining Your Best Teachers?" Smith finds teacher retention a huge challenge in his work. He notes teachers want to be surrounded by great peers, engaged in relationships with students and their families, and be rewarded for achieving student success. Smith notes keeping these elements consistent in a low income school setting, especially with elementary schools, is difficult but is one he feels can be achieved.

Preston Smith is co-founder and CEO of Rocketship Education, the highest performing low-income school system in California. After graduating the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Smith joined Teach for America. After three years teaching 1st Grade, he founded a district school in San Jose and became its principal. Smith was selected as a member of the 2010 class of Aspen Institute New Schools Fellows.