Billionaires

Fawning Over Billionaire Laurene Powell Jobs and Her XQ Competition to “Reinvent” the High School

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Politico Morning Education reports on Laurene Powell Jobs venture into redesigning the American high school:

FIRST LOOK: A GUIDE FOR STATES ON REVAMPING HIGH SCHOOL: A private philanthropic effort led by Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of Steve Jobs, has given millions of dollars to high schools across the country with the goal of rethinking the traditional notion of high school and better preparing students for success in life.

— Now that initiative, called XQ: The Super School Project, is out with a guide for state policymakers on how to do that. “To prepare for the future of work, we must set a clear agenda to prepare the future workforce — and that agenda ties directly to our high schools,” Russlynn Ali, CEO and co-founder of XQ, told Morning Education. “We need high schools that are designed intentionally for the modern world.” Check out the guide here.

— What does that look like? XQ cites examples from high schools that it has funded. For example, the Grand Rapids Public Museum School received a $10 million grant from XQ. The school, which opened this year, is housed on a floor of the Grand Rapids Public Museum. “The curriculum will focus on big issues related to sustainability, technology, and design explored through a local lens — the history, culture, economy, and ecology of the Grand Rapids region itself,” XQ’s guide for state policymakers says. “Students will take on projects that contribute to the community in tangible and positive ways. One project is designed to become the largest river-restoration initiative in the United States.”

Forgive the apparent digression, but this guide should be read in conjunction with a new book by Beth Macy called Dopesick, about the opioid addiction epidemic. More than 300,000 Americans have died in recent years, 72,000 just in 2017. More will die next year. Many of them will be high school students. A wake-up-and-smell-the-coffee book that makes the XQ competition sound like something from the 1950s.

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