Laurene Powell Jobs Pledges $50 Million to Rethink America’s High Schools


Laurene Powell Jobs has pledged $50 million to help reimagine how high schools in the United States operate and bring them into the 21st century.

The latest philanthropic effort by Powell Jobs, the widow of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, is in an area where she has more than two decades of experience. The education initiative, called XQ: The Super School Project, describes itself as “an open call to reimagine and design the next American high school.”

Powell Jobs is looking to reimagine how high schools in America work in a way that would put every student on an equal footing. The effort is set to change a system that was created over 100 years ago.

The website for the XQ Project, which will fund public schools only, points out that at a time when technology and engineering jobs are seen as a way of driving growth in the economy, only half of all high schools in the United States offer calculus to students.

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For the past 20 years, Powell Jobs has been working to bring great high school education to disadvantaged communities. In 1997, she founded a program called College Track, which gives students from disadvantaged background a better change of getting into college and staying there.

Over the course of the next 12 months, those looking for funding will be asked to submit ideas, develop them, produce detailed reports on finance, staffing and governance; and by the fall of 2016, the XQ Super School Project will chose five to 10 projects to fund.

While Powell Jobs will serve on the board of the XQ project, running the effort day to day will be Russlynn Ali, who comes from the U.S. Department of Education where she worked as an assistant secretary for civil rights.

[via Fast Company]

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