That Seattle teachers strike has reached a tentative end with school set to open Thursday, but the bigger problem of the broken U.S. public school system remains.
One organization, XQ: The Super School Project, wants to help change that. And they’ve got the help from Steve Jobs’ widow, Laurene Powell Jobs, with a $50 million donation to help fund the mission. Powell Jobs will also chair XQ’s board of directors.
“The system was created for the work force we needed 100 years ago,” Powell Jobs told the New York Times. “Things are not working the way we want it to be working. We’ve seen a lot of incremental changes over the last several years, but we’re saying, ‘Start from scratch.’ ”
XQ is crowd-sourcing ideas, an “open call to reimagine and design the next American high school,” according to their site, and accepting proposals through Nov. 15. Once they’ve selected the finalists, they’ll work with them closely, offering “expert support,” and some of that $50 million in funding, with the ultimate goal of turning at least five schools over the next five years into “Super Schools.”
According to the Times, Powell Jobs has long been a proponent for education, funding College Track, which helps low-income students get into college. The XQ Project is the “highest-profile” project yet out of her Emerson Collective, her group that funds philanthropic projects.
The XQ site is filled with factoids about the American high school system (50 percent don’t offer calculus…what?!?), videos featuring kids talking about the problem and how to participate, even if it’s just following the campaign at #rethinkhighschool.
While the campaign is making several stops in major markets, like NYC, D.C., and Los Angeles, no stop for Seattle is planned as of this time. Doesn’t mean Seattle-area residents can’t send in ideas though.
Watch the initial call for submissions from XQ below: