XQ Institute Launches XQ: The Super School Project—A National Challenge to Rethink the American High School and Inspire the Nation
Leaders from Multiple Sectors Unite Around Call to Rethink Our High Schools: Including Laurene Powell Jobs, Russlynn Ali, Geoffrey Canada, Yo-Yo Ma and Others
XQ: The Super School Project Embarks on a Multi-City National Tour to Invite New Ideas and Anchor Project in Student Voice
PR Newswire, Oakland, Calif. (September 16, 2015)
XQ Institute is launching XQ: The Super School Project, a challenge to reimagine and design the next American high school. Harnessing the best of American ingenuity in cities and towns across the country, XQ aims to help spark a movement to rethink the American high school—an institution that was designed to meet the needs of the Industrial Revolution and hasn’t changed in more than a century.
“Our nation is radically different than it was 100 years ago. Nearly every aspect of our daily lives—from how we communicate to how we work and play—has changed dramatically,” said Laurene Powell Jobs, Chair of the board of XQ Institute. “But our high schools have stayed frozen in time. Together, we have an opportunity to help fuel a movement for students, to inspire great high schools, and even to rethink school itself. Our passion at XQ is to help educators everywhere foster students who are curious, engaged, and creative—armed with the new literacies, knowledge, and skills needed to thrive,” she added. “To do that, we must use our collective imagination.”
From the Model T to the Tesla and the switchboard to the smart phone—everything has changed except for how we prepare our kids for the future. XQ: The Super School Project is a rallying call to America to change the outdated model that has failed to prepare our students for the demands of the global economy, and an open call to every community to rethink high school for today and tomorrow. XQ Institute will provide a fund of $50 million to support at least five selected schools over the next five years. It will also partner with them to provide expert support and guidance to turn their ideas into real Super Schools that can inspire the country.
“Our quest is to join with communities everywhere, to help fulfill the promise of our public high schools so they become once more the great equalizers they were designed to be. Communities have the solutions,” said Russlynn Ali, CEO of XQ Institute. “We are inspired by young people yearning to be prepared for a world they haven’t begun to imagine, and we want to honor their spirit by unifying around a common vision to find and celebrate the models for high schools that will truly prepare all our students for today and tomorrow.”
The core of XQ: The Super School Project is a student-obsessed, design-driven application method that will spark the best new thinking. Teams will compete and the most promising ideas will be selected to gain access to talent and funding to realize their vision. The challenge will be conducted using a rigorous web application tool that requires teams to complete three distinct phases: discovery, design, and development. Individuals interested in joining a team can create a profile within the application and be matched with a team or given an opportunity to share their voice.
To build awareness and invite the public to participate in the design process, XQ Institute also announced an initial multi-city roadshow with the WE THINK Booth, an interactive public installation. Visitors to the WE THINK Booth will experience a hands-on walk through the history of public education and have the opportunity to record and share their ideas for ways to make American public high schools work for a 21st century world. Each stop on the roadshow tour will include a town hall or roundtable conversation with students to solicit their ideas and contributions. These student ideas will be available to challenge participants.
The XQ Institute is also partnering with the Entertainment Industry Foundation’s Think It Up education initiative and Univision’s Quiero Aprender program to build excitement and engage broad audiences in the launch of The Super School Project.
XQ: The Super School Project will be traveling to:
- New York, NY – September 15 – 16, 2015 (The New York Public Library)
- Boston, MA – October 6 - 7, 2015 (MIT Media Lab)
- New Orleans, LA – October 12 - 13, 2015 (Tulane University)
- Jackson, MS – October 15 - 16, 2015 (Children’s Museum)
- Chicago, IL – October 21 - 22, 2015 (Millenium Park)
- Washington D.C. – October 28 – 29, 2015
- Los Angeles, CA – November 11 – 13, 2015
- Oakland, CA – November 17 - 19, 2015
The roadshow is an opportunity for Americans in all industries, from the arts to education to engineering, to come together and put their collective creativity to work for our students.
The application process is now open. For more information about XQ Institute and XQ: The Super School Project visit xqsuperschool.org.
About the XQ Institute: XQ Institute is an organization dedicated to rethinking school in America in order to create new learning opportunities for young people and open up the possibilities of the wider world. The Institute’s board of directors is chaired by Laurene Powell Jobs, President of Emerson Collective. The CEO is Russlynn Ali, former Assistant Secretary of Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education and Managing Director of Education on loan at Emerson Collective. For more information, visit www.xqsuperschool.org. Follow us at @XQAmerica.