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Posted: 2019-02-08 15:25:48

February 7, 2019; Providence Journal

The state of Rhode Island and XQ, a nonprofit formed and supported by mega-philanthropist Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of Apple cofounder Steve Jobs, have partnered in an effort to transform the state’s public high schools. The partnership will bring five of the state’s schools grants of $500,000 and XQ’s ongoing technical assistance. In exchange, this gives the nonprofit a chance to implement its approach to “reimagine high school education in the United States” and “transform high school so every student succeeds.”

In a statement announcing the agreement, Governor Gina Raimondo said,

Rhode Island schools are doing some truly exciting work, with a record number of students taking advantage of advanced coursework, early college, and hands-on learning opportunities. XQ chose to do its first-ever statewide partnership with Rhode Island because they see tremendous potential here, and with their support and experience, we will be able to scale up best practices so that we can make high school more challenging, engaging, and relevant than ever before.

XQ was launched in 2015 as an extension of Jobs’ Emerson Project LLC to respond to a conclusion Jobs and her team had reached about the nation’s secondary schools: High schools are seen as failing their students, as measured by standardized test scores, because they “haven’t changed significantly…while the world has. Our education system is still nested in that century-old idea while students are shepherded through similar courses, preparing them for a time long since passed.”

Led by a former member of the Obama-era Department of Education team, XQ began by issuing an open call to “rethink and redesign the American high school.”

More than 10,000 people from all 50 states answered our call with unique ideas for innovative, student-centered high schools that prepare young people for tomorrow’s world. XQ has pledged more than $130 million to create Super Schools that make those visions

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