Laurene Powell Jobs donates $100M to reinvent US high schools

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in General Discussion
Laurene Powell Jobs, president of the Emerson Collective charity and widow of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, this week awarded ten high schools $10 million each as part of a project to foster innovative ideas in education.




The winners of Powell Jobs' XQ: The Super School Project were announced on Wednesday after the team parsed through applications from nearly 700 schools, reports USA Today.

XQ was started last year to find "audacious, unconventional, unconstrained ideas to reinvent the American high school," with an initial plan to fund five schools. Overwhelming interest in the initiative prompted a doubling of awards to ten so-called "Super Schools," which will receive funding over the next five years.

Not bound to a single theme, the program doled out awards based on a variety of factors. Powell Jobs, who chairs the XQ board, said she hopes the ten award winners will serve as models for next-generation high schools, the report said.

Recipients include New Harmony High, which will put its money toward a floating classroom where students will be able to conduct research on coastal erosion and other global scale problems alongside experts and teachers. Another winner, Grand Rapids Public Museum High School, plans to transform a museum's 250,000 artifacts into the basis of a working curriculum.

Other Super Schools intend to put XQ funding toward virtual reality learning, tailored learning for homeless and foster-care students, high-tech integration and more. A full list of XQ Super Schools can be found on the project's webpage.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 15
    The listed ideas don't strike me as all that amazing. Some of them seem kind of still and or overkill. I hope one of them becomes a giant art and design studio with a maker space capable of fabricating whatever they can dream up. Virtual Reality learning sounds like something that isn't ready and will just be a barrier in the end. I am glad someone it trying to make things change. High School was a joke when I went and it has not evolved much since then. Good Luck Super Schools!
  • Reply 2 of 15
    One of these days I will have to figure out why I cannot edit my posts. I get to save my sloppy first drafts for posterity.
    1983macxpress
  • Reply 3 of 15
    One of the wonderful things she has done. Another great thing would be for the government and the average Joe to show deep respect for what the teachers are trying to do. The US has dropped so far down in world scholastic standards and now the US has a potential leader of the idiots. Education matters and Trump University is not the answer.
    1983argonautjahajaafrodriDeelronjony0
  • Reply 4 of 15
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    No iPads or Macs? What VR devices will be incorporated?
  • Reply 5 of 15
    One of the wonderful things she has done. Another great thing would be for the government and the average Joe to show deep respect for what the teachers are trying to do. The US has dropped so far down in world scholastic standards and now the US has a potential leader of the idiots. Education matters and Trump University is not the answer.
    Booyah!  We need reinvention in education.  
  • Reply 6 of 15
    cali said:
    No iPads or Macs? What VR devices will be incorporated?
    You need the ideas done way before the actual hardware comes into play. You can have all of the iPads you can handle, but if there's no direction on how to use them they're just expensive paperweights. This is where schools go wrong with these 1-to-1 initiatives, schools just plop the technology into the staff/students laps and say well make it work!
  • Reply 7 of 15
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,471member
    One of these days I will have to figure out why I cannot edit my posts. I get to save my sloppy first drafts for posterity.
    Are you saying you cannot edit AI posts on a Mac?
    edited September 2016
  • Reply 8 of 15
    One of these days I will have to figure out why I cannot edit my posts. I get to save my sloppy first drafts for posterity.
    Are you saying you cannot edit AI posts on a Mac?
    After 4 hrs you're locked out of editing posts. This forum software kinda sucks. Its not very good and multiple people have complained about it. :(
  • Reply 9 of 15
    dewmedewme Posts: 1,509member
    These high visibility and highly funded one-off school initiatives are rather interesting but until ALL schools in America are considered world class the general downward trend in global competitiveness and widening income inequality will continue. But as a nation more obsessed with funding and supporting Friday night football than Monday morning algebra it all comes down to the same old adage that "you get what you pay for."
    squarebacksingularity
  • Reply 10 of 15
    It's her money and she's free to throw it away any way she wants. I've never found giving money to people for nothing to be an effective use of that money. The problem with schools isn't that kids are unwilling to learn, is it? It's that what they're being taught is often philosophically tainted garbage.
  • Reply 11 of 15
    How about improving schools so that kids actually learn the basics they'll need to survive in the real world. Costal erosion studies and VR learning are great but don't matter when 50% of the students attending college can't even tell you what the Pythagorean theorem is or who is the current Secretary of State.

    It's a rich person's approach to fixing the fundamental problems in our society. Not a clue.
    edited September 2016 SpamSandwich
  • Reply 12 of 15
    Wonder how many dollars per student that works out to.
  • Reply 13 of 15
    thomprthompr Posts: 1,510member
    eightzero said:
    Wonder how many dollars per student that works out to.
    Well, the story says that the $10M will be allocated to each winning school over a period of 5 years.
    And it seems to me that the types of things that the schools invest in would be useful for students far beyond that.

    So how many students would you divide the $10 M by to arrive at a meaningful answer to your question?


  • Reply 14 of 15
    lmaclmac Posts: 145member
    If you need to dump $10 million into ten schools, then anything they come up with is not going to scale. Make teaching jobs more competitive by raising the pay. Give teachers the resources they need to do their jobs. Let's stop pretending billionaires can wave some money at a problem they don't understand and come up with anything of value.
  • Reply 15 of 15
    lmac said:
    If you need to dump $10 million into ten schools, then anything they come up with is not going to scale. Make teaching jobs more competitive by raising the pay. Give teachers the resources they need to do their jobs. Let's stop pretending billionaires can wave some money at a problem they don't understand and come up with anything of value.
    Since most people grow up to work for a company anyway, why not just go the logical route of allowing schools to be sponsored by industry groups, in the same way NASCAR is sponsored?
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