Live From Summit 2016: XQ: Rethinking the American High School

May 11, 2016

Russlynn Ali, Managing Director of Education at Emerson Collective led a discussion on the XQ High School redesign challenge being led nationwide to rethink the high school experience. The panelists who joined her included:

  • Larry Berger, Co-founder and CEO of Amplify
  • Jennifer Golub, Executive Director of Content and Innovation at MAL\FOR GOOD
  • Anna Lee, second year student at UC Berkeley pursuing a major in Cognitive Science with an Education minor
  • Anne Mackinnon, Consultant for the National Center for Civic Innovation and XQ: The Super School Project

The panelists focused on the need to invite and actively engage families and community members in the process of school development.  All too often,  parents and the larger community are not at the education decision-making table, despite the fact that policies and practices under discussion and development will inevitably impact their children and the future of their schools, neighborhoods and communities most.

This session also addressed the design issue in high schools. It was mentioned that 65% of students today will end up in jobs that do not exist and yet our schools for well over 100 years have remained almost exactly the same. Education leaders must cultivate a culture of communities engaging and being embedded in doing this work. Design goals were aimed at rethinking how data are being collected and used to influence redesign.

Public policy has begun to support school design efforts. For example, recent legislation has been passed regarding the XQ school in Maryland, which has authorized the replication of the model within the state.

Winners of the XQ design competition will be announced in August.