Could you design the iSchool? Steve Jobs’ widow pumps $50m into reinventing education

Apple founder Steve Jobs’ widow is set to donate $50 million (£32 million) towards reinventing US high school education.

Laurene Powell Jobs, a philanthropist and business executive, has unveiled plans to create “super schools” that match a more technology-focused world.

The initiative, officially called XQ: The Super School Project, aims to design the next-generation American high schools.

Ms Powell Jobs has called on educators, parents, business leaders and students to come up with imaginative ways to redesign the traditional US-style public high school experience. The organisation will accept suggestions over the next few months, before the finalists in the competition are chosen in April.

Once the winners are announced in August 2016, $50 million will be pumped into five schools or more over a five-year period to put the ideas into practice and turn them into “super schools”.

A message from the XQ Institute, of which Ms Powell Jobs is a board member, says: “The Super School project is an open call to reimagine and design the next American high school. In towns and cities far and wide, teams will unite and take on this important work of our time: rethinking and building schools that deeply prepare our students for the rigorous challenges of college jobs, and life.

“This is a challenge to empower all of America to change high school. Together, we can transform communities and build schools that inspire new possibilities.”

A promotional tour of US states and cities got under way this week funded by the Emerson Collective – a philanthropic group which finances Ms Powell Jobs’ charitable ventures.

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