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September 14, 2015

Laurene Powell Jobs Pledges $50 Million to Start New Schools

Silicon Valley philanthropist Laurene Powell Jobs is committing $50 million to a project to design and establish five to 10 new high schools in what she describes as an effort to remake an outmoded system of public education, The New York Times writes.

Called XQ: the Super School Project and augmented by a team of high-profile educators, the campaign aims to reimagine high schools, soliciting new approaches to schedules, curricula, technology, and other factors affecting student outcomes. A team of judges will select the best ideas around which to finance and build new schools.

The current public-school system "was created for the work force we needed 100 years ago," said Ms.  Powell Jobs, the widow of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. "Things are not working the way we want it to be working. We've seen a lot of incremental changes over the last several years, but we're saying, 'Start from scratch.'"

While her husband eschewed public giving, Ms. Powell Jobs has raised her philanthropic profile in recent years, with education as one of her primary causes.