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XQsupesrschool – a blessing or a waste of money?

Three weeks ago the Boston Globe posted a huge add, and that was how I learned about Ms. Jobs’ $50 million dollars XQsuperschool project. I had read materials on the website and that made me feel sad. I wrote a letter to Ms. Jobs warning her that she most probably would spend the money without having achieved much (and since a regular letter did not have a chance to reach her I also posted it online at teachology.xyz). 

Yesterday I saw another huge add inviting Bostonians to visit XQsuperscool booth in Cambridge. So I went. It was a nice on-street exhibition. I asked a guy with an XQ tag if he knew that $200 million dollars spent in New Jersey from 2010 to 2015 did not make much of a difference? He didn’t. I asked him if he knew why Ms. Jobs thought that spending a quarter of what had been spent in New Jersey would make more difference in the whole country than it was meant to be achieved in there? He guessed that Ms. Jobs just wanted to do something good, he said that he was not familiar with the specifics behind the project, and that he was there just for collecting some feedback on the project. I asked him to pass along my letter. He said he would (we all know that chances of that are near to zero).

Let’s consider the best cases scenario. Let’s assume that in two or three years there will be a dozen of absolutely amazing high schools, so unique and so effective that three or maybe four thousand high school graduates from those schools will beat all other graduates in grades and SAT scores. Great! But what about other 99.9 % of the graduates who attended a regular public school?  If there are about 21,000 public high schools in the USA, how can the presence of five perfect ones change the learning outcomes of about 3 million of graduates?

There are exceptional public high schools in America, but their existence so far have not had a significant effect on the rest of the schools (since about 70 % of high school gradates are still not ready to college).  Why does Ms. Jobs think that her exceptional schools will make that difference which other schools lacked?

This is one of many questions to which you will not find an answer at xqsuperschool.org.

And this makes me feel sad again. 

Valentin Voroshilov

10/07/2015

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