What if we radically changed our high schools and turned them into something different?
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XQ: The Super School Project

What if we radically changed the way high schools work and exist?

It's no secret our schools are in trouble compared with the rest of the world. We're now at #27 in math globally, and it's not getting better.

But a new, innovative project — XQ's The Super School Project — really wants to change that:


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This problem is not the teachers nor the parents.

It's that schools were designed to crank out future workers at a time when the Industrial Revolution was in high gear.

Most of us don't realize that our education system hasn't really changed since then, when it was designed to crank out factory workers. The whole goal was get people ready for repetition, routine, and defined tasks.

Factory education, if you will.

GIFs via XQ.

Thankfully, that's changed.

But schools have struggled to keep up with new ways of learning for a new-world economy, and they're still struggling.

High school students now can learn about robotics and smartphones and social media and other things in ways that nobody even considered not that long ago — not from textbooks and "parked in seat" learning.

Here's the challenge: How do we reinvent high school?

"If we profoundly change high school, we can reach not just the 50 million kids enrolled in public school, but the hundreds of millions who will follow them, and the billions of people worldwide that they will impact."

How about you? If you could reinvent high school, what would that look like?

From XQ's website:

"The Super School Project is a national movement to reimagine high school. In the last hundred years, America has gone from a Model T to a Tesla and from a switchboard to a smartphone, but our public high schools have stayed frozen in time. We believe American ingenuity can and must move education forward. This is a challenge, open to all, to build the Super Schools that will lead the way."

The Super School Project is accepting proposals right now to rethink high school.

Once the winning proposals are accepted, they will have a $50 million budget to try out the new ideas; it will be allocated over 5 years and supported by expert mentoring. They're aiming for at least five schools to receive the funding and implement the creative concepts that will reimagine what high school can be.

From things like altering school schedules to implementing new technologies and curricula, they're aiming high.

Here's a four-minute video that gives more information about this project:

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.