Key Coverage

Inside Silicon Valley’s Big-Money Push to Remake American Education

On a chilly winter morning in a tiny pocket of Silicon Valley known as North Fair Oaks, Everest Public High School is buzzing with energy. Out front, a tall, skinny teen jumps out of a black Porsche SUV; moments later, three young women in matching black hoodies stream out of the front seat of a Toyota pickup that’s filled with trowels, buckets, and a ladder.

I head inside—past the minimalist garden, the modern wood paneling, and the soaring glass foyer—and down the hall to Room 207, where I’d been observing a popular English teacher named Jenny Macho lead AP Literature classes the past couple of weeks. When I arrive, she is sitting at the front of the class with 15-year-old sophomore Marisol Vega while 20 other students are scattered throughout the room, peering at the screens of their school-issued black Google Chromebooks.