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Russlynn Ali on Sharing Lessons from the $102M XQ Super Schools Project — and Why Trump May Be Damaging School Choice

At a gathering of education writers Tuesday, the Emerson Collective’s Russlynn Ali walked not one but several fine lines, promising an “open source” ethos when sharing lessons gleaned from the group’s XQ Super Schools Project but declining to commit the private philanthropy to transparency in political spending and education technology investment.

There is no way XQ could finance the creation of enough new models to change the institution of high school, so lessons from the 18 Super Schools recognized to date must be available to all, she said.

“It could be a thousand schools and it still wouldn’t be enough,” Ali said. “It absolutely has to be about open source. Everything has to be open to everyone.”

The Super Schools initiative in 2016 awarded some $102 million to existing and new innovative high schools in 16 states. In the months before the grants were announced, the XQ Institute visited cities throughout the country — traveling on a brightly colored bus to draw attention to the effort — talking to some 10,000 students, parents, and educators about their vision for transforming the institution of high school.