The President has recently hosted yet another White House education summit. The President uses the gathering as an opportunity to put an issue front and center of the American mind. He mainly emphasizes its importance for students and the nation. Exemplary program are spotlighted and often students are involved. For the most part these events rely on a public-private partnership model; this leverages existing federal investments and programs while gathering cash and in-kind commitments from the private sector to provide services and support for the schools.

Next Generation High Schools Initiative

The Next Generation High Schools initiative aims to redesign high schools so that they are rigorous and more relevant for students. The effort calls for collaboration between education, business and postsecondary partners to reinvent the high school experience. The goal is to better equip and empower students to seize opportunities in today’s innovation economy.

Six states – NH, OH, PA, RI, VA and WI – and 20 districts shared share best practices. They also took the opportunity to announce new progress towards increasing student access to redesigned high schools. The Department of Education announced a website highlighting the research and resources to support Next Generation High Schools.

Among the major financial commitments from the private sector was the announcement of winners of the XQ: Super School competition. Ten schools, selected from roughly 700 applicants won $10 million grants to implement their high school redesign blueprints. Launched last September with $50 million in seed money from Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of Apple’s Steve Jobs, the project asked teams in communities across the nation to rethink and redesign the American high school to create new learning opportunities for young people and open up the possibilities of the wider world. The winners are a mix of charter and district public schools, in small towns and large cities. Most of the plans are for new schools, but some are reimagining of existing schools.

Click this fact sheet to read more about the Next Generation High Schools Initiative and the Summit

Exciting stuff!