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Phoenix Rising project in semi-finals to win $10 million for high school education from Steve Jobs’ widow.

05-09-2016 12:22 PM CET | Science & Education

Press release from: XQ Phoenix Rising

Phoenix Rising XQ project leader, Wendy Bias, wants to "Rethink How We Learn."

Phoenix Rising XQ project leader, Wendy Bias, wants to "Rethink How We Learn."

Arizona team Phoenix Rising is competing for a $10 million grant to build a high school as part of Laurene Powell Jobs’ XQ Super School Project. XQ: The Super School Project is “an open-call to America’s students, teachers, administrators, civic leaders, businesses, entrepreneurs, artists and designers to meet the challenge of preparing our students for the future by dreaming, designing and creating the new American high school.” Powell Jobs started the movement to #RethinkHighSchool last fall. She says her goal is to uncover “game-changing thinking, a moonshot.” XQ points out that the current school format has remained unchanged for 100 years and was designed for the industrial revolution. The Phoenix Rising team proposes a model based on the “innovation revolution.”

Powell Jobs designed the competition to involve individuals from outside the educational fields to provide a new perspective. Phoenix Rising is unique from other teams in the competition. It is comprised of individuals throughout the United States as well as a group here in the Valley. Phoenix Rising project leader, Wendy Bias, points out that the team is not only culturally diverse but includes leaders from both business and educational fields.

“We have a wonderful group of volunteers working on this project who truly believe in the Phoenix Rising educational model,” says Bias. “They give extensively of their free time despite holding full-time jobs because they believe in fueling the next wave of innovation in education. Our team wants to support a national movement that helps every city school rise to future challenges.”

Powell Jobs is supported in her efforts by Russlynn Ali, CEO of the XQ Institute and former Assistant Secretary of Civil Rights at the US Department of Education. At the 2016 Female Founders conference in San Francisco, Ali said XQ’s goal is to remove “persistent opportunity gaps” students from dissimilar communities face due to variables in curriculum, teaching staff, bigotry and other obstacles.

Powell Jobs told the NY Times, "Things are not working the way we want it to be working. We’ve seen a lot of incremental changes over the last several years, but we’re saying, 'Start from scratch.'" The Phoenix Rising team has garnered attention for their innovative, project-based skunkworks idea that integrates multiple subjects to solve real-world problems. As the team’s momentum increases as well as their social media presence, Phoenix Rising hopes to increase awareness of the XQ competition through cross branding. Their new PHxQ logo demonstrates their alignment with XQ’s vision to uncover “audacious, unconventional, unconstrained ideas to reinvent the American high school.”

You can learn more about members of the Phoenix Rising team by visiting their XQPhoenixRising feeds on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. They also started a website at www.RisingAZ.com which will share their semi-final winning school design as well as provide opportunities for community feedback and interaction.

Phoenix Rising is a semi-finalist in the XQ Super School Project competition by Steve Job's widow, Laurene Powell Jobs, and Russlynn Ali, former Assistant Secretary of Civil Rights at the US Department of Education. The Phoenix Rising model proposes using a skunkworks format to teach integrated subjects using a project-based model that allows students to work in small cohorts with a team of educators as their mentors and coaches.

Phoenix Rising
4545 N. 67th Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85033

Press: Wendy Bias
(602) 438-6284

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