Today’s students face new challenges. At XQ, we’re bringing people together to rethink high school for a changing world.
XQ Institute is the nation’s leading organization dedicated to rethinking the high school experience so that every student graduates ready to succeed in life.

High school is the last stop before students enter the real world of college, career, and adulthood. It’s where adolescents—whose brains are still growing rapidly—should develop both academically and socially, so they’ll graduate prepared for all the future has to offer. 

But too many college students need remedial coursework, and employers want workers who can engage in creative problem-solving.

To prepare students for all the future offers, XQ works in communities throughout the country, with individual schools and entire school systems, to help them dream big about what high school can be. We encourage educators to develop more meaningful, engaging classes—often with the help of local businesses and community organizations. We work with our partners to turn their innovative ideas into action and create more rigorous and equitable schools where students get a voice in their education. In some places, this involves departing from the traditional school day, where single subjects like math and history are taught in discrete 50-minute blocks of time. We share what’s working with other schools and districts so they can tailor new models to the needs of their own students and communities.

We know that seeing is believing, so we meet people where they are to share the importance and possibility of change through listening, learning, and storytelling. And our open-source tools, based on research and design thinking, empower people to take up the challenge of transforming their high schools with a unifying goal: unlocking the American promise of a high-quality education for everyone.

Today’s high school students will eventually be our co-workers, business owners, spiritual and community leaders, and teachers educating the next generation. By equipping learners with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to succeed in an ever-changing world, XQ believes high school can prepare all students to meet and shape the future.

XQ was co-founded by board chair Laurene Powell Jobs, founder and president of Emerson Collective, and Russlynn Ali, XQ’s CEO and former U.S. assistant secretary of education for civil rights. XQ’s board of directors also includes Geoffrey Canada, Marc Eckō, Jimmy Iovine, Michael Klein, and Yo-Yo Ma.

Our Team

Our Board & Founders

Emerson Collective

XQ works in direct collaboration with Emerson Collective, which is dedicated to removing barriers to opportunity so people can live to their full potential. Established and led by Laurene Powell Jobs, Emerson Collective’s work focuses on education, immigration reform, the environment, and other social justice initiatives. XQ is an independent affiliate of Emerson Collective.

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