Carnegie Foundation, XQ Institute Announce Partnership to Transform High School Learning

March 30, 2022

Partnership announced at 2022 Carnegie Foundation Summit will design and assess new frameworks of learning and bring the most effective models to scale

San Diego, CA—The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, a national organization dedicated to catalyzing broad-scale improvement in education, and XQ Institute, the nation’s leading organization committed to high school transformation, announced a multiyear partnership to transform high school learning by reducing the reliance on time-based systems last night. The partnership is grounded in a shared commitment to tackling one of the nation’s most important educational goals: achieving educational excellence and equity for all students—especially Black, Latino, Indigenous, Asian, Pacific Islander, and first-generation students and students from low-income households. 

The partnership was announced by Russlynn Ali, Chief Executive Officer of the XQ Institute, and Timothy Knowles, President of the Carnegie Foundation, during the opening keynote of the 2022 Carnegie Foundation Summit on Continuous Improvement in Education at the Hilton Bayfront San Diego. Around 1,600 educators, policymakers, and community leaders attended the in-person event, with 300 attendees joining the event virtually.  

The XQ and Carnegie Foundation partnership will be a community-led effort to transform secondary school learning and designed to significantly increase high school and postsecondary completion and career success. The two institutions will collaborate with partners across education, business/industry, and local communities with: 

  • Prizes at national, state, and community levels to create, elevate, and amplify transformative learning experiences inside and outside of school; 
  • Partnerships to seek and seed the most promising outcomes-based—not time-based—high school models and modalities; 
  • A postsecondary consortium to reduce dependencies on time-based learning models and instead “credit” and “credential” student mastery and performance in diverse contexts; 
  • An evidence and improvement lab to build and share scholarship and practical resources on what works, for whom, and under what conditions; 
  • Policy, advocacy, and culture change—because we need all three to get to scale and make sure no student, no school, no district, or state is left out of the improvements we intend to make together.  

“A lot has changed since the Carnegie Unit was introduced over 100 years ago, but one thing remains the same—the American high school is instrumental to our progress as a society,” said Knowles. “We’re thrilled to partner with XQ to pursue educational excellence and equity for high school students across the country.” 

Because time is an inadequate proxy for learning, a fundamental element of this partnership will be to reduce dependencies on time-based learning models such as “credits” and build a new version of the Carnegie Unit, or credit hour. The partnership invites exploration of new frameworks, tools, courses, and models focused on the knowledge and skills acquired by students including how their learning is measured, assessed, and captured on student transcripts.  

“At XQ, we empower people to dream big and dream smart about what high school could be,” said Ali. “We are honored to work with a flagship institution like the Carnegie Foundation. Together, and with communities across the country, we aim to define a whole new architecture for America’s education system, so that high schools better prepare young people for all the future has to offer.”  


About Carnegie Foundation 

The mission of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching is to catalyze transformational change in education so that every student has the opportunity to live a healthy, dignified, and fulfilling life. 

About XQ Institute 

XQ is the nation’s leading organization dedicated to rethinking the high school experience so that every student graduates ready for good jobs, successful careers, and real life. XQ works with communities throughout the country—with schools, school systems, and entire states—to help them dream big about what equitable and rigorous high schools can be, and turn their innovative ideas into action.