theodp writes: On Friday night, the Big Four Networks simultaneously aired EIF Presents: XQ Super School Live (YouTube), a commercial-free, one-hour TV special that championed Laurene Powell Jobs' mission to rethink the American high school. The closing credits listed Jobs as an Executive Producer, and noted that the chock-full-of-celebrities special was sponsored in part by her Emerson Collective and Apple. "Surely Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Hanks, Mahershala Ali, Justin Timberlake, Cate Blanchett and a bevy of other celebrities have nothing but laudable intentions by appearing on Friday night’s live televised high school reform spectacular on four — count them, four — major networks (NBC, ABC, CBS and Fox)," writes the Washington Post's Valerie Strauss. "But when an hour of prime time on four networks is purchased, it’s fair to ask whether that is a public service or propaganda." During the broadcast, viewers were pitched XQ Super School Board Program kits, which XQ's website explains are designed to prepare individuals for a school board candidacy. "As a nonpartisan organization," the nonprofit is careful to add, "XQ won’t be endorsing or supporting particular candidates; we’ll be supporting all candidates who stand with us in a shared commitment to rethink high school, so all young people can be educated as they deserve." Jobs certainly seems well-positioned to influence public education — an IRS Form 1023 filing listing 2016 revenue of $380+ million indicates that Jobs sought tax-exempt status for her Emerson Collective Foundation just days before announcing she would award $100 million in the President Obama-lauded (YouTube) XQ 'Super Schools' Competition to "rethink high school" ($10M of which went to a pet charter school of Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates).
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