What the Students Say

We are celebrating making it to the final round of the XQ Super School Project with the Twelve Days of XTH! Each day we’ll release portions of our XQ application so you can learn more about the vision for Crosstown High. The content of this work is the foundation on which we will continue to build the high school, but we’ll need your help in the coming months to shape it into the school that Memphis students need and deserve.

The final section of XQ’s “Discover” phase (and arguably the most fun) asked us to reach out to young people in Memphis to hear how they experience school and learning in their lives. Here’s what almost 200 local students told us:

Photo: Joanna Zhang

Photo: Joanna Zhang

We feel UNDERVALUED and UNHEARD. Current school environments are, in many ways, irrelevant to us, and at times, even dehumanizing. We deserve to be treated like people, not test-taking machines. Being young should not mean being inferior to teachers and adults. Students can bring unique and essential insights to our classrooms. Teachers and other adults can learn just as much from us as we can from them.

Photo: Joanna Zhang

Photo: Joanna Zhang

We want a CARING, HEALTHY, PURPOSEFUL school COMMUNITY. We want a school that is caring and safe — not just from bullying and crime, but safe to explore new ideas, to question the world around us, and to develop opinions of our own. We want more time to develop real relationships with other students and teachers. We deserve a school start time that allows us to get ample sleep and a schedule that does not rush us. We deserve healthy food options that respect our diverse cultures and dietary needs.

Photo: Joanna Zhang

Photo: Joanna Zhang

We want opportunities to DISCOVER and EXPLORE new interests, and to feel better PREPARED for adulthood in practical ways — by learning everything from personal finance to interpersonal skills to new ways to use technology. We want to see connections between the work we’re doing today and our futures. Most importantly, we want to be able to choose a path that is not based on what looks good on a college application, but that develops our passions into skills that can be applied to solving real-world problems.

A sampling of the attachments to our XQ application:

Our Words, Our Future – Memphis students spoke and we listened. (PDF)

 

Class has Begun: A student-produced, spoken-word performance of two students’ frustrations and ideas about school.

Playback Memphis: Student Edition – Local actors bring students’ ideas about school to life.

Loaded For Bear