Let us give credit to Chalkbeat: It is not afraid to give an equivocal review to one of its funders, billionaire Laurene Powell Jobs.

Barnum presents the facts about the spotty record of LPJ’s XQ Initiative. Her goal, she said, is to “reinvent” the high school. She has given grants of $10 million to a variety of high schools, each of which has its own plans and ideas. These high schools are supposed to become beacons of innovation that are copied by thousands of other high school, ushering in an era of breathtaking change.

She launched the XQ initiative with a public relations stunt: a star-studded TV program that ran on all three major networks. This was supposed to be a huge consciousness raiser that stunned the public and ushered in the demand for radical change.

The breathtaking naïveté of the XQ Plan boggles the mind. The goal and shape of change is undefined. All that is clear is that a billionaire wants change.

It didn’t help that Mrs. Jobs surrounded herself with policy types who never taught and never led a school (Arne Duncan, Russlyn Ali, others) and whose policy chops stemmed from failed policies (Race to the Top).

Why would a whiz-bang TV show ignite a revolution? Why would 10-15 examples of schools that are all doing something different create a template for thousands of other high schools?

The first Bush Administration tried something similar (New American Schools Development Corporation), which doled out $50 million to design teams to “reinvent” the high school. Like Ozymandias, it is lost in the sands of time.

Even if many people agreed that the high school years should be different, there is no agreement on how it should be different or that Laurene Powell Jobs and her team of tyros will lead us to the Promised Land.