Education

Schooled: Mark Zuckerberg's $100 Million Bid to Transform Public Education in Newark, NJ

"Short term thinking cannot solve the great problems of our time." Dale Russakoff
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Dale Russakoff

Author, The Prize: Who's in Charge of America's Schools?

In 2010, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, together with then New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker and Governor Chris Christie, announced a $100 million pledge to transform the Newark Public School District, the largest and one of the lowest-performing districts in the state. The goal was to "turn Newark  into a symbol of educational excellence for the whole nation.”

 

Over the ensuing five years, $200 million was spent on the initiative, with some positive results but nothing close to the promised transformation of public schooling, even as tensions between traditional and charter schools intensified dramatically. What went wrong?

 

Join us for a conversation with Dale Russakoff, author of The New York Times best-selling book The Prize: Who's in Charge of America's Schools?, as she examines the relationships between politics, unions, schools, media, and the impact of philanthropy within the context of Newark Public School District - and provides broader implications for our education system as a whole.

 

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Comments (1)

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  • Vincent Lombardo

    I just read Ms. Russakoff's book "The Prize". The reformers had good intentions but were unwilling to forge a consensus with others to achieve results. The book's thesis is "education reform is too important to be left to reformers alone". (P. 213). Many people in the book come across as gifted but flawed, especially Mayor (now Senator) Cory Booker, disparagingly called "Mayor Hollywood" by some of his constituents, who is all style and little substance. "The Prize" should be read by anyone who thinks that there is a magic bullet for bridging the "education gap". I look forward to Ms. Russakoff's speech.