Did Zuckerberg’s $100 million help the Newark public schools?

    Listen 00:48:43

    Guest: Dale Russakoff

    Five years ago, when Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced a $100 million matching contribution to the Newark, New Jersey schools, he was joined on Oprah Winfrey’s show by then mayor Cory Booker and Governor Chris Christie. Everybody applauded them and thought this collaboration could be the answer to the country’s troubled public school system. The money, Zuckerberg said, was to be used to make Newark’s schools “a symbol of educational excellence for the whole nation.” Five years have passed and there have been some changes, but did the investment pay off? How much of it went directly into the classroom and to the children, many of them low-income, who attend Newark’s schools? In her new book: The Prize: Who’s in Charge of America’s Schools?, journalist DALE RUSSAKOFF tells the story of the complicated effort to turn around Newark’s public schools and the politicians, education reformers, union leaders, and philanthropists who led it. She’s here with guest host Mary Cummings-Jordan today on Radio Times.

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