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Newark wants no transparency over Facebook's $100 million donation to education

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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-30-11 06:06 PM
Original message
Newark wants no transparency over Facebook's $100 million donation to education
Just before Mark Zuckerberg donated 100 million dollars to Newark schools, he had an interview. Part of it was deleted within a few hours. From September 2010:

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg suggests closing failing Newark schools in TechCrunch interview

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg suggested closing failing Newark schools, increasing the number of charter schools and implementing merit pay for teachers as ways to improve low-performing school districts, according to an interview he gave to TechCrunch.com in advance of today's $100 million donation announcement on the Oprah Winfrey Show.

"So we should close down schools that are failing, get a lot of good charter schools and figure out new contracts for teachers so that better teachers can get paid more money, that more for performance as opposed to just based on how long you've been there," he said in the TechCrunch interview in a section of the Q&A preceded by the word "DELETE." (Update: By 1:30 p.m., that segment had been removed)


In the same interview he also made it clear he supports Teach for America.

Zuckerberg also explains in the TechCrunch interview that his motivation for the $100 million donation to an education cause stemmed from his girlfriend and her involvement with the Teach for America program, which helps college graduates without teaching degrees gain education positions.

The interview indicates he expected Teach for America to play a significant role in the Newark initiative and the $100 million investment would be spread over five years.


When you donate money with strings attached like that, and it affects public schools so drastically....there must be transparency. Yet there is little of it.

In fact the education officials there in Newark, NJ, are trying to block a lawsuit by the ACLU and some parents to force transparency and openness about how the money is being spent.

From the Star-Ledger:

Education officials continue to block ACLU suit over transparency in $100M Facebook donation to Newark schools

Education officials from Newark continue to block a suit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union that could reveal new details about the genesis of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's $100 million gift to Newark's schools.

The City of Newark recently asked the court to dismiss an open records lawsuit filed by the ACLU in August that seeks e-mails and other correspondence about the donation. This request came days after the ACLU learned Newark Mayor Cory Booker and acting Education Commissioner Christopher Cerf have discussed the gift using their personal email accounts.

..."The bottom line is that folks on the ground in Newark want basic information about the terms of the gift, such as whether it included any preconditions," said Deborah Jacobs, executive director of the American Civil Liberties of New Jersey.


So far Newark public schools have only gotten 3.6 million. Take a look at how one million was alloted to be spent.

Newark public schools to receive $3.6M disbursement of Facebook donation

That's not very much yet out of such a large donation.

The citys Public Schools will get a $3.6-million disbursement of Facebook money, the Foundation for Newarks Future announced today.

The group, set up to administer an expected $200 million in education philanthropy, has allocated $1 million for longer school days in district schools, $1.3 million for teacher recruitment and professional development, and $1.3 million for operational improvements including a parent call center and a new playgrounds.


Longer school days got a big hand from Zuckerberg, though there has been no real proof it matters.

And I would be willing to bet bigtime that the "teacher recruitment" is TFA oriented....leaving local teachers out in the cold.

Philly.com discusses some of the more obvious favoritism in how the donation is being disbursed.

Ties cited in Newark aid disbursement

In Newark, the windfall has been welcome but shrouded in questions, particularly about who would decide how to spend the money. The newspaper found that $7.4 million went to school programs between January and September, including to seven groups launching new schools; an organization that builds playgrounds; teacher-training programs; and Teach for America and other groups for recruiting more educators.

An additional $4.3 million went to political and educational consultants, whose tasks include planning how to use the huge donation, gathering public opinion on the city's educational needs, and advertising - $3.9 million of which went to companies and people with ties to Booker and education chief Christopher Cerf, records show.

Global Education Advisors, a company Cerf started before he became the state's acting education commissioner, received $1.9 million - the largest single payment.


And as for ties to Mayor Booker the article says that "Bari Mattes, Booker's longtime fund-raiser, was paid $120,000 to help launch the Foundation for Newark's Future, which is in charge of doling out the contributions."

Real education, depth of learning, should not be about what billionaires like Mark Zuckerberg want.

It should be about what is best for the children, but really big money has taken control. Public schools have few resources to fight back.
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lbrtbell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-30-11 06:14 PM
Response to Original message
1. Fuck MZ and the Facebook he rode in on
Why are people stupid enough to use Facebook, anyway?
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-30-11 06:17 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. It's just awesome for networking
Edited on Sun Oct-30-11 06:17 PM by proud2BlibKansan
Our local Occupy group has used it to promote and grow their movement.

Our state Democratic party has the largest Facebook group of any state party. And attendance at our events has grown dramatically.

Knock it all you want but it's where people are if you want to organize around a cause.
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-31-11 12:19 PM
Response to Reply #2
14. And perfect for advertising Mal*Wart
precisely why it exists too!
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vi5 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-30-11 06:25 PM
Response to Original message
3. Sounds like Arne Duncan/Michele Rhee speak.
These clowns should all be kept far, far away from Public education but instead they are all calling the shots.

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LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-30-11 06:27 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. It does. nt
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-30-11 07:06 PM
Response to Original message
5. As I always say.....only teachers are held accountable.
:shrug:
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PETRUS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-30-11 08:47 PM
Response to Original message
6. K&R Thanks for bringing this to our attention. nt
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-30-11 08:56 PM
Response to Original message
7. Zuckerberg's money helped set up the foundation that gives out the money.
"Since then, Zuckerbergs $100 million has helped form The Foundation for Newarks Future, a new non-profit organization designed to help support education reform in the city. Zuckerbergs funds, according to the Foundations website, will be made on a one-to-one matching basis in accordance with FNF funding priorities. There are very few other details about the grant application process, requirements or criteria, and there have been some concerns about the make-up of the foundations advisory board, of which Mayor Booker is an ex-officio member.

Thus far, just $3 million of the FNFs funds have been dispersed, with grants going primarily to charter schools: the Roseville Community Charter School has received $350,000, for example, as has the Peoples Preparatory Charter School. Today, reports The Wall Street Journal, the city is expected to announce that some money will go directly to schoolteachers in the form of $10,000 grants for innovative classroom programs. But again, theres little word on the application process. (At the time of publishing this story, neither the city nor the FNF website have been updated with more information, nor has the Twitter-happy Booker offered more than a link to the WSJ story on the new grants. All my requests for interviews with the FNF have been ignored.)"
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Starry Messenger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-30-11 09:20 PM
Response to Original message
8. k&r
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Angry Dragon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-30-11 10:41 PM
Response to Original message
9. follow the money
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roody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-31-11 12:48 AM
Response to Original message
10. Lots of money for consultants and administrators...eom
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-31-11 01:23 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. Yep, lots of that happening in FL as well.
They love their consultants.
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roody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-31-11 11:10 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. The lesson here for teachers is "Become a consultant!" n/t
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ooglymoogly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-31-11 02:57 PM
Response to Reply #12
18. But they only hire consultants who parrot the charter line. nt
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KamaAina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-31-11 11:13 AM
Response to Original message
13. Isn't Newark where they were going to build teacher housing?
like rural Hawai'i had 70 or 80 years ago? Because god forbid these fine young TFA'ers actually live in Newark. :sarcasm:
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-31-11 09:11 PM
Response to Reply #13
19. Ah, had not heard that.
Tell me more. Housing for TFA teachers?
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Jakes Progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-31-11 01:54 PM
Response to Original message
15. If you have a million dollars (or a billion)
stupid people think you know something. Usually it only means you knew how to take money from stupid people.

gates and zuckerberg know nothing about education. Have never taught. Live lives so far from reality and real people that they should not be consulted on anything that affects real people.

Screw them. But stupid people lick up their vomit and drool.
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redqueen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-31-11 01:55 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. But... they've got electrolytes, right?
They've got what plants crave!


*weeps for future*
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ooglymoogly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-31-11 02:52 PM
Response to Original message
17. Mark Zuckerberg contemplates changing name to
Easymark M. Suckerburg or just plain Mud for short. The M. is for Misguided.
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Dont call me Shirley Donating Member (396 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-01-11 04:15 PM
Response to Original message
20. It's the designed to fail curriculum, stupid!
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