[Newark] unfortunately become a symbol of public education’s failure–of a status quo that accepts schools that don’t succeed.” ~Mark Zuckerberg
I’ve had a lot of opportunities in my life, and a lot of that comes from having gone to really good schools.” ~Mark Zuckerberg
What does it say though, about the richest country in the world needing a wealthy person to come in and donate money to a taxpayer supported public school system? And who’s really in control when this happens? I guess we’ll soon find out cause everything is the stuff movies are made of in Newark. So far I count 3.
I’ve written before about cash strapped Newark having such a huge budget gap they couldn’t even afford toilet paper. Enter Mark Zuckerberg, with no real connection to Newark or New Jersey wielding a $100 million grant from Facebook founder and CEO.
Oprah Winfrey’s show Friday to announce the supposedly, originally intended to be anonymous grant, in the form of Facebook stock, to create a charitable foundation. This foundation, Startup:Education, aims to “invest in educating and improving the lives of young people.”
The show also featured clips from “The Lottery (2010)”, a documentary about the controversy surrounding public and charter schools in the US.
New Jersey governor Chris Christie says this money is much needed, (especially since they dropped the ball on that $400 million education fund). Maybe Zuckerberg, who said he just “believed in” Booker and Christie, was also swayed by “Street Fight” (2005), the documentary on Booker running for office.
Whether this was a PR stunt to promote or counteract negative press from the “The Social Network” (2010), a film about the founding of Facebook which premiered the same night as Zuckerberg’s appearance on Oprah, the students of Newark may win–that is if this is legal and the $100 million isn’t actually in the form of Farmville credits.