Report: $100M donation to Newark schools largely gone

The report argued that little has changed to improve the city’s schools. (5/14/14)

NEWARK - Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s $100 million pledge in 2010 to help rebuild Newark's schools has largely run dry, according to a New Yorker magazine investigative report.

Four years later, it’s uncertain if the gift praised by Gov. Chris Christie and then-Newark mayor Cory Booker will have much of a lasting positive effect on city schools.

The New Yorker piece, titled “Schooled” by Dale Russakoff,  looked at how the historic pledge came to be, where the money is being spent and what reforms are taking place in the city’s schools.

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The report found more than $20 million of Zuckerberg’s gift and matching donations went to consulting firms with various specialties, including public relations, human resources, communications, data analysis, teacher evaluation. 

"Everybody's getting paid, but Raheem still can't read," Vivian Cox Fraser, the president of the Urban League of Essex County, told The New Yorker.

According to the New Yorker, “despite millions of dollars spent on community engagement — [officials] have yet to hold tough, open conversations with the people of Newark about exactly how much money the district has, where it is going, and what students aren’t getting as a result."

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