“You don’t get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies” is the slogan for The Social Network, a movie that purports to tell the story of how Mark Zuckerberg and friends — soon to be ex-friends — founded Facebook. The boy billionaire is very much an anti-hero.
Now 26 and worth an estimated $6.9 billion, Zuckerberg will give $100 million to Newark’s public schools by creating the Startup Education Foundation, reports the Christian Science Monitor.
Publicity stunt? Zuckerberg claims he’d planned to donate anonymously but was talked out of it. That’s hard to believe.
School-choice advocate Derrell Bradford says Newark already spends more than $20,000 a year for each of its 40,000 students, but it’s stuck in a status quo that doesn’t serve kids well. “[The gift] is huge leverage for the mayor to get things done rapidly,” says Mr. Bradford, executive director of Excellent Education for Everyone in Newark, which supports charters and vouchers for private school.
Via EdReformer, here’s Zuckerberg’s explanation of why he picked Newark, a city to which he has no personal connection: He believes Newark Mayor Cory Booker and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie can turn the low-performing district into a “symbol of excellence.” If it can be done in Newark public schools, where only 40 percent of kids read and write at grade level by the end of third grade and only 54 percent of high school students graduate — it can be done anywhere.