Saturday, October 3, 2015

Dale Russakoff

Dale Russakoff is the author of The Prize: Who's in Charge of America's Schools.

From her Q & A with Deborah Kalb:

Q: You write, “What [then-Newark Mayor Cory] Booker, [New Jersey Governor Chris] Christie, and Zuckerberg set out to achieve in Newark had not been accomplished in modern times—turning a failing urban school district into one of universally high achievement.” Why was Newark selected for this project, and how successful do you believe it’s been so far?

A: Newark was selected because Cory Booker and Chris Christie got together and decided they wanted to make this a national model, and they would need a philanthropist to fund it. It was selected because Cory Booker is an effective fundraiser. He was able to sweep Mark Zuckerberg off his feet.

From what I understand, people close to Zuckerberg and to Booker said there wasn’t a lot of due diligence Zuckerberg put into this. He was pretty wowed by Booker and Christie. It was his first act as a philanthropist.

He had never been to Newark. He thought at the time that you actually could go to an urban district and come up with a model, and solve the educational issues and apply them to [other] cities and change education in America.

That’s how a startup works, but...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue