I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Mark Zuckerberg, A Vanishing $100 Million Grant, and No Good Deed Goes Unpunished....

No good deed goes unpunished.  That phrase is soooo true when it comes to well intentioned philanthropists spending money to "fix" schools.

Take Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg for instance.  In 2010 he gifted $100 Million to Newark schools at the urging of then Mayor Corey Booker.

Over the next several years, the money was squandered on things that did not work, ideas that did not bear fruit, and problems that did not exist. Now, according to several news reports, the money is all but spent and the schools have not improved much at all.

Now Zuckerberg is being chided by the peanut gallery.

No good deed goes unpunished....

The New York times did an interesting piece on this disaster, and now the effort to try to fix these blighted urban schools is under attack via a scorching new novel "The Prize: Who's in Charge of America's Schools?"

While the book sounds like a title that an education reformer like me would have picked, it actually was written by an "education establishment defender"  and this book quickly devolves into a blame game blurry mess of finger pointing and the usual arguments for the continuation of the status quo in education----only with more taxpayer resources plugged in.  Like that would ever work either....

Thankfully, Zuckerberg will not repeat his mistake again as he gives another huge ($120Million) gift to struggling schools in the San Francisco Bay area.  This time around, he will work with on the ground stakeholders---parents, teachers, and charter schools-- in administering this gift, by-passing the unions, administravia, bureaucrats, politicians, and the other guardians of the status quo.

I hope this effort is more successful, and I applaud Zuckerberg's generosity.

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