Newark schools need real change, not just the kind in Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s piggy bank.
George Burns/Harpo Productions, Inc./AP
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg just ponied up $100 million for the chronically failing Newark, N.J., public schools. Newark already spends $22,000 per year (twice the national average) on each of its 40,000 students, yet less than half graduate. That means the tab for each graduate's time in high school is – take a breath, dear taxpayer – more than $160,000. So will $100 million make a difference? Maybe – if Mr. Zuckerberg focuses it on what really counts.
Some tips: Put simply, teachers rule. Learning in any building rises or falls on the motivation, commitment, and talent of teachers. Yes, a student must want to learn, the parent(s) at home must back up the school each day, and a principal must maintain order. But the yellow brick road to an educated citizen is a series of competent, inspiring teachers using an enlightened curriculum.