Zuckerberg’s Education Gift Wasted—As Predicted Here


   Do not think about, write about or deal with  human behavior without determining the effects of incentives.

      As predicted here, Zuckerberg’s well-intentioned gift has had no effect on learning in New Jersey. The incentive structure of the system was never mentioned. As long as the pay cheques keep coming in spite of no learning, teaching will not change. Elementary, my dear Watson.

   Has Mark Zuckerberg’s $100million gift to Newark public schools gone down the drain? The money’s gone but standards remain the same

    The Facebook founder pledged $100million to Newark schools in 2010 to bring sweeping educational reforms

    However, most of the money has been spent on labor contracts and consulting fees

    The money has had little impact on student performance so far

By Daily Mail Reporter

In his first major show of philanthropy, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg made a splash by announcing his plan to give $100million to help turn around Newark, New Jersey’s public schools in an appearance on Oprah in 2010.

But nearly four years later, Zuckerberg’s money has run out, having been spent mostly on labor contracts and consulting fees with no noticeable improvement in student performance, a report in the New Yorker reveals.

‘Everybody’s getting paid, but Raheem still can’t read,’ Vivian Cox Fraser, the president of the Urban League of Essex County, told the magazine.

Big check: Zuckerberg announced the plan with then-Newark Mayor Cory Booker and Governor Chris Christie on the Oprah show in 2010

Then-Mayor Cory Booker came up with the plan to bring cutting-edge educational reform to his city in 2010.

He saw a way to bring rapid change through philanthropic donations, which require no public reviews on spending, and Governor Chris Christie got on board.


   Public review of taxpayer’s money has had no effect. Thence, unreviewed money may be wasted even quicker, if possible.

The program’s largest donor was Zuckerberg, who even admitted to Booker that he didn’t know much about education reform or philanthroy.

Zuckerberg’s conditions were that Booker find other donors to match his contribution and hire a new ‘transformational leader’ as superintendent.

Cami Anderson was eventaully selected as superintendent, but the job of turning Newark’s schools into ‘a symbol of excellence for the whole nation’ has not been easy.


    The new, revolutionary superintendent– never worked, but it’s always the first, and sometimes only, thing that’s tried.

‘This is 16-dimensional chess,’ Anderson said.
Complicated: Cami Anderson was chosen as Newark’s new superintendent but has had a hard time making changes, describing the work as ’16-dimensional chess’


    So many interests, so little learning.

Zuckerberg’s money has mostly gone into the early stages of overhaul, paying consultants upwards of $1,000 a day to find solutions to Newark public schools’ problems.

According to the report, between 2010 and 2012 ‘more than twenty million dollars of Zuckerberg’s gift and matching donations went to consulting firms and various specialities: public relations, human resources, communications, data analysis, [and] teacher evaluations.’

And the plans for overhaul did not settle well with Newark parents, who were informed that many of the schools would be closed and replaced with charter schools.

Anderson’s plan, titled ‘One Newark’, is the latest iteration of how to change the schools. It offers familes the ability to chose between 55 public schools and 16 charter schools to send their children to, with low-income familes and those with special-needs students getting first pick.


    I’ll give them advice for free. First, change the incentive system. No learning, no pay. One dimension.

Government Job or Respect–Which’ll It Be?
Cheerio and ttfn,
Grant Coulson, Ph.D.
Author, “Days of Songs and Mirrors: A Jacobite in the ‘45.”
Cui Bono–Cherchez les Contingencies


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