What happened to the $100 million Mark Zuckerberg gave to Newark schools?
Five years ago, Mark Zuckerberg pledged to give $100 million to help improve Newark schools. The money would go towards everything from teacher pay to improving early childhood education.
Since part of the money has been spent, a fierce debate is raging as to what, if any, improvements have been made to Newark’s public education.
According to The Wall Street Journal, of the $88 million that has been pledged, half of it has gone towards teacher pay. That’s not necessarily a bad thing as teachers are generally underpaid and overworked.
But maybe a small win has been on the end of test scores.
“Some district schools have improved on state tests in grades three to eight, but the district’s overall passing rates remained roughly flat over the five years ending in spring 2014, and even dipped in some grades.”
In addition to an increase in teacher pay as well mild improvement with test scores, charter schools are receiving a bulk of the attention.
The Journal reports that “a quarter of the $200 million went to support them.” Enrollment in charter schools in Newark is expected to increase to nearly 14,000 students this year.
Still–Newark’s poorest students are still going under served according to the article. Many students in the area’s poorest sections are still left behind even with money flowing into the district like milk and honey.
Test scores, teacher pay and moral may be up, but if the money isn’t being used to properly invest into the student who are the least served, the total investment may turn out to be a failure.