Weekend Read: The Booker-Zuckerberg $100M Plan to Reform Newark Schools

By Carla Murphy May 16, 2014

Of all the education-related stories coming out in time for this weekend’s 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Ed., The New Yorker’s "Schooled" earns high marks. "The Newark schools are like a candy store that’s a front for a gambling operation. When a threat materializes, everyone takes his position and sells candy. When it recedes, they go back to gambling." That 2010 quote from a longtime educator describes the frustration long faced by Newark parents and taken on in 2009 by now U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ). He’d planned, along with assistance from Gov. Christie (R-NJ) and $100 million from 30-year-old Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, to use charters to turn Newark into a national model of urban education reform. How did the plan roll out and how’s it working now?

Writer Dale Russakoff tackles those questions in a longread full of disheartening though not unsurprising challenges and reformer and political missteps. Throughout, however, she* keeps our focus on the lives that actually matter: the children’s.

(h/t The New Yorker)

*Post has been updated.