On World Teachers Day, public education supporters will speak out at Mark Zuckerberg's $10 million dollar house about his role in privatizing education in Newark and support for union busting and charter schools around the bay area and the country.
Zuckerberg: Get Your GREEDY Hands Off Our Public Education System!
On World Teacher’s Day
Monday, October 5, 2015 at 4:00 PM
Press Conference & Speak Out At Mark Zuckerberg’s
$10 Million Dollar Home in San Francisco
Where: 3450 21st St./Fair Oaks St., San Francisco, CA
World Teacher’s Day is commemorated around the world on October 5, 2015. Mark Zuckerberg along with other billionaires, their union buster allies and privatizers are destroying public education in Newark and other cities.
Zuckerberg said he wanted to “remake” education in Newark. The result has been a catastrophe with more privately run charter schools and further segregation in Newark schools. Zuckerberg pushed the SF controlled KIPP Foundation schools which are helping to bust up public education throughout the country by diverting public education funds to privately controlled publicly funded schools.
Zuckerberg also gave $100 million dollars to Newark public schools which was used to push merit pay and further attacks on teachers.
In addition, Zuckerberg recently gave $125 million dollars to charter schools in the bay area. Zuckerberg and other billionaires are giving large campaign donations to our politicians, which is setting a dangerous public policy of widespread privatization of our public education system.
It is high time to get Zuckerberg, Gates, Broad, Fisher, Milken, the Walton family and all union busters out of our public schools. The charter school industry perpetuates widespread segregation based on race and income. This can never be tolerated in our public schools.
Please join us in supporting the initiative campaign to repeal the California Charter School Act of 1992. Any attempt at reforming the problems of the charter school industry is like putting a band-aid on cancer. Show your support by signing the petition here: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/repeal-charter-school-act-of-1992-in-ca-ballot
Sponsored By United Public Workers for Action
and Voices Against Privatizing Public Education info [at] upwa.info
(415) 282-1908 repealcharterschools [at] yahoo.com
Facebook BillionaireMark Zuckerberg's pledge to Newark schools: Five years later, charter enrollment soars http://www.contracostatimes.com/education/ci_28857608/mark-zuckerbergs-pledge-newark-schools-five-years-later
By Geoff Mulvihill
POSTED: 09/22/2015 08:56:03 AM
Kindergarten teacher Alexa Wolfe teaches her students at KIPP Thrive Academy, a new school in what had been the closed Eighteenth Avenue School, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015, in Newark, N.J. (Mel Evans / AP)
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) -- When Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg appeared on Oprah Winfrey's show five years ago this week to announce a $100 million donation to remake education in Newark, it was presented as an effort to make a struggling city a national model for turning around urban schools.
Advocates see success in the most visible result so far -- many more students in charter schools. But the exodus of students and the public funding that comes with them from the Newark Public Schools has deepened a financial crisis in a district that still educates most of the children in New Jersey's largest city.
A big part of Zuckerberg's mission was also to improve the traditional public schools. While there have been major changes there, too, indicators such as student test scores have been mixed.
In this Saturday, Sept. 25, 2010 file photo, Mark Zuckerberg, left, founder and CEO of Facebook and N.J. Gov. Chris Christie listen as Newark Mayor Cory Booker talks about Zuckerberg's donation of $100 million to help Newark public schools during a press conference in Newark, N.J. (Rich Schultz / AP)
Add to that frustration that the reformers weren't using input from the people of the city, and it's safe to say that the awe of Zuckerberg's high-minded intentions for using his first major foray into philanthropy to try to effect sweeping change has receded.
So has Zuckerberg's donation, which was matched with another $100 million from other donors, shown that big-scale philanthropy guarantees quick change?
The answers vary.
"The gift has been enormously productive and beneficial," said Christopher Cerf, the district superintendent. "It's also been pretty deeply misunderstood."
On the other hand:
"We've proven at this point that answer is no," said Derrell Bradford, a supporter of Zuckerberg's effort and leader of the New York school reform group NYCAN, who previously worked for similar groups in New Jersey. Bradford pointed out that $200 million is a tiny portion -- about 4 percent -- of what it has cost to run the school district for the past five years.
Even Zuckerberg didn't expect quick results. In an interview last year with The Associated Press, he said it would take years to measure.
The donation to Newark schools, which were taken over by the state in 1995, came about as a meeting of the minds of Zuckerberg with Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, and Cory Booker, a Democrat who was then Newark mayor and is now a U.S. senator. The politicians agreed on a strategy focused on closing the worst schools, offering incentives to higher-performing teachers and launching new kinds of schools -- and they sold it to Zuckerberg.
Charter schools -- run by private entities, with more freedom than traditional public schools to set hours and curriculum and to choose their students, and where test scores and graduation rates are often better -- have received about $58 million, according to "The Prize: Who's in Charge of America's Schools?", a book by journalist Dale Russakoff released this month. The number of students in charters has more than doubled since 2010 and now represents just over one-fourth of Newark's 48,000 school students.
Ryan Hill, the chief operating officer of the New Jersey schools run by national charter operator KIPP, said the contributions allowed the group to expand from two Newark schools to eight. Children in Newark -- and especially African-American pupils -- are now far more likely to be in a good school, Hill said.
"Starting new high-performing schools is a lot easier than turning around an enormous system," he said.
David Sciarra, director of the Education Law Center, a Newark-based group that has sued the state seeking better educations for low-income children, believes Newark is in worse shape now.
From 2010 to 2014, the percentage of district students meeting standards on statewide tests fell in many cases. For instance, a lower portion of both fourth and eighth graders score as at least proficient in language arts. The passage rate also declined for fourth graders in math, while a slightly higher percentage of eighth-graders passed.
Sciarra believes the growth of charter schools has hurt traditional schools by siphoning off money, as well as students from the families most motivated to succeed.
"Conditions on the ground have not improved. They've gotten worse," Sciarra said.
Still, the graduation rate made a big jump from 2011 to 2012 and has been relatively steady since then. Cerf, the superintendent, said the improving graduation rate is significant and so is another development -- that teachers rated as "ineffective" started leaving their jobs more often than those deemed "effective" or "highly effective."
As traditional public schools shrank in Newark, Cami Anderson, the state-appointed superintendent, wanted to avoid laying off teachers because the union contract would require ousting the newest teachers first, even if they were doing a good job. Instead, she moved teachers rated as less effective to support jobs, where they remained on the payroll.
Partly because of that, budget problems remained even as donations rolled in, including more than $48 million to fund a new teacher contract that included back pay and something new for teachers in New Jersey -- merit pay.
Anderson left the job in July. Cerf's duties include ushering the district out from under state control.
Sharon Smith, a schools activist with two daughters in Newark traditional public schools and one in a charter, said she was excited after the donation was announced and attended meetings to give ideas.
"Finally, there was an opportunity," she said.
But instead of using parents' ideas to improve public schools, she said, officials used their criticism to justify expanding charters.
Cerf said that's not the case. More money has gone to traditional public schools than to charters, he said, and charter growth is on the same trajectory as it was in 2006, before Zuckerberg's involvement.
Garth Davenport, a 51-year-old single father with 6-year-old twins, said he believes Newark's public schools are doing better for his sons, both of whom have autism, than the schools in neighboring East Orange did when the boys were very young. He said that he's had problems with administrative issues, such as transportation, but that his sons dive into their homework every night and seem to be increasingly communicative. He credits their schools with that.
"They're picking up," he said.
Last year, Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, announced a $120 million donation to improve the educations, especially of low-income students, in the San Francisco Bay area. Zuckerberg's Startup:Education foundation says it's applying some lessons from Newark, especially about "the importance of meaningful community partnerships."
In his first major philanthropic move, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced five years ago this week that he was donating $100 million to improve the schools of struggling Newark, New Jersey. A look at some of the key players in how the gift came about and was rolled out:
MARK ZUCKERBERG: The Facebook founder and his wife, Priscilla Chan, have continued making large donations. In 2012 and 2013, Zuckerberg donated Facebook stock worth a total of $1.5 billion to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. And last year, the couple donated $120 million to educational causes in the San Francisco Bay area. Zuckerberg told The Associated Press in an interview last year that one major lesson from Newark that is being applied in the later donation is to make sure the desires of the public are considered.
CHRIS CHRISTIE: The Republican New Jersey governor is now seeking his party's 2016 presidential nomination. In 2012, after Zuckerberg's donation, he had a moment of peace with the Newark Teachers Union, helping broker a new contract that included merit pay, as well as back pay -- a deal that used nearly half of Zuckerberg's gift. But while campaigning this year, he has bashed its parent union, the American Federation of Teachers. He was asked during an August interview, "who deserves a punch in the face?" His answer was "the national teachers union." Meanwhile, the 2012 contract expired in June, and there's no deal for a new one.
CORY BOOKER: Booker, a Democrat, was the rising-star mayor who initially met with Zuckerberg about the gift in 2010. He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2013. In the election last year to replace him as mayor, education was a key issue. Both candidates called for an end of the state control of Newark's public schools. The winner was Ras Baraka, a former high school principal who took a stance against many of the changes being made as a result of Zuckerberg's donation.
CAMI ANDERSON: Anderson was hired by the state government in 2011 as superintendent of the Newark Public Schools. She was often criticized for a having an autocratic style and not engaging the public. Her system to have students apply to district and charter schools instead of being sent to their neighborhood schools as a default was widely derided when it was put into place last year. Anderson left the job in June.
CHRISTOPHER CERF: Cerf was hired to run the state Education Department soon after Zuckerberg's donation was announced. Many of the consultants who worked on Newark school policies funded by Zuckerberg were former colleagues of Cerf. He hired and defended Anderson. Cerf left state government in 2014 to take a job at an educational software company. Christie nominated him to replace Anderson as superintendent when she departed, and the state Board of Education approved him 6-4. His job includes getting the district out from under state control.
GREG TAYLOR: Taylor was the first CEO of the Foundation for Newark's Future, which was created to spend much of Zuckerberg's donation. Taylor was paid $436,000 in 2012, his last full year on the job. In 2013, he took a job in the front office of the NBA. He was replaced at the foundation by Kim McLain, a former executive at the Newark Charter School Fund.