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The Source: Who's In Charge Of America's Schools?

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For the failing school system of Newark, NJ, the $100 million lifeline should have been the answer to its problems. When Mark Zuckerberg teamed up with then Newark mayor Cory Booker and New Jersey governor Chris Christie, they had a plan, the funds and a lot of people watching. With this combination of money and political backing, how could they fail? 

Zuckerberg, Booker, and Christie not only wanted to fix a local problem, but to also find a solution for struggling schools nationwide. Despite their strong team, successful reforms proved elusive.

The Newark example raised many questions, not only for its district but also for the American school system. How should teachers be incentivised? Do charter schools help students or pull funding from public schools? In her new book, The Prize, journalist Dale Russakoff explores what the district tried and what went wrong. While many of these questions have been debated for years, she says one thing is clear: education "cannot be treated like a startup." 


  • Dale Russakoff, author of The Prize: Who's in Charge of America's Schools