On October 5, The Wall Street Journal published an article by James Piereson and Naomi Schaefer Riley detailing the impact of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s $100million gift to Newark, New Jersey Public Schools in 2010. The article cited a newly-released book by journalist Dale Russakoff titled “The Prize: Who’s in Charge of America’s Schools?” which argues that the large Zuckerberg donation did little to change the course for children in failing Newark schools, and former Edna McConnell Clark Foundation Michael Bailin, who states that programs which focus on “education and justice and child welfare and neighborhood improvement” need more in order to enact reform.
Piereson and Riley look instead to other philanthropic endeavors endorsed by Mr. Bailin to help American children get the education they need, including investment in scholarships (in reference to CSFP’s national affiliate, CSF):
Fortunately, Mr. Bailin dismantled some of the vast social re-engineering structure that his predecessors had put in place and instead backed some successful nonprofits. Other philanthropists have done the same. In 1998, John Walton and Ted Forstmann each gave $50 million to fund scholarships for low-income children to attend private schools. More than 140,000 students have attended schools with graduation and college matriculation rates that exceed 90% instead of going to the failing schools in their neighborhoods.
A concerted effort from all interested parties: school districts, politicians, philanthropists, nonprofits, and more, needs to be made in order to ensure that all American children have access to quality education. CSFP and our partners are working to give children that access now, as we look towards a solution to this problem.