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Where did the Mark Zuckerberg’s $100 Million Dollar Donation Go?

Panel discusses the current state of Newark public schools.

Interested citizens pack the Newark Public for a panel discussion between Dale Russakoff and other Newark leaders on Newark schools. Editor-in-Chief Mahishan Gnaseharan and Online Editor-in-Chief Andrew Sosanya were among others who  lined up to ask a questions of the panel.

Dennis Lansang

Interested citizens pack the Newark Public for a panel discussion between Dale Russakoff and other Newark leaders on Newark schools. Editor-in-Chief Mahishan Gnaseharan and Online Editor-in-Chief Andrew Sosanya were among others who lined up to ask a questions of the panel.

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Four St.Benedict’s students and two teachers joined more than 200 people in the Newark Public Library on September 10 to hear what was the fate of  Mark Zuckerberg’s $100 million dollar gift to Newark public schools and the current state of the city’s public schools.

Dale Russakoff, author of “The Prize”, a new book about that gift, and four other experts including Shane Harris, VP of the Prudential Foundation, Ryan Hill, executive director of Kipp NJ Charter Schools, and Mary Bennett, a long time educator, participated in the panel discussion which preceded a question and answer session with the  audience.

“The Prize” documents how the $100 millions was spent up until now. However, the impact of the donation isn’t exactly clear according to the book and the speakers. The panel discussion sought to remediate those misunderstandings. Executive Director of Schools That Can Newark Erin Sweeney said that the panel was one of the most important discussions held in Newark recently.

Editor-in-Chief Andrew Sosanya and Sports Editor Rui De Olivera have their books signed.

Dennis Lansang
Editor-in-Chief Andrew Sosanya and Sports Editor Rui De Olivera have their books signed.

 

“It was an honest conversation and included multiple points of view, attempting to provide a balanced view of the book and what happened,” Ms.Sweeney said. “The key to moving forward as a community is making sure that all members of our community have their voices, thoughts, and ideas heard.”

After the discussion, Newark residents and others lined up to voice their anger and concerns, not only about what happened to the gift, but what hasn’t changed in Newark schools. Christopher Heitzig, a St.John’s University graduate and Benedictine volunteer here said that PTA-style question and answer time wasn’t used to its potential.

“I was initially surprised that the panel and the questioners didn’t touch on how the money was spent,” said Mr. Heitzig. “Rather, most attendees [seemed to be] motivated teachers who care deeply about their students, who know their tendencies well, and who can make big changes at the ground level.”

Benedictine volunteer Chris Heitzig gets his book signed.

Dennis Lansang
Benedictine volunteer Chris Heitzig gets his book signed.

UDII Michael Pereira mentioned one ground level change that could be undertaken by everyone involved in the schools.

“The next big step for Newark Public Schools would be to heighten the communications between teachers and students,” he said.

 

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Where did the Mark Zuckerberg’s $100 Million Dollar Donation Go?