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Make a Difference Using Technology

Mark Zuckerberg, the 26-year-old founder and chief executive of Facebook has made a donation of $100 million to the Newark public schools.  The $100 million is to be used to improve education in America, with the primary goal of helping Newark.

The donation has the potential to be matched by another $100 million that Newark’s mayor, Cory Booker, has been working on by raising funds from various private foundations and others.  The Mayor is trying to “Make a Difference” and it’s through the help of local and state business that the problem can and will be addressed.  Many people felt that the Mayor was about to “take” over the schools within his city and after listening to the Board of Education’s Advisory Committee, many can rest assured that that wouldn’t happen.

Imagine if the very people the Mayor are seeking to ask for help have their own agenda that the Mayor is to follow and money wasn’t a barrier, at all.  Imagine more affluent patrons dictating to the Mayor how they want their “Donation” spent and the Mayor’s compliance is mandatory upon receipt.  Imagine the Governor, who has caused the funding source for the State’s School system to all but dry up, requesting the Mayor in a direction inconsistent with “BOE” policy.  Now I have come to understand that the Quality Single Accountability Continuum (QSAC) is in place to keep such a thing from happening.

Our children really need not to become mere pawns in the political machines our Governors and Mayors can contrive and conjure up.  After the schools were taken over by the State, the job of “OverSeer” w/o an effective plan was hatched. While under the control of those who supposedly “knew” all are kids are now worse off, with 20% of the “failing” schools resting solely in Newark, alone.   The below question:

Asked by Sen. Ronald Rice (D-Essex) if any interpretation of the QSAC law permits a mayor to play an official role in school governance, Hendricks said, “No.” When asked if language in the QSAC law authorizes any mayoral participation in schools under state control, Hendricks again responded, “No.”

Mark Zuckerberg.

Newark spends about $22,000 a year on each of its 40,000 pupils, but only about half of its students graduate. Of those who do, only one-fifth go on to four-year colleges. More than 85 percent of the Newark students at community colleges need remedial help in math and English.

The $200 million that could be raised would amount to over 20 percent of Newark’s budget of $940 million.

The donation comes at a time when foundations and wealthy investors are increasingly funneling large amounts of money to public education — but with strings attached. In Washington, D.C., this year foundations pledged millions of dollars to fund an increase in teacher pay that is tied to an individual teacher’s ability to show that they can help students improve their performance.

In the case of Zuckerberg’s donation, there are no particular plans as of yet. Booker is supposed to draw up those plans and get community support for them, according to a person familiar with the situation. –

WSJ Last Updated: 10:22 AM, September 23, 2010 Posted: 10:17 PM, September 22, 2010

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It would seem that this is the FaceBook Mogel’s  largest gift to date.  Although it comes as the company he founded battles to counteract a Hollywood film’s scathing depiction of the founder, Mark Zuckerberg.  “The Social Network,” which opened on Oct. 1, portrays Zuckerberg as a conniving backstabber who may have stolen the idea for his social networking site.

I don’t think any portrayal of Mark Zuckerberg is going to diminish the impact that FaceBook has and will continue to have on the many users of his platform.  What is needed is for the children to learn from what Mr. Zuckerberg has done and begin emulating it on some scale. We are enriching many website and application creators like the FaceBooks, MSN and Yahoo’s IM Client as well as the many iPhone Apps for the Apple Macintosh environment and never really experiencing first hand direct intervention on a magnitude as Mark’s contribution.

We have been placed with a huge opportunity to not only contribute, but to take back our communities.  Let’s begin the process by seeking out those like-minded people and also by reciprocating with our patronage, showing appreciation for those who are willing to give back. Many local businesses understand that without a strong working class this country ceases to exist.  Educating our young people to eventually become the workers and thinkers of a society that can once again catapult this country to the top is extremely important.  We do have those wanting to “Make a Difference” and if connecting them to each other is what we can do then that is what we should do.

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