GOOD

Teachers in the Trenches Aren't Impressed with Arne Duncan's "Appreciation Letter"

Duncan's open letter to teachers expressing his appreciation for their hard work hasn't exactly been well-received.

"Sorry, Arne. I think this is just lip service."

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Reform Gone Wrong: Despite $100 Million From Facebook, Newark Schools Still Screwed Up

Infighting and a lack of transparency in decision making are hampering reform and losing the trust of the community.


Last September, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg famously went on the Oprah Winfrey Show to announce that he'd sent a $100 million friend request to the troubled Newark, New Jersey schools. Six months later, only $1 million of those funds has been spent and the community is bickering over how to best use the $99 million balance that's being held by the foundation that Zuckerberg started to administer the funds, Startup Education.

Controversy started right off the bat when Zuckerberg attached strings to the money, like demanding that Newark Mayor Cory Booker be given control of the city's schools. Due to abysmal academic performance and mismanagement, the 40,000 student-strong district has been under state control since 1995 and mayoral control is prohibited by New Jersey law. Governor Chris Christie went ahead and opted not to renew school superintendent Clifford Janey's contract—a new superintendent still hasn't been hired—and said Booker would play an "advisory" role to the schools.

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Extra Credit: Education Cuts Found Unconstitutional

Budget cuts, budget cuts, and more budget cuts: what we're reading at GOOD Education HQ


Last year, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie slashed $820 million from the state's education budget. Now a judge has ruled the cuts violated the state constitution because they disproportionally impacted low-income districts.

State universities are facing such severe budget cuts, they may have to lay off tenured faculty. Meanwhile, community colleges in Alabama are dealing with cuts by dissolving their athletic programs.

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