Skip to comments.Will Zuckerberg’s $120 Million Donation to San Francisco Public Schools Produce Results?
Posted on 06/01/2014 4:50:17 AM PDT by Kaslin
A $120 million charitable donation by Facebook President and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Pricilla Chan, M.D., to provide fresh funding to aid the San Francisco Bay areas public schools is worth lauding but lets hope that the generosity will produce the desired results of improving education.
The generous contribution comes with high risk-reward implications. A successful use of the funds may encourage huge charitable contributions for education from other extremely wealthy people who otherwise could support medical advances, jump-start local economies in downtrodden cities or create job opportunities with new investment, while a squandering of the money could discourage such benevolence.
Debate exists about whether contributions to a particular cause are a better use of money than re-deploying it the private sector to create good-paying jobs at businesses that provide products or services people really need and want to buy. I followed the commercial satellite industry for many years as a reporter when billions of dollars were going into the development of mobile voice services that were expected to charge up to $7 a minute to provide service virtually anywhere on the globe.
Ultimately, the market place showed that relatively few people were unwilling to spend such significant sums on placing a phone call and the businesses went bankrupt. The same principle of seeking a return on investment that determines whether start-up businesses gain additional funding or find their sources of capital dry up amid dimming prospects comes into play with large donations.
Fortunately for San Francisco-area public school children, Zuckerberg and his wife are willing to provide their big donation after already pumping $100 million into the public schools in Newark, N.J., with questionable results.
NBC News, which the conservative Media Research Center routinely cites as a bastion of liberal-leaning journalism, acknowledged in a May 30 Today Show news report that the $100 million in Zuckerberg funding is largely is gone, with little to show for it. MSN reported on May 13 on the situation and gave the article a headline, Was Zuckerbergs $100M school gift a waste?
However, the most scathing and detailed reporting of the $100 million arguably misspent came from New Yorker magazine article, Schooled.
The New Yorker article quoted New Jerseys Republican Gov. Chris Christie saying about urban education before the donation, Were paying caviar prices for failure. Newarks Democratic Mayor Cory Booker, who previously has touted the benefits of vouchers and charter schools, personally sought out Zuckerman, then 26, and successfully pitched the idea of the donation.
Newark hired 50 new principals, opened four new public high schools and introduced merit-pay incentives for teachers. At Zuckerbergs insistence, Booker also rounded up $100 million in matching donations.
The key problem became how the money was spent. Without tight controls, large sums went to consulting firms.
The going rate for individual consultants in Newark was a thousand dollars a day, the New Yorker reported.
The magazine quoted the president of the Urban League of Essex County saying, Everybodys getting paid, but Raheem still cant read.
Despite questionable results from the $100 million donation in Newark, Zuckerberg and his wife are lavishing their generosity on the public schools in the San Francisco area. The mission is especially significant to Chan, who herself attended public schools.
The $120 million gift is just a fraction of the $1.1 billion in Facebook stock that Zuckerberg and his wife pledged to donate last year to the nonprofit Silicon Valley Community Foundation. Chan explained to reporters that the educational donation to San Francisco-area public schools is aimed at exploring and promoting new models to enhance learning.
Zuckerman and his wife certainly are not the first philanthropists who have chosen to support public education reform and I predict with confidence that they will not be the last. It has become almost fashionable among the well-healed to put money into education and the allure of leaving a legacy of progress in our public schools is enticing.
Indeed, the foundations of Microsofts Bill Gates, the family of Walmart founder Sam Walton and California real-estate and insurance mogul Eli Broad took key roles in championing charitable funding aimed at creating an educational renaissance. However, Gates and his wife also have other charitable interests that they are helping through Gates Foundation efforts to aid the worlds poorest people in lifting themselves out of hunger and poverty; to harness advances in science and technology to save lives in developing countries; and to build strategic relationships to promote policies to address important global challenges.
The Gates Foundation states on its website that its mission is to achieve results that depend on the quality of its partnerships. Ultimately, successful people who donate the money will want a return on their investment and if public school education officials want the resources to continue flowing, they need to deliver on their promises of reform and progress or risk having the funds go to other charities that can demonstrate the results benefactors seek.
Zuck is about to find out just how stupid he really is. The $120M will be pi$$ed away so fast and stolen that he won’t even have time to post what the progress is on his own Facebook page. Bwwwwaaaaaahhhhaaaaaahhhhaaaaa!!!!
If the question is, “Will his largess make a difference in the quality of the product of San Francisco schools?”, the answer is, “Not a chance!”
No. He’ll discover most of it has been stolen.
Hahahaha. Yeah throw money away on perks for educrats or throw it away on perks for medical “researchers”.
Just buy a yacht or three. It’ll do more good.
We laugh, but he will never be called out in public on this, he will be lauded, as the author chooses to do, he’ll have a school named after him, kids will suffer because of it, and conservatives will be made the bogeyman.
a fool and his money...
So many people are blind to the fact that it is the statist structure of the system that causes it to function in a certain way.
In the centrally planned model, the system consumes resources for itself. Even when it costs over $1 million to graduate a single student who is competent at grade level in the core subject, there is still not enough money to run the system. (The cost in some urban districts exceeds $1 million.)
In the free market model, the incentives are more aligned with the student. If the student goes to a school that is not producing results that satisfy the customer (student and parents) they are free to take their money to a supplier who is better. Suppliers who fail to satisfy go out of business. Costs are kept as low as possible consistent with having satisfied customers.
We have made a grave mistake by allowing government to be involved in education of children beyond *suggesting* standards. The hidden cost is in our national prosperity. having a generation of students who fall one grade level below their full potential translates into over a trillion dollars in lower GDP. It also gives us far higher “low information voters”, who allow the election of more morons and idiots to public office.
We no longer have the prosperity or latitude to put up with the wealth and life-destroying public education system. For the sake of the republic one of the primary goals of future liberty-oriented candidates for public office must be to free children from government schools.
It is rather like subsidizing a tape worm.
Zukderberg would have done a far better thing had he used this money to set up a voucher program that would have set up a competition to the government education cabal. Instead, he fed the machine.
This guys a real Marxist piece of work isn’t he. Give $120 mill to a Marxist indoctrination center, but he had no problem making those billions from capitalism did he. Billions from a freakin website that produces absolutely nothing, unreal. The world is upside down.
Good business move to keep liberals and teacher union off his back and encourage young to participate in face book.
Oh well. Maybe he'll learn an important lesson about government that he didn't learn in government school.
Government-as-religion is so dreary and simple-minded.
It shows that they are not the "dog-eat-dog" type of man.
No doubt there will be results. If they are what he intended is another matter.
It will be immediately stolen by the teachers unions.
would have been beetter funding private schools or vouchers.
Recall the Annenberg Challenge grant that The Won administered in Chicago. It was a $50 million grant, which was matched by private donations and by public funds.
Accordingly, Zero had $150 million to distribute toward worthy programs in the Chicago schools -- as designed by his Communist buddies, William Ayers and Michael Tomsky.
Subsequently, it was determined that the Annenberg Challenge had done nothing to improve the performance of children in the Chicago public schools. Zero. Zip. Nada.
Zuckerberg's $120 mill is doomed to be flushed down the same toilet (or stolen).
It’s his money, and he can throw it away however he wants. When all the seminars and conferences are over, kids can get back to not learning with their regular teachers instead of substitutes. Spread the good feelings.
You’d think this “progressive” rich guy and his wife would have learned. If you dump money down “black holes”, it will disappear. Hey, Zuck...send some my way. I know how to blow it.
They are liberals and liberals don’t learn, but they expect others to make the same mistakes as they do
It didn’t in Newark apparently but stupid doesn’t usually learn fast.
Libs have this illusion that the superstructure is more important than the student and his or her family. In a western country if the student and his or her family are interested in learning, they will learn. If not, all the money in the world thrown at them won’t do a bit of good.
Buying influence is what this is.
As the posted article notes, Zuckerberg “teamed up” with no less than Chris Christie and Cory Booker, perhaps the two greatest egos and master of self-promotion in the land, to clean up and “fix” the public school system in little old Newark (I read that the city only has 250K residents, which surprised me).
They got their fat arses handed to them by union bosses, administrators and 60-year-old secretaries.
At this point Zuckerberg knows better than to care about the ruination of American schools. He, like his hero Obama, only cares about looking like he cares.
Didn’t he try the same thing in Newark (100 million)without much result? Of course, the New Jersey folks were probably more experienced and involved in siphoning off funds for themselves and cronies.
$1000 per day is not unrealistic for a consultant, but there needs to be results.
It is likely that Zuckerberg has succumbed to the same brand of hubris that has made fools of the Gates's and Windbag Buffett as well. Their overweening self-adoration has convinced them that their vaunted millions and billions will make more difference in the world's condition than fleas in a windstorm.