Saturday, September 25, 2010

How to waste $100 million...

Yesterday, Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, announced that he was going to donate $100 million to help improve the public schools in Newark, New Jersey.

He would have been better off if he would have announced a series of 100 prizes worth $1 million to those individuals who come up with the best ideas for improving Facebook. Or, he could have spent the $100 million hiring more employees to monitor abuses of the Facebook service. Or, he could have thrown $100 million out of the window of his moving vehicle and assumed the people who picked it up would put it back into the economy.

Yet he chose to do one of the dumbest things a human being could do with $100 or $100 million.

Will $100 million:

a. Cause lousy parents in Newark to suddenly get involved in their childs' education or help them with homework or encourage them to read to their kids?
b. Cause poorly qualified teachers to magically become experts in their field of study?
c. Cause the teachers union in Newark to lose the power to protect bad teachers?
d. Cause tenure to go away in Newark?
e. Cause Newark to open up all school districts to competition, allowing any kid to go to any school he or she desires?
f. Cause the schools to adopt 1950s era punishment for unruly, disrespectful students?
g. Cause the IQ of the students in Newark to increase?

I wish Mr. Zuckerberg would reconsider. All he has accomplished is a net reduction of his wealth with nothing to show for it.


  1. It seems like you may agree with Mr. Obama on this one. Not that he's doing anything to fix the system. Words without actions are meaningless...

  2. I was very disappointed that Gov. Christie didn't use this opportunity to somehow make the points you make in this blog. He is in a difficult situation from a PR standpoint because even though he is characteristically blunt, he really can't diss a donation like this. It is in fact an excellent resource for him to place some band-aids on some gaping wounds and I think he'd rather have it than not have it, but in his heart of hearts he knows that your points a-g above will not be solved by throwing money at them. Christie's job is to communicate that truth and still create fanfare regarding a momentous financial opportunity for the Newark schools - not a simple task, but I think he blew the opportunity thus far.

  3. Very true, I wish he would have placed the money on my front doorstep. I would have gladly put some of it back into the economy.