Mark Zuckerberg Details Newark Schools’ Progress Since 2010 Donation


Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg donated $ 100 million to the school system in Newark, N.J., in 2010. Five years later, what have the results been?

Zuckerberg offered an update in a Facebook post last week, and the social network also provided the following key statistics in an email to SocialTimes:

  • Graduation rates in Newark have increased 13 percentage points–up from 56 percent to 69 percent–a large increase in just a few years. We expect this rate to continue increasing as more students go through improved schools. That’s a real improvement in many people’s lives.
  • Parents in Newark have more high-quality public school choices than before since Newark’s charter schools now rank as the second-highest performers in the nation. Many parents now choose schools other than their assigned neighborhood schools to best meet their child’s needs–and they can do this because of new schools and greater choice.
  • The new teacher contract is already making a difference for students by helping to keep the best teachers. Last year, 95 percent of the best Newark teachers stayed in the district.
  • Newark was just ranked in the top five urban school districts by the respected Center on Reinventing Public Education on “beating the odds”–meaning it has significantly more schools where students’ results beat others of similar backgrounds.

Zuckerberg’s post is embedded below, and highlights include:

No effort like this is ever going to be without challenges, mistakes and honest differences among people with good intentions. We welcome a full analysis and debate of lessons learned. But it is important that we not overlook the positive results.

We’ve learned a lot of lessons from this project that we are already applying to our next major effort in the San Francisco Bay area:

It’s very important to understand the desires of a community and to listen and learn from families, teachers, elected officials and other experts. We now better understand why it can take years to build the support to durably cement the changes needed to provide every student with a high-quality education.

In our ongoing focus on personalized learning, our goal is to work with everyone–district schools, charters, private schools, teachers, parents, unions and other philanthropists. Everyone benefits from personalized learning, and we’ll serve students best if everyone is behind the effort.

Change in education takes time and requires a long-term focus. We are committed to working to improve public education for many years to come, and to improving our approach as we go.

Priscilla (Zuckerberg’s wife, Priscilla Chan) and I have been fortunate to have great educations and supportive families and communities. We want to help make a real difference for all children, and we’ll keep sharing more about what’s ahead.

Readers: What are your thoughts on the progress in Newark?

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Organizing Your Closet For Fall? Help Your Community with Donation Drop Spots #STL (Sponsored)

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Help Your Community with Donation Drop Spots

Disclosure: This is a compensated post written by me on behalf of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri and Savers.

Just take a look around my neighborhood, and you can see that fall has definitely arrived. The leaves are beginning to turn colors and the weather is a little more mild and less humid. I’ve found myself going through my closets and restocking my sweaters, blazers, boots, and jackets that have been stored up since last spring, and prepping my closet for the new season. Organizing my closet for autumn is one surefire way to not only be prepared, but it can also help cut down on clutter and extra items that I will no longer want to wear, making space for some new favorites to make their appearance.

My weekends are currently busy not only going through my closet, but my daughter’s as well. She is growing at a rapid pace, so most of the clothing and shoes that she wore last fall and winter no longer fit this year. So, we’ve been boxing up the clothing that she cannot wear anymore and have been moving it to the garage. This helps free up space in her closet and keeps her closet clean and organized and seasonally appropriate.

And after we are done moving our unwanted items to the garage, I am taking them to the Big Brothers and Sisters of Eastern Missouri Donation Drop Spot conveniently located right in my neighborhood. They’ve teamed with Savers thrift stores to open six new Donation Drop Spots to help collect items in the greater St. Louis area. Savers in turn pays Big Brothers Big Sisters when community members donate their goods at the Donation Drop Spots, regardless of if the items make it to the Savers sales floors or not.

Talk about helping a worthy cause while organizing your closet for fall—it’s a win win!

Donation Drop Spots are generally open from 9am to about 6pm at the following locations in St. Louis metro area:

  • S Kirkwood Road, Kirkwood, MO 63122
  • 8800 Manchester Road, Brentwood, MO 63144
  • S Kingshighway Blvd & Chippewa, St. Louis, MO 63116
  • 48 Plaza 94 St. Peters, MO 63376
  • 3900 Vogel Road, Arnold, MO 63010
  • 2030 Dorsett Village, Maryland Heights, MO 63043

Savers Donation Network

Savers is also on a mission to create a better world through reuse by inspiring local communities to donate reusable items to local nonprofits instead of throwing them in the trash. Through its commitment to sustainability, Savers has become one of the largest recyclers of used goods in the world, keeping more than 650 million pounds of reusable items from landfills each year.

Do you need additional tips to help you organize your fall wardrobe? Here’s a few tips below:

1. Prepare

Tackle this project on a day when you have time to finish it. Don’t pull everything out of your closet and then realize you have to go somewhere. You’ll end up feeling frustrated and overwhelmed. So set aside a few hours, and be sure to have some bins or trash bags ready to store things in. Also, make sure that the rest of your bedroom is clean and neat. You don’t need other messes distracting you from the task at hand. If you’re up for it, shop for new hangers and storage bins. I love having matching hangers, but it took me a while (I’m talking YEARS!) to accumulate enough wooden hangers to support my entire wardrobe.

2. Dress Up

Grab a mirror and a second opinion for this step. Take the time to try on things that you have not worn in a while and decide whether you should keep it or donate it. Rule of thumb, if you have not worn it in one entire season, unless it is a special occasion type of outfit, then donate or sell it.

3. Storing

This part can be a bit daunting so make sure that you are completing the task on a day that you can devote to this alone. Wash and fold your summer clothes that you plan to keep. Set aside a pile for the dry cleaner’s and mending. Pack your sandals away neatly as you do not want to have squished sandals when you open the bin next year. Store the things you plan to keep in a clean bin that will not allow bugs to enter. There is nothing worse than finding creepy bugs when you are unpacking your clothes next year. Ideally, use tissue paper to keep things from getting wrinkled.

You can get more of our Fall Wardrobe Organization tips here.

If you are in STL, I really encourage you to donate your no longer used items to Big Brothers Big Sisters via Savers at one of their six Donation Drop Spots in the area. It’s a gift that will go a long way by helping boys and girls in our communities.

More about Savers:

In addition to the good deeds and eco-convenience Savers offers, the stores also boasts great deals! Savers has pioneered a thrift store experience that has defied typical expectations for secondhand shopping. Shoppers will not find cluttered piles and broken equipment on the shelves at Savers. Instead, they will find the stores to be spacious, well-lit and easy to navigate. The inventory is carefully curated so that shoppers are provided with easy access to high-quality goods at affordable prices.

With more than 100,000 items on its sales floor at any given time, and carrying everything from clothing and accessories, to housewares and electronics, Savers is no ordinary thrift store. Customers will find a fresh stock of value-priced goods, including authentic vintage finds and name brand fashions, with up to 10,000 new items placed on the floor each day.

Disclosure: This is a compensated post written by me on behalf of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri and Savers.

The Cubicle Chick