Newark

Newark

Mark Zuckerburg Gives $100 Million to Newark Schools

mark-zuckerberg

Update: December 9, 2010 Mark Zuckerburg pledged $100 million to the Newark Public Schools in New Jersey as a way to pledge his support to The Giving Pledge, a campaign led by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett.

The Giving Pledge encourages billionaires to donate half of their assets to charity either during their lifetime or at their death. A total of 57 billionaires have joined The Giving Pledge so far. Some of the newest ones are: Steve Case Co-founder of AOL, Carl Icahn, Michael Milken, Joe Mansueto Morningstar Chief Exec, Ted Forstmann and Nicolas Berggruen. Kudos to Facebook mogul and the other 56 billionaires on board so far, but according to Forbes magazine, the US boasts more than 400 billionaires. Where is everybody else?

If anyone questions how much Harvard dropout Mark Zuckerburg values education, you could answer with a nine-digit number. The Facebook founder will be donating $100 million to the struggling Newark school system. The official announcement is expected to be made on The Oprah Winfrey Show tomorrow. Newark Mayor Cory Booker and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie are also scheduled to be guests on the show.

Some critics have speculated that the donation is timed to divert attention away from the critical, although fictionalized, depiction of Zuckerburg in the soon-to-be-released film, The Social Network. Nonetheless, the charitable gift will unquestionably have a huge positive impact on Newark public schools. Zuckerburg has been named the 35th richest American by Forbes.

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Teach for America Veterans to Run School

Brick-avon-schoolIn Newark, New Jersey, six teachers produced by Teach for America are now in charge of Brick Avon Academy. Rather than running the school from a centralized principal’s office, they will serve as “teacher-leaders.” The teachers in Newark are part of an emerging trend of teacher-run schools.  They hope to improve schools in the systems that are struggling most. Similar schools have opened in Los Angeles, Boston, Detroit and Denver.

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Graduates Beware: Worst Places to Live in the U.S.

Cleveland

Cleveland

As a newly minted graduate, I frequently get asked why I chose to move all the way from Michigan to New York. The simple answer is there are more writing jobs to be found in New York. For many recent college grads there’s one issue that determines where they live or move: jobs.

I was actually surprisingly pleased to see that the Motor City didn’t come up as first on this list of worst places to live in U.S. from Wallet Pop. The major factors considered include the number of foreclosures, health and fitness of the population, crime rate and unemployment.

Here’s how the nation’s cities ranked:

10. Memphis, Tennessee

Not only does Memphis have a crime rate that’s 90% higher than any other community in Tennessee, it also suffers from corruption among city officials. Not long ago, a city administrator used government funds to purchase big screen TVs.

9. Miami, Florida

Florida may be the sunshine state, but things are not looking so bright in Miami. According to Children’s Health, it’s the second worst city to raise a family. It’s had nearly 40,000 foreclosures and also has a considerable problem with violent crime.

8. Newark, New Jersey

First of all, New Jersey has the most Superfund sites of any other state in the union, meaning its residents are exposed to high levels of environmental pollution. More than a quarter of the population lives below the poverty line, and the city is making drastic cuts to public services in an attempt to close a $70 million budget deficit.

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