September 24, 2010
Joseph Del Grosso, President, Newark Teachers Union,
And Randi Weingarten, President, American Federation of Teachers,
On Mark Zuckerberg’s Donation to Newark’s Schools
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has announced he will donate up to $100 million to improve Newark’s schools.
Newark, N.J.—Mark Zuckerberg’s generous pledge provides a rare opportunity to dramatically improve the education of Newark’s children and the quality of life for everyone who lives in this city. To make the most of this opportunity, all of us have to work together, put aside our differences and get behind a shared vision of what Newark’s students need to succeed in college, life and careers. The voices of frontline educators need to be respected and valued at every stage, especially when translating broad concepts into lesson plans, teaching methods, school conditions and resources that will affect students and teachers every day, in every classroom in every Newark school.
The Newark Teachers Union has long been a leader in efforts to improve the city’s schools, making common cause with community groups, institutes of higher education, parents and faith leaders—anybody who shares our members’ commitment to providing every student in the city’s schools a world-class education. Our partners respect the important role that frontline educators must play in decisions that affect school policies and practices. In that spirit, we look forward to working with Mark Zuckerberg and the entire Newark community to make this city’s schools a national model for urban education.
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The AFT represents 1.5 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.