Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is joned Newark mayor Corey Booker and New Jersey governor Chris Christie to host a conference call all about his $100 million gift to Newark public schools.
We took notes. Anything not in quotes is a paraphrase.
1:09 Facebook PR boss Elliot Schrage starts the call.
1:10 Booker takes the line. He calls Zuckerberg Zuckerman. We’re not going to transcribe the stuff that sounds like blather. “New bolder vision” and stuff like that. We’ll note details.
1:11 It’s a challenge grant. Newark has to match the money. Newark has to reach goals to keep the money flowing.
1:12 Christie takes the line. He thanks Zuckerberg and Booker for partnering with the state.
1:13 He says what’s brought the three of together is that eduation is a civil right.
1:13 Zuckerberg takes the line. He says he’s excited to be “investing” in these two leaders. He says he spent a year researching. He says he admires teach for america and charter schools. The thing I thought would make the biggest impact was to try and go into a place that’s ready for real reform. That has great leaders and give them the resources they need to try out new programs. What I’m excited about here is that I can particpate and we can shine a bright light on Newark to make it a hotspot for education.
1:15 We’re onto the question and answer portion.
1:16 Reporter refers to TechCrunch as TechCrunch magazine. heh.
1:17, Christie says the plan is to hold teachers accountable. Also: we are going to support the creation and support of schools of excellence. He doesn’t care if they are district or charter schools.
1:19 A reporter asks how the schools will deal with parents who don’t care.
1:20 Booker answers: We can’t tolerate the blame game. Man this guy is angry and opinionated and charismatic.
1:21 Booker says the city’s control over the schools and the grant will only continue so long as the city schools are showing improvement.
1:22 Christie says we’re not going to transform the school system in the next months. We’re going to transform the ways we measure success. Christie says he and Booker better show success in the 3.5 years they have left in their terms.
1:23 Is the money to be directed at certain spots? What are the goals?
1:24 Mark says there are no earmarks. He says the plan is to listen to the community and then decide where to spend the money. There is nothing specific in the pledge.
1:26 Booker talks about the importance of goals.
1:27 How much will Zuckerberg be involved in the day-to-day?
1:27 He says he’s busy running a business. He says he’s investing in people. Christie and Booker. “I’m not going to be involved a huge amount on a day to day basis.”
1:28 Booker says none of the money will be invested in non-public schools.
1:30 What’s the structure of the donation?
1:30 Cash. Cash will be used to fund the plan. Contingent on getting all the results we want to get and matching.
1:34 Why education?
1:34 Zuckerberg says education is important in my family. He talks about how his girlfriend was a teacher. He says he doesn’t have time to run a foundation. What I wanted to do was make on donation wtih people I believe in to execute and run it.
1:36 Did Zuckerberg time this announcement to go with The Social Network’s release?
1:36: Zuckerberg says the timing was driven by the needs of Newark. He said he didn’t want the press of this to be conflated with the movie. He said he considered making the donation anonymously. He name drops Oprah.
1:37 Booker says he and the governor pressed to get the donation out faster. He says he had to convince Facebook not to make the donation anonymously. He said it was important Newark citizens see that someone already involved in their lives was making the donation. Also, he says that people would be suspicious of an anonymous donation (in Newark, especially).
1:41 Mark says his girlfriend didn’t get the respect she deserved when she went to be a teacher and that motivated his gift.
1:42 Mark says he met Booker at a conference and was impressed by his personal dedication to the job – how he went on police patrols, and moved to Newark’s worst neighbourhood.
1:43 Caroline McCarthy congratulates him on the donation. She asks if Mark is going to hire someone to oversee the donation. Mark says yes.
1:44 A reporter asks if there were conditions to the donations. Does that set a bad precedent? Christie says no.
1:49 Booker gives a speech about how he believes in Brick City.