Great bio of the Zuckerburg/Booker $100M donation to Newark schools. Takeaways from this book: * Newark is dealing with a pretty heavy legacy of corruption: “True to his words about the riches he expected to reap as mayor, Addonizio was convicted, along with four compatriots, of extorting $1.4 million from city contractors. Both Gibson and Sharpe James, his successor, also became convicted felons. Booker was the first Newark mayor in forty-four years not to be indicted.” * I wish I’d highlighted it, but there was a great quote (about Booker) “you can be a rockstar mayor or a good mayor, not both” and this was a theme throughout the book … many left with the impression that he was passing through to “bigger things” (which, he did). * The union is basically fucking everything up. Even though I don’t think the author was particularly critical, I took away a severely negative impression. In particular, strict senority based firing rules meant that low performing teachers were being paid tens of millions of dollars to work in non-teaching roles because they couldn’t be let go. * Why parents would oppose closing bad schools - they know everything is fucked, don’t expect it to get better, so want to keep the system they know how to play: “If Anderson scrambled the staff, sending away some teachers and recruiting others purported to be more effective, how would Carter know where to move her daughter in the likely event that the upheaval changed nothing?”

Cover image for The Prize