A detail that got buried on the day that Newark Mayor Cory Booker announced he would not challenge Gov. Chris Christie next year was the bit of news that a judge had ordered the release of secret e-mails involving the Booker administration's dealings involving Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's $100 million donation to city schools.
For-profit companies taking over failing public schools in Baltimore, Philadelphia, Highland Park (MI), and other districts is one example. And cyber charter schools and blended schools run by for-profit companies are other examples. Note that no middle-class and upper-middle-class suburbs or exurbs seek out private contractors to run their schools. The phenomenon is localized in poor and minority schools that fail to make academic progress. Larry Cuban explains the consequences of this phenomenon.
To get an understanding of how America's wealthiest people are using their fortunes to drive school reform, take a look at a list of the contributors to the pro-charter school initiative on the Washington state ballot in November. The first few pages -- the ones with the biggest donations -- is a who's who of billionaires.