The event is open to the public. Robeson Hall 255-257, 5:30 p.m. Books can be purchased and will be signed by the author after the interview.
A Conversation with Dale Russakoff, New York Times bestselling author of THE PRIZE: Who is In Charge of Our Schools?
“Brilliantly reported…May well be one of the most important books on education to come along in years.” —Alex Kotlowitz, New York Times Book Review
Dale Russakoff’s THE PRIZE: Who’s in Charge of America’s Schools? (Houghton Mifflin, September 2015) has ignited a national conversation about education, poverty, philanthropy and politics. The book tells the riveting story of a grand experiment conceived by an improbable alliance of former Mayor Cory Booker, Governor Chris Christie and Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, to save an urban school district. The hope was to create in Newark a model for education in disadvantaged districts nationwide. Combining clear-eyed analysis, brilliant reporting and an ability to weave together many disparate skeins into a compelling narrative, THE PRIZE reveals the intricate agendas at play. The high-stakes battle for control of Newark’s schools—and the money attached to it—is the latest chapter in a long history of neglect and betrayal of the citizens of Newark, who first learned about the Zuckerberg gift of $100 million along with the nation, when it was announced on the Oprah Winfrey show.
Russakoff, who brings nearly 3 decades of experience as a Washington Post reporter, gained first-person access to all of the key players, but also spent hours in the classrooms, at school and town meetings and at the homes of students and their families. Within the broken system, she discovers gifted teachers, dedicated parents and bright young “scholars” with a hunger to learn. In THE PRIZE, she lends us her eyes and ears. We are in the back of the limousine with Cory Booker, in the board room with teams of highly paid consultants, at town meetings with former Superintendent of Schools, Cami Anderson, and face-to-face with Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan.
Interviewed by Joelle Delbourgo, Russakoff’s long-time friend, literary agent, and Lecturer in the English Department at Rutgers, this conversation will trace how a newspaper journalist at one of the top newspapers in the country transitioned from reporting for newspapers to writing a full-length book that took four and a half years. They will discuss the publishing process, from book proposal to bestselling book. Russakoff will share the tremendous reaction to the book which has resulted in a New Yorker excerpt, speaking engagements at Stanford and the Harvard School of Education, media coverage worldwide, and translation sales in China, Korea and the Czech Republic. Most important, Russakoff will offer her observations and what they mean for the city of Newark, for our schools and for the future of our children.