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tv   America Tonight  Al Jazeera  October 7, 2015 2:30am-3:01am EDT

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[ ♪ ] on"america tonight", learning lessons. a readyicly new approach to higher ed, but does it work. >> you see all the times that anyone spoke, typed anything. >> this is not even possible in a standard classroom. >> exactly. >> "america tonight" on whether this experiment in education may make the identifyie league reconsider its approach. also ahead, $100 million in likes. schools. >> i taught it would come and fix everything. they robbed the children. >> the new york new jersey
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school will try to get by with help from their friends. >> thanks for joining us. i'm joie chen. was it an investment in the future or throwing good money after bad. the latest colossal bid to remake education. once again, the experiment in remaking new jersey's largest school system began five months ago, and as sara hoy found, 100 billion of facebook likes might not have been enough. >> i've committed to starting the start-up education foundation, whose first projected will be $100 million challenge grant. >> $100 million. >> $100 million. >> five years ago facebook's mark zuckerberg went on the oprah show and planned to transform education in the city of newark.
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his $100 billion donation was new jersey's best kept secret. students and parents had no idea. newark's mayor heard about the gift like everyone else. >> it was a surprise to everyone, no one knew in the city what was happening. i think everyone was introduced to this on oprah winfrey show. the $100 million came with the caveat that the newark mayor match it. >> i am grateful that mark zuckerberg put forward a gift to the city to help with the figs, knowing if we can do it here, win the victory here, it's a victory for all america. >> they have three children ages 11 to 17, enrolled in newark's troubled school system.
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like a lot of parents at the time, they were ecstatic when we donation. >> we thought it was amazing, we thought it would help. >> they thought the money would trickle down and cure the school district's woes. battle lines from drawn, and a war in newark began between schools and those that radically re made the system. i thought that would come and fix everything. it didn't. they robbed the children. >> robbed your children. >> robbed our children. >> reporter: why do you feel that way? >> because they put the money in everything that it shouldn't have gone, hiring people to consult, consultants and all the different places. how does that help our kids. >> what she didn't know, and the people of newark didn't know is that new jersey's political leaders had plans for all those millions of dollars.
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>> there was an email exchanged early on in the planning process in which an aid to cory booker wrote mz's money is not going to the classroom. >> reporter: an author chronicled of what became of the $100 million gift. the prize, who is in charge of american schools, saying the 26-year-old billionaire, the republican governor made for an odd alliance. how much, they had a strong belief in the chartered school system. education. >> they'd use the money to expand charter schools. the governor had control of the schools. he and booker together decided to get on with the transformational change in the district and they'd develop a plan to bring in charters to bring in accountability and charters in the distright.
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>> at the time, this was a high school principle in newark, and ran on a flat form. he took office last year. if huh to give a snap -- if you had to give a snapshot of classrooms at that time, what was it like in the city? >> like most cities in america, where, you know, inner cities predominantly black, brown, poor, segregated by race and class, overcrowded, many classrooms. not the resources that you need. there is no crisis in american education. there's a crisis in inner cities. rather than address things like overcrowding, the majority of $200 million, and money raised by then mayor booker went to teacher contracts, charter schools and consultants. money was given. it pushed a political agenda
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with the mayor at the time, and the governor, who thought in this was the way schools should be moving. >> since 1995, the state of new jersey ran newark schools. the former superintendent was appointed superintendent of newark public schools shortly after zuckerberg's donation, and spoke exclusively with "america tonight", in an interview since resigning this june. >> imagine a situation where one and three kids operated at grade level. a rate stuck at 50" in deteriorating buildings, no schools wired with the internet. we are talking about 2010. this is what the school was when i got there. >> to fix the problems, charter schools, operating free of some of the rules of normal schools, and school choice were marketed to parents and students. >> when it comes to school reform a lot of people say
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charter cools are t -- schools are the way to go. are they the cure-all. >> i'm a charter advocate. there are amazing charter schools and there are ineffective charter schools, there's no panacea, no one size fits all. >> we need to look at the cities, and this is an important measure. to find the mix and innovation. they bring flexibility to the work, a whole set of learning and in many ways results that have. >> bringing education reform to an embattled school district, making a lot of unpopular choices, closing many schools, assigning students to schools by lottery. as superintendent. came anderson implemented a reform plan. it divided the city.
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some say leaders failed to tell educators. >> i got the picture of charter school as the perfect school. so that's when i asked my daughter do you want to go, go. >> what was it like. so many we heard from, it was a tumultuous time. was it that bad. >> yes, it was. >> it was scary, because to me it was like you are trying to turn the school into a charter school. it was like a lottery. you had to take a few schools, and a lottery was going to tell you where you went. it was difficult to understand. >> the mayor sis resentment over the lack of community input, and anderson's closure of schools reached a tipping point. >> she didn't have a good relationship with people. she made things happen without consult are or talking or
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consensus or allowing people to be a part of discussion or turning people off. >> reporter: earlier this year students staged a 4-day sit-in at the superintendent's office. the mayor joined other politicians and religious leaders in a xaul for anderson to step down. >> why would they. >> they said they made a mess. >> is there something definitive like cam anderson needed to be out because enough was enough. >> enough was enough a long time ago. she had no support from the community, she tried to make it seem like she did, she didn't. >> in order to challenge interests about adults, and not children, you have to make bold decisions and wake up knowing that your decision has to be about what? the best interests of kids. >> reporter: her daughter was among the
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protesters. the high school soft morse secretary. >> we want her out. she was here implementing one newark, she brought that here. in 2012 when she came in, it was her the the one newark and budget cuts, we saw it as her. it's not her, it's the state. it's the system. >> reporter: when she stepped down in june, she had eight months left on her contract. she said she's proud of the district's accomplishments and city. >> clearly you are passionate about education, passion at about newark, and still passionate about newark. for you, what will it take to move forward, to have the city on? >> if adults keep kids at the core of decision making, the progress would continue, and my hope would be that the individuals who know things are better, and a lot of people hold everyone's feet to the fire and redouble the efforts for change.
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>> there's one thing that i can learn from you today - what should i be learning? >> that our schools are in need of help. that the kids are in need of help. my friends, my community were all in need of help, and that nothing is going to change any time soon. donation. >> it's more than money. i don't think money can buy someone's belief in themselves, someone's urge to go on. >> with most of the famed facebook donations spent, and the state set to give back control of the schools to the city in 2016, it now remains to be seen whether local officials can better solve the problems that plague education, the new jersey's largest city "america tonight" said sara hoy with us now. it may be more than money, $100 million is a lot of money. is it clear where it all went? >> there's a big chunk of it that we do know where it went.
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as we said in the report, and bear with me, the majority of the money went to contract, charter schools and consultants. let's break down the figures, as for contracts and labour costs. $89 million. $89 million. when it comes to the charter schools - $57 million. the majority of that money was not going to school supplies and books and new classrooms, it was costs. >> but i think at the end of the day what people want to know, whether you decided to spend it on charter schools or paper and pencils, is did it work, did it improve anything in terms of clear? >> some of the gains are small. they are there. when speaking with the former superintendent she let us know, yes, she made some advances the there are small gains. at the end of the day we are talking about a period of
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five years. the newark school system did not get there overnight. this is decades in the making. it will take time to flip the script if you will. for now, although there are small gains, there are plenty of reports that say they need to make much more use of the resources that they have, and the lack of resources that they have, to make sure they advance the school district. at the end of the day, $100 million, $200 million, it's a small amount when you look at the gross problem. >> and a lesson for other schools. i am wondering is enough time for graduating class to get through high school, and i was struck by the amount of motion. we wanted to learn. we wanted better schools. >> what was your impression of them. speaking with a lot of these students, what they here is they feel that those in power, the adults forgot about the
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students. yep, five years may be one complete graduating class, wlalent the others that are in middle school or elementary school, they have to be switched around, different approaches. the pieces keep being moved, it's yet to be seen what the grand scheme will be long term. "america tonight"s sara hoy next - troubles for the military's high flyer. later, an i.v. league education. could this be the uncampus of the future and hot on "america tonight" website. behind the screen. today's sweat shot delivers some of our favourite consumer products and dangerous working continues. that's at >> we're here to fully get into the nuances of everything that's going on, not just in this country,
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but around the world. getting the news from the people who are affected. >> people need to demand reform... >> ali velshi on target weeknights 10:30p et
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>> i've been asked to keep my voice down cause we are so close
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if you are a college senior, it is has probably already begun. many are thinking about pay, if they get in. this is a huge concern, even to leaders in higher ed. putting a stop to it may take a radical learning lesson, and a new approach that florian mayer found in the min everybodia -- pinerva >>. >> because it's private, doesn't
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scientificly. >> reporter: for a small group of students, this is a typical day at college. there's no classrooms or lectures, no tenured professors and no libraries, yet the students may be getting a better education without them. minerva is a new online university aiming to compete with elite schools. founding dean, steven coslin joined the start up after a lifetime in the i'vie league. >> i don't think students are being educated. i don't think they are acquiring what we think of as the great cognitive tools that allow them to succeed. >> he may have a point. a study of a sample book of undergraduates found that 45% demonstrated no significant improves, and critical thinking and complex reasoning after the
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first two years of college. a world class neuroscientist and former chair of psychologiology at -- psychology, it has been said they don't teach traditional subjects like maths and biology any, instead they take courses designed to teach content. >> lecturing is a great way to teach. you can teach 1,000 as effectively as 10 people. it's a terrible way to learn. >> the message is based on research and how people learn. >> we know that we are going to use the story. >> jonathan, the school's product officer. it is designed to compel students. during class, professors, see a chart of each student's face. colour-coded to show a level of participation.
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tools like pop quizes, helping teachers avoid lecturing. you see the fool video of the class, you see the times anyone spoke, typed anything. you can filter down. and say i only want to see when people talk for 10 seconds, when people raise their hands. >> this is not possible. >> exactly right. >> this is why to me, this is the magic. >> intriguing technology. still experimental. the university is not completely online. 27 classmates live together in an apartment building. it's a version of a dawn, and the only campus that these students have. >> a lot of people are afraid of unknown things. or things that are new. road to when is from china. when i was flying, i had an offer from george town. i was committed.
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i thought it was ridiculous how much i had to pay to study, so minerva was also much cheaper. >> tuition is $10,000 a year. room and board, $18,000. this is half the price of a private college. >> michael is straight forward and as i said before, my goal is to reform higher education, all of this is the brain child of ben nelson, the c.e.o. of photo sharing website. we spoke to him via video chat. >> do you think the universities lost their way on a focus studying big money. multi million salaries. >> yes, yes. look, there are these five aspects of cost inflation and higher education, the amenities race. there's the tenure system. where you inflate the cost of
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professors in their prime and you overpay for 40 years. it's incredibly expensive. you have undergraduates. subsidizing. we are the only system in the world where that happens, and lastly, it's the enormous increase in administrative costs, where you have administration costs tripling over the past few decades. >> while experimental now, if minerva gets the results it expects, this university without walls may very well upend american higher education. at the very least, other schools are watching but is it working? apparently more candidates think so. the class in minerva saw 11,000 applicants for 220 available pots. >> that's "america tonight". tell
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aid group oxfam clams the i want national community for its failure over the war in syria. ♪ ♪ from al jazeera's headquarters in doha, i am san i zeidan, automatics coming up of the future of europe at the top of the agenda in strasburg. francois ohlund and angela merkel are due to make a historic address. inmates take over a prison in bra is ill and threaten to throw hostages from rooftops.