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Podcast: The Prize — The View from the Classroom on Impact of Education Reform

Author Dale Russakoff talks to three educators featured in her bestselling book on Newark schools

While we're on winter hiatus we'll be publishing podcasts of some of the most compelling and challenging sessions from our October NJ Spotlight On Cities conference, as well as a podcast diary of a colleague who is struggling with breast cancer.

It’s that time of year where best-of lists are everywhere, and when it comes to books, you’ll find Dale Russakoff’s “The Prize: Who’s in Charge of America’s Schools” on a good number of them. Russakoff, a former Washington Post reporter, chronicles what happened to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s $100 million gift to Newark schools and the school-reform efforts it helped spur in Newark.

At NJ Spotlight On Cities, Russakoff moderated a conversation with three of the teachers featured in her book: Joanna Belcher, chief academic officer for KIPP-New Jersey; Princess Fils-Aimes, a kindergarten teacher and grade-level chair at SPARK Academy; and Dominique Lee, founder and chief executive officer of BRICK.


Education was a big theme at this year’s inaugural NJ Spotlight On Cities and will remain so as we gear up for our second conference, to be held in the fall. As we plan, we want to hear from you: What would you like to see us include in 2016? Is there a speaker that we absolutely should know about? An innovative program that deserves a chance to show off? Tell us about it by emailing us at

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