"Mark Zuckerberg, Chris Christie, and Cory Booker were ready to reform our failing schools. They got an education. When Mark Zuckerberg announced in front of a cheering Oprah audience his $100 million pledge to transform the Newark Schools -- and to solve the education crisis in every city in America -- it looked like a huge win for then-mayor Cory Booker and governor Chris Christie. But their plans soon ran into a constituency not so easily moved -- Newark's key education players, fiercely protective of their billion-dollar-per-annum system. It's a prize that, for generations, has enriched seemingly everyone, except Newark's students. Expert journalist Dale Russakoff delivers a story of high ideals and hubris, good intentions and greed, celebrity and street smarts -- as reformers face off against entrenched unions, skeptical parents, and bewildered students. The growth of charters forces the hand of Newark's superintendent Cami Anderson, who closes, consolidates, or redesigns more than a third of the city's schools -- a scenario on the horizon for many urban districts across America. Most moving are Russakoff's portraits from inside the district's schools, of home-grown principals and teachers, long stuck in a hopeless system -- and often the only real hope for the children of Newark. The Prize is a portrait of a titanic struggle over the future of education for the poorest kids, and a cautionary tale for those who care about the shape of America's schools. "-- Provided by publisher.