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Bloomberg names New York school chancellor

Publishing executive Cathie Black will replace outgoing schools chief Joel Klein. Like Klein, she is new to education.

November 09, 2010

New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg named a top publishing executive Tuesday to head the nation's largest school system, after announcing that the city's longtime chancellor was stepping down.

Bloomberg said Hearst Magazines Chairwoman Cathie Black would replace Joel Klein, who has overseen the city's 1.1 million-student school system since 2002.

Klein said he was leaving to become an executive vice president at News Corp. The mayor said Klein had been looking to leave for a while but stayed until a replacement had been found.

Black, a Chicago native who spent eight years at USA Today as president, publisher and board member and executive vice president of Gannett Co., becomes the city's first female schools chancellor.

She comes to the job without experience as an educator, which was among the chief complaints of Klein's critics.

Before Klein joined the Bloomberg administration, he was with the media conglomerate Bertelsmann AG. Previously, he was an assistant attorney general in the Clinton administration. He headed the Justice Department's antitrust division for nearly four years, where his work included launching the case to break up Microsoft Corp.

At a City Hall news conference Tuesday after Black's appointment was announced, she said she had had "limited exposure to unions" in her previous jobs. Her children attended a private boarding school in Connecticut.

"I promise you that we will continue the mission of improving the school experience for our children so that they too will be prepared to participate fully in our global community," Black said.

She wrote the book "Basic Black: The Essential Guide for Getting Ahead at Work (and in Life)."

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