2010-11-12 / Top Stories

Chancellor Klein Announces His Departure

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg appointed Cathleen P. Black, considered by the mayor to be a highly-respected leader in one of New York City’s central industries, as the next chancellor of New York City’s schools and charged her with building on what he referred to as Chancellor Joel Klein’s historic success turning around the nation’s largest school system. According to a Bloomberg spokesperson, “Over the past eight years, longer than any other Schools Chancellor has served, Klein transformed New York City’s long-dysfunctional public school system into one that the Obama administration has hailed as a national model, with higher graduation rates, a narrowed achievement gap between black and Hispanic students and their white and Asian peers, significant progress on National Assessment of Educational Progress test results and lower crime. The Mayor selected Black to follow Klein as Chancellor because of her unique experience building on successes and leading teams to even greater achievements, including her stewardship of Hearst Magazines for the last decade and a half. Black is also widely credited with building USA Today into an unprecedented success in her eight years there, and broke through an important gender barrier in 1979 when she became the first publisher of a weekly consumer magazine, New York. New York City has never had a female Schools Chancellor.”

“Our schools are vastly better than they were just eight years ago when the Mayor took office and Chancellor Klein joined his Administration,” said Black. “Their passion for improving the educational opportunities of our students has lifted the bar higher than anyone could ever have imagined, and my main goal will be to build on the work that has been accomplished during the Bloomberg Administration, and Chancellor Klein’s tenure. I want to thank the Mayor for the privilege of joining his Administration and the great team of people who carry out the City’s mission each and every day.”

The Mayor also credited “Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott, Department of Education Chief Operating Officer Sharon Greenberger, and the many talented and committed educators at the Department of Education including Deputy Chancellors Laura Rodriguez, Shael Suransky, and Eric Nadelstern for these gains.” This appointment is pending a waiver by State Education Commissioner David Steiner.

The spokesperson further states that, “First as president, and then as chairman of Hearst Magazines, Black led a team of some 2,000 employees producing more than 200 local editions of 14 magazines in more than 100 countries. Under her leadership, Hearst had record-breaking years – they built on decades of success with titles like Cosmopolitan, Esquire, Good Housekeeping, Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, Popular Mechanics, Redbook, and Town & Country, introduced highly-acclaimed new titles like O, The Oprah Magazine and created digital platforms that were inconceivable in 1995. As the media industry has tackled digital changes, Hearst Magazines has been widely-regarded as being at the forefront of that evolution.”

While at Hearst, Black was a member of the team that oversaw the construction of the 46-story Hearst Tower that was erected on the six-story base near Columbus Circle that Randolph Hearst had built in 1928. The Hearst Tower, which was the first skyscraper to break ground in New York City after September 11, 2001, won several awards and was New York City’s first LEED Gold skyscraper.

For eight years beginning in 1983, Black served as president and publisher of USA Today, and then executive vice president of the paper’s parent company, helping personnel from Gannett publications coast to coast and from across the publishing industry build a nationwide newspaper that few expected to last, said the spokesperson. Black started her career in advertising sales with Holiday and the then-new Ms. Magazine, and broke new ground when she became the first female publisher of a weekly consumer magazine, New York, in 1979.

From 1991 to 1996, Black served as president and Chief Executive Officer of the Newspaper Association of America, merging two disparate organizations into one non-profit that represented the needs of thousands of publishers before the Federal govern- ment and the American people.

Black serves on the Advisory Council of the Harlem Village Academy, is a longtime Trustee of The University of Notre Dame and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Last December, Bloomberg appointed Black to the host committee for the 2010 National Conference on Volunteering and Service, the world’s largest gathering of service and volunteer leaders that he chaired in June 2010. In May 2010, Black travelled to Detroit with First Lady Michelle Obama as part of the White House’s programs to promote youth leadership and mentoring. Black is a prominent participant in The Glow Project, a philanthropy and documentary film project aimed at empowering women and helping them overcome seemingly-insurmountable goals. She has worked with the Literacy Partners and with American Legacy Foundation designing a public service campaign to encourage women to quit smoking. In 2009, the Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans presented its New Orleans Citizenship Award to Black for her leadership in donating time, resources, and volunteers to help New Orleans recover and rebuild post-Katrina.

Black is a graduate of Trinity College, Washington, D.C., and holds nine honorary degrees. She grew up in Chicago and attended Catholic schools. She and her husband, the lawyer Tom Harvey, are longtime residents of Manhattan, where they raised their two sons and daughter.

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She has never taught. What

She has never taught. What are her skills as an educator? I feel bad for the children of N.Y.


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