It was announced today that Joel Klein would be stepping down from his post as New York City’s School Chancellor. For those of you unfamiliar with his work, Klein has served since 2002, when the state legislature gave the mayor’s office control of the school system. He is a New York native with a background in law and business, but showed keen insight as a reformer for New York schools and school choice. Rumor has it that he will try to run for Mayor of New York, but perhaps his close ties with the increasingly politically-toxic Mayor Bloomberg may not help his case.
The current Chancellor will be replaced by Cathie Black, a former exec at Hearst Magazines. Klein will be joining Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. to work on an “education product.” Black has promised to bring more charter schools to New York, but the question remains if she will have the thick skin required to trounce the unions, rubber rooms and all. New York City public policy tends to be on the vanguard for the United States. If it continues to trend towards school choice, it may have positive implications in other parts of the country.