NEW YORK - (AP) - Mayor Michael Bloomberg named a top publishingexecutive with no background in education to head the nation'slargest school system after announcing Tuesday that New York City'slongtime chancellor was stepping down.
Hearst Magazines chairwoman Cathie Black will become the firstfemale chancellor of the city's 1.1 million-student school system,replacing Joel I. Klein, who has served as chancellor since 2002.Klein is leaving to become an executive vice president at NewsCorp.
Bloomberg praised Black, a Chicago native who spent eight yearsat USA Today as president, publisher, board member and Gannett Co.executive vice president, as a "world-class manager." Thebillionaire mayor, who often eschews traditional resumes forgovernment posts, said Black's business skills make her an idealleader of educators and students.
"She understands that we have to make sure that our kids havethe skill sets to partake in the great American dream," Bloombergsaid. "In the end, I picked somebody who I have confidence is theright person for this job at this time."
The appointment will require a waiver from the state Departmentof Education because Black is not a certified teacher. The mayorsaid Klein will stay on until the end of the year.
Black attended parochial schools in Chicago and sent her ownchildren to private boarding schools in Connecticut.
She has been on Fortune magazine's "50 Most Powerful Women inBusiness" list and is the author of a book called "Basic Black:The Essential Guide for Getting Ahead at Work (and in Life)." Shewill be the first woman to lead the New York City school system.
At Hearst, she oversees titles including Esquire; GoodHousekeeping; O, the Oprah magazine and Popular Mechanics.
Black's appointment reflects Bloomberg's view that success inbusiness translates to similar achievements in public service.
"There is no one who knows more about the skills our childrenwill need to succeed in the 21st century economy," Bloomberg saidat a City Hall news conference with Klein and Black.
Before Klein joined the Bloomberg administration, he was withmedia conglomerate Bertelsmann AG. Previously, he was an assistantattorney general in the Clinton administration. He headed the U.S.Justice Department's antitrust division for nearly four years,where his work included launching the case to break up MicrosoftCorp.
Unlike Black, Klein grew up in New York City and attended publicschools.
Entire news conference on schools chancellor stepping down