On June 8, News Corp., a media company owned by Rupert Murdoch, snatched two leading school district administrators to head its new education division. Peter Gorman, former superintendent of the Charlotte- Mecklenburg (N.C.) Schools, is the unit?s new senior vice president, and Kristen Kane, the former chief operating officer of the New York City Department of Education, is its COO. Late last year, Joel Klein, former chancellor of the New York City Department of Education, made the decision as well to join News Corp. as senior advisor to Murdoch.
?Whenever you have the skills to be successful, you are in demand,? says Michael Hinojosa, newly appointed superintendent of Cobb County (Ga.) Public Schools. ?Joel Klein and Peter Gorman were very successful leaders of large school districts, and the private sector noticed that.? Their skills, he says, mirror those of a corporate CEO and include leading what is often a community?s primary employer, managing an operating budget of millions, surviving the demands of working long hours seven days a week, and being regularly in the spotlight. Hinojosa, who led the Dallas (Texas) Independent School District for six years, says it is ?very typical to get sought after from the outside.? At the same time that many former superintendents are being rewarded for performing the same role in the private sector, current superintendents are facing criticism around the country that they are overpaid.