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Superintendent of Charlotte-Mecklenburg District to Resign

Peter GormanPeter Gorman, who has drawn a fair share of praise and criticism during his five years leading the 138,000-student Charlotte-Mecklenburg district in North Carolina, announced today that he is resigning as superintendent in order to take a job with the education division of News Corp., the same company that hired Joel Klein after he left the chancellor's position for New York City schools last year.

Gorman's resignation is effective August 15.

The News Corp. press release says Gorman will be senior vice president "and work with school districts to implement the division's programs, as well as review their integrity and effectiveness." Klein, who is the chief executive officer of News Corp's education division, was quoted as saying that Gorman's commitment to educational innovation is critical to the division's mission.

The Charlotte Observer's article on Gorman's resignation notes that he received national recognition for his school reform efforts, like this laudatory story in Newsweek about his efforts to place strong principals in struggling schools. The district is also a finalist for the $1 million Broad Prize for Urban Education, along with the Miami-Dade and Broward systems in Florida, and Yselta Unified in El Paso, Texas.

At the same time, he came under fire from teachers and members of the community, most recently for pushing a teacher evaluation system that relies in part on dozens of new tests for students. Some of the critics said that this reliance on testing and measurable objectives for students is common for graduates of the Broad Superintendents' Academy, which I explored in a recent report.

News Corp., owned by media mogul Rupert Murdoch, has been making inroads in the education market, which Education Week explored in a December article. Also hired today was Kristen Kane, a former chief operating officer for the New York City district who left that position in 2007.


Photo: Superintendent Peter Gorman announces his resignation on June 8 in Charlotte, N.C. (Diedra Laird/The Charlotte Observer/AP)

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