CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The man who runs Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is running off to work for Rupert Murdoch, but it’s not likely that you’ll see him on Fox News.
On Wednesday afternoon, superintendent Peter Gorman said he would resign in mid-August to become a senior vice president with News Corporation’s new education division. Gorman, in a corporate press release, said he hopes “to transform the educational system through digital technology and other means.” The company says Gorman will help school districts use its products, and see how they work.
It’s not exactly clear just yet what those products will be, aside from digital. Last year, News Corp bought Wireless Generation, a Brooklyn-based company that focuses on tailoring lessons to individual students and testing them at their own pace. Murdoch, the News Corp CEO, has said paper textbooks are out and tablet computing and iPads are in. “We already have one program like this that we put on an iPod,” he said during a speech in Paris in May. “With this program, a teacher can instantly diagnose where a child is in his or her reading - and then produce a customized textbook for the next ten days. The parent can check it at any time to see how much his child is learning.”
Media companies find that their education divisions can be big moneymakers. The Washington Post Company also owns Kaplan, which is responsible for 62% of that company’s bottom line. News Corp’s Education Division is separate from the other divisions that run Fox News, The Wall Street Journal and the New York Post. News Corp’s publishing arm, Harper Collins, stopped printing textbooks in the mid-1990’s.
Gorman himself is almost certainly in for a raise. The Education Division’s CEO, Joel Klein, made roughly $250,000 a year as chancellor of New York City’s schools before joining News Corp. He now stands to make $4.5 million, according to Reuters. Gorman’s salary was $267,150 at CMS.
Gorman will work under Klein, but will still live in Charlotte. “I’m moving on to be involved in education in a very different way,” he said.