Posts tagged "rupert murdoch"
November 8, 2011
Now, new details tucked into a New York Magazine profile of Rupert Murdoch’s daughter Elisabeth seem to confirm that Bloomberg set the timeline for Klein’s departure — and suggest that Klein’s decision to head to Murdoch’s News Corporation was hastily made.
From the article:
On Sunday morning, November 7, 2010, Michael Bloomberg called Klein and told him that he would be announcing that Klein was resigning that week. Klein and the mayor had been discussing Klein’s departure from Tweed Courthouse for months—but Klein was still taken aback at the timing of the decision. He had been in informal talks with several Wall Street firms, but nothing had materialized. Without a job lined up, he “panicked,” according to a person familiar with the matter. So Klein called Rupert. (more…)
July 27, 2011
How involved is Rupert Murdoch at the newspapers he owns? When the subject is education, Murdoch’s views directly influence the coverage in the New York Post and, at the least, the sorts of meetings taken at the Wall Street Journal.
Azi Paybarah at the Observer reports today that at the New York Post, education stories are ordered up according to Murdoch’s visits:
One former reporter said his own editor requested a week’s worth of stories about the New York City public schools because “Rupert was going to be in town.” It was coveted real estate in the paper, and the reporter reluctantly obliged.
We have previously chronicled the Post’s open campaigning on behalf of the Bloomberg administration’s education policies and its effort to renew mayoral control. The coverage prompted Education Secretary Arne Duncan to praise the newspaper for its “leadership” in covering mayoral control.
There are some exceptions — New York City education beat reporter Yoav Gonen is even-handed and columnist Michael Goodwin takes no prisoners. But on and off the editorial page, the newspaper often matches Murdoch’s education views: aggressively dismissive of the teachers union and ridiculing of critics of the mayor.
At the Wall Street Journal, the line between news and opinion and newspaper boss seems to be thicker. But it has some holes. Last week, the New York Times reported on a meeting arranged between Joel Klein, then still the schools chancellor, and reporters:
When Mr. Klein visited The Journal last year to discuss education issues with news and opinion writers, Mr. Murdoch interrupted to lavish praise on the chancellor, much to the surprise of the writers. “Just listen to everything that Joel is saying,” Mr. Murdoch insisted, according to one person who attended the meeting.
July 21, 2011
Long before Murdoch’s News Corporation was accused of employing illegal news-gathering strategies, Murdoch and his wife, Wendi Deng Murdoch, were supporters of the Shuang Wen School. The Chinatown dual-language school was revealed last year to be illegally charging families for mandatory Chinese instruction.
In 2004, the Murdochs pledged three years of financial support for Shuang Wen’s after school programs, according to an article published in a city’s Chinese language paper at the time. That pledge amounted to half a million dollars, the Grand Street News later reported. In 2008, Murdoch praised the school during a lecture delivered in Australia.
Shuang Wen’s longtime principal, Ling Ling Chou, was removed several weeks ago under cloud of at least nine separate investigations into the school. Her interim replacement, Iris Chiu, has not received a warm welcome: Shuang Wen parents are defending Chou and fighting against the DOE’s investigations and oversight. They have filed a lawsuit alleging that discrimination is behind the city’s scrutiny, and some say they might withdraw their children in protest.
Wendi Murdoch’s relationship with the city schools extends beyond Shuang Wen. Until at least last year, she was a board member of the Fund for Public Schools, the Department of Education’s private fundraising arm. It’s unclear whether her tenure on the board began before or after Rupert Murdoch approached fund vice-chair Caroline Kennedy for help getting Grace, his oldest daughter with Wendi, into the private Brearley School.
November 22, 2010
Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation took its second step into the education world this evening when it made a deal to buy Wireless Generation, a Brooklyn-based education technology company.
Murdoch took his first step nearly two weeks ago, when he acquired the chancellor of New York City’s public schools, Joel Klein. In an announcement that took most of his staff and top advisors by surprise, Klein told reporters that he was leaving the Department of Education for a job at News Corp., where he will be an executive vice president overseeing investments in digital learning companies.
After Klein resigned, News Corp. officials told The New York Times that they planned to make “seed investments” in entrepreneurial education companies. The acquisition of Wireless Generation may be the first of these investments.
“Wireless Generation is positioned to grow aggressively, and it was the right time in the company’s journey to find a home where it will have access to the resources it needs to fuel that aggressive growth,” said spokeswoman Andrea Reibel in a statement.
Reibel would not comment on when talks began, but said the deal was finalized this evening. For $360 million in cash, News Corp. now owns 90 percent of Wireless Generation, a company with 400 employees. (more…)
November 10, 2010
When NBC New York broke the story that Joel Klein was about to resign yesterday, the news organization’s report summarized his tenure this way:
He is credited with ending the practice of social promotion but had a somewhat controversial reputation throughout his tenure.
The rest of the description closely mirrored Klein’s curiously incomplete Wikipedia entry, which highlights a 2005 First Amendment spat over a teacher training lecturer as a main feature of his chancellorship.
Wikipedia, use this instead: Klein brought a penchant for radical transformation to the New York City public schools, redrawing the basics of how schools are run, opening hundreds of new schools and closing dozens of others, and reeling in millions of new dollars in new funding.
His constant rallying cry — that improving public schools required erasing much of the existing cultures and structures, and that this project was the next frontier of the civil rights movement — inspired dozens of young, bright-eyed bureaucrats and teachers. But the same stance alienated many more educators and parents, who found his dismissal of past efforts at change disrespectful and a sign of his limited experience with the business of instruction.
The chancellor oversaw real improvements in the schools — at least of the sort by which he judged himself: concrete numbers. Handpicked by Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2002, Klein took the reins of a school system that, by any measure, was not serving its students. Test scores were low. School crime was seen as a major problem. Just 44 percent of students graduated from high school in four years.
Now, as he moves into a new position at Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, Klein leaves behind a system where more than half — and as many as 60 percent — of students graduate on time, and where state test scores are inching upward. But he also leaves behind questions about how much true learning is reflected by those metrics — and about whether his organizational changes left more collateral damage than benefits.
Here is a short(-ish) history of Klein’s eight-year tenure. (more…)
August 7, 2009
The New York Post patted its own back today, hard, for helping the state renew the mayor’s control of the public schools. The surprising thing is that Secretary of Education Arne Duncan joined in, thanking the newspaper, owned by the ambitious Rupert Murdoch, for its “leadership” and “thoughtfulness.”
New York City newspapers have a proud tradition of waging campaigns both on and off the editorial page, and then congratulating themselves when they hit their marks. But having a cabinet member for a sitting president join the cheering is more unusual.
“I think that must be out of context, that Arne Duncan is giving the Post credit for mayoral control,” the president of the principals’ union, Ernest Logan, said when I called to ask his impression.
Richard Colvin, who directs the Hechinger Institute for education journalism at Columbia University, said he found the whole news story baffling. “It reads like nothing I’ve ever seen. It reads like the worst kind of back-patting, self-congratulatory press release that has no perspective whatsoever,” he said.
Duncan’s quote does illustrate a strange alliance that fought hard for mayoral control’s renewal, Murdoch and the secretary of education among them. (more…)