News Corp.’s Education Unit Hires Two Public-School Managers

News Corp. hired two public-school officials to help run its education division, part of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Rupert Murdoch’s efforts to expand the business started about six months ago.

Kristen Kane, 36, the former chief operating officer of the New York City Department of Education, will become the COO of the News Corp. unit. Peter Gorman, 47, the superintendent of schools in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school district in North Carolina, will become a senior vice president focused on building the division’s business inside public-school districts, New York-based News Corp. said today.

News Corp. in November hired Joel Klein, 64, the former New York City schools chancellor, to help build an education business. Two weeks later, News Corp. agreed to buy 90 percent of education-technology provider Wireless Generation for $360 million, marking the company’s foundation of an education unit.

In a speech last month in Paris, Murdoch called education “the last holdout from the digital revolution.” The key to improving education, Murdoch said, according to a transcript of the speech, “is the software that will engage students and help teach them concepts and to learn to think for themselves.”

News Corp.’s education division is focused on “individualized, technology-based” content and tools for students and teachers, according to the company’s statement.

News Corp., which owns the Wall Street Journal and the Fox broadcast network, fell 6 cents to $16.67 at 4 p.m. New York time in Nasdaq Stock Market trading. The shares have gained 14 percent this year.

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