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Schwarzman Says U.S. Education System Overdue for Changes

U.S. policy makers are hindering economic progress by failing to fix the nation’s education system and should take a more hard-line approach to making changes, said Blackstone Group LP co-founder Steve Schwarzman.

“We’re completely dropping the ball,” Schwarzman said yesterday at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, saying schools should fire more underperforming teachers and pay strong-performing teachers higher salaries. “It’s immoral.”

Schwarzman, 67, spoke on a panel with Ken Griffin, 45, the chief executive officer of Citadel Advisors LLC. Schwarzman said he and Griffin, who are billionaires, wouldn’t be successful if they didn’t fire underperforming staff during their careers.

Schwarzman founded New York-based Blackstone with Peter G. Peterson in 1985. The firm oversaw $272 billion in private-equity, real estate, credit and hedge fund assets as of March 31.

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