Education: Big Job, Big Man

In U.S. public schools these days, rich suburbs run lively experiments while big cities run hard to stand still. One happy exception is Pittsburgh, where in four years School Superintendent Calvin E. Gross, 43, has sent a freshet of ideas throughout the schools. Last week that record got Gross a new job: boss of New York City schools, the biggest public school system in the U.S.

New York's outgoing (and scandal-tainted) School Superintendent John J. Theobald leaves a witches' brew—860 schools starved for money and choked in red tape, 40,000 teachers newly unionized and still restless after a recent strike, 1,023,875 pupils,...

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