New York City: Tragic Transition

Tragic Transition

After he was appointed the first black superintendent of schools in Minneapolis in 1980, Richard Green earned a national reputation as a stern and innovative educator. He thus had high hopes of muscling New York City's chaotic school system into order when he became its first black chancellor 14 months ago. But the transition from guiding 40,000 Minneapolis students to dealing with 940,000 in New York was a rude jolt.

Green was dismayed by the prevalence of drugs, weapons and racial tensions in the New York schools. He suspended two community school boards tainted by corruption. He was disillusioned when only...

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