Education: Bracing For Perestroika

New York's new chancellor vows to restructure a troubled system

It may be the toughest job in U.S. public education. But Joseph Fernandez, who takes over this week as chancellor of New York City schools, is itching for the challenge. Since he was tapped for the post last September, the onetime math teacher has commuted six times from Miami, where he served for two years as Dade County school superintendent. His mission: to confer with civic and union leaders, politicians, teachers, parents, the press and anyone else with a stake in the nation's largest (940,000 students), and perhaps most troubled, public school system. Says Fernandez: "I had to convince the city...