School Superintendents: The Outsiders Take Over

Last week Roy Romer, 71, former Governor of Colorado, was appointed to what might be the second most difficult job in America: superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District. Only a month ago, another educational outsider, Wall Street lawyer Harold Levy, 47, was officially named New York City schools chancellor, No. 1 on the mission-impossible list (he had been serving as interim chancellor since January). The two had never met, so last week TIME introduced them through an early-morning conference call. Excerpts:

ROMER: How long have you been on this job?

LEVY: Almost 140 days.

ROMER: I've been...

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