News Corp. Top Executive Joel Klein Outlines Education Business Plans

Speaking at a UBS media investor conference, he says the Amplify unit brings in $100 million in revenue, but will record an operating loss this fiscal year.

NEW YORK - Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. hopes to contribute to improving what he called the "broken" U.S. K-12 education system, executive vp Joel Klein said here Tuesday.

The former New York City Schools Chancellor spoke at the 40th annual UBS Global Media and Communications Conference to outline the strategy of the Amplify education unit that he has started building for the media conglomerate.

Klein said that Amplify currently makes annual revenue of $100 million, with growth coming in at 22 percent on average over the past five years. But he predicted an operating loss of $180 million for the current fiscal year.

Klein said per-student investments in the U.S. education over the period from 1970 to 2008 doubled, but didn't yield real improvements in students' performance. "We're not getting any return for it," Klein said, adding that if the K-12 education system was a business, "it would have been shut down a long time ago."

In his first major investor conference speech since joining News Corp., he said: "It's a broken model. The next generation of Americans deserves better."

Klein predicted that like in the media and entertainment space that News Corp. is playing in, education will see conversion in the future. And he quoted Woody Allen, saying that doing things the same way over and over and expecting different results was insanity. Without changes to the education system, "the implications for the country are dire," Klein said.

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