Friday, October 12, 2012

Brizard out as Chicago's schools chief

Posted By on Fri, Oct 12, 2012 at 8:46 AM

After about a year and half on the job, Jean-Claude Brizard is no longer CEO of the Chicago Public School System, according to an article in the Chicago Tribune. Brizard approached Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel about rumors that he was hearing suggesting the mayor was not pleased with his performance.

In a conversation with the Chicago School Board president, Brizard reportedly said that he was becoming a distraction from the mission to help Chicago’s children.

Brizard made a similar statement before leaving the Rochester school system, where he was superintendent from late 2007 to April 2011. He left the Rochester school system for the Chicago post under a cloud of controversy. Brizard attempted to push an agenda similar to that espoused by education reformers Joel Klein, former head of the New York City school system, and Michelle Rhee, former head of the Washington, DC schools.

Though he initially had the support of most Rochester school board members, Brizard and Rochester Teachers Association President Adam Urbanski became bitter adversaries. In an overwhelming vote of no confidence against Brizard, Rochester teachers expressed their dissatisfaction with his management and communication style.

In accepting the Chicago post, it was widely viewed that Brizard would succeed under Chicago’s mayoral control form of school management with Emanuel at the helm. But the Chicago teachers strike unleashed a week-long drama that gripped the nation.

Brizard is being replaced by Barbara Byrd-Bennett, the Chicago district's chief education officer, according to the Tribune.

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