Mayor-Elect Rahm Emanuel Picks Jean-Claude Brizard for CPS Chief - New York News

Mayor-Elect Rahm Emanuel Picks Jean-Claude Brizard for CPS Chief


Mayor-Elect Rahm Emanuel named Rochester, N.Y. Schools Superintendent Jean-Claude Brizard as his choice to head Chicago's Public Schools.

Emanuel said Brizard was the right choice because he was both an administrator and an educator. Recent CPS chiefs under Daley have been criticized by education activists because they came from a business background instead of an education background.

Brizard is Haitian and the son of two teachers, Emanuel said, and has been a teacher and administrator.

Brizard read a brief statement saying students must be put first and "there is no greater calling" than education but did not take any questions.

Emanuel said he interviewed six or seven candidates for the job.

Brizard's appointment will have to be approved by Board of Education. Emanuel said he expects Brizard to be on the job May 16, the day of his inauguration.

At a press conference convened later at the headquarters of the Chicago Teachers Union, you could have fried an egg on the foreheads of union leaders, who are furious about Brizard's support of merit pay, among other things.

"Teachers don't respond to dangling material incentives," CTU Vice President Jesse Sharkey said. "All the research [shows merit pay] poisons the well."

Emanuel also introduced several other new additions to CPS. Dr. Noemi Donoso, chief of innovation and reform for Denver Public Schools, will be the new CPS chief education officer. In addition, Tim Cawley will be chief operating officer, Diana Ferguson will stay on as chief financial officer, Andrea Sáenz will be chief of staff, Becky Carroll will be chief communications officer, Patrick Rocks will stay on as general counsel and Alicia Winckler will stay on as chief human capital officer.

There will be an entirely new Board of Education when Emanuel takes office. David Vitale, a former CPS chief administrative officer under Arne Duncan when he was CEO, will be the new president of the Chicago Board of Education. The vice chair will be Jesse Ruiz, current chair of the Illinois Board of Education. Emanuel said each member of the current board of education has agreed to step down. New board members will be Henry Bienen, Dr. Mahalia Hines, Penny Pritzker, Rod Sierra and Andrea Zopp.

Emanuel would not say what Brizard will be paid.

Brizard would replace interim chief Terry Mazany, who stepped in after Ron Huberman resigned in November. Huberman said he had no desire to serve another mayor when Mayor Richard Daley said he wouldn't seek another term.

Huberman's last day in the $230,000-a-year job was Nov. 29.

Former CPS CEO Arne Duncan, who is currently the White House's Secretary of Education, said in a statement that Emanuel had made good choices.

“I want to commend Chicago Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel for choosing a diverse and outstanding team to lead the Chicago Public Schools and take education reform forward," Duncan said. "Like many schools districts, Chicago faces considerable educational and budgetary challenges, but the people announced today bring tremendous experience, knowledge and commitment to the job."

Daley picked Mazany to serve as interim schools chief. Mazany was on loan to the city from his job as head of the Chicago Community Trust, a grant-making foundation.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Rochester Supt. Picked for CPS CEO | Originally reported by

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