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Ackerman mentored next Chicago schools CEO

This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.

Chicago’s mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel tapped former Rochester City School Superintendent Jean-Claude Brizard to be the next CEO of Chicago Public Schools.

While Emanuel, the former mayor of Rochester, and others have expressed their support for Brizard, Rochester community groups have been sending their “condolences” to the Chicago public school community, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Part of Brizard’s problem, they say, was his top-down approach to management.

From the Chicago Sun Times:

The teacher’s union [in Rochester] overwhelmingly passed a vote of no confidence in his leadership in February, criticizing him for failing to consult with teachers about reform plans. The union had battled with Brizard over his plans to bring in merit pay, fire ineffective teachers, close under-performing schools and set up charter schools.

Turns out, Superintendent Arlene Ackerman is a mentor of Brizard’s.

Continued from the Sun Times:

But Philadelphia School District Supt. Arlene Ackerman, who has acted a mentor to Brizard for years, said such criticism “is part of the superintendent’s job — if everybody’s happy you’re not doing your job.” Brizard is “unflappable” in a crisis, she added.

Read more about Brizard from Catalyst Chicago.

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