According to this morning's Trib, Rahm Emanuel's short list of outsiders for new school's CEO includes current Rochester supt. Jean-Claude Brizard. Even though Brizard, the latest through Rochester's revolving door of school bosses, just recently signed a three-year deal, he's ONLY making $235,000 in Rochester and could be using the Chicago offer to leverage more back home. He would certainly do better money-wise in Chi-town where a broken school budget never stopped those at the top from enriching themselves or moving on to bigger and better things. He has a background in education which Emanuel thinks might placate those in the union and some community groups who have made this an issue. Plus he's married to a charter school entrepreneur who could do well in Chicago's booming charter school market.
In Rochester, Brizard is embraced by local biz reformers and despised by many teachers and parents. In February, he received a vote of "no confidence" from an overwhelming majority of Rochester teachers. He was hired by Mayor Duffy to push the corporate reform agenda in Rochester, including school closings, war with the unions, privatization, and "merit pay."
Last week, Brizard was accused by parent groups and by RTA president, Adam Urbanski, of grossly overstating the district's budget deficit in order to justify the firing of 800 city teachers.
"I've seen a lot in my many years as a spokesman for the teachers in Rochester," said Urbanski. "I have never seen anything like this. Something is wrong with this picture."Local school board member Van White says of Brizard, "I'm not sure he's really in touch with teachers, principals, and the non-teaching employees or their feelings about their jobs."
Ah, the perfect candidate!
Brizard spent 20 years working his way up through the NYC bureaucracy and cut his teeth on business reform under Joel Klein and the Broad Foundation's superintendent training camp.
Others on the short list reportedly include others cut from the same cloth as Brizard -- Baltimore's Andres Alonso, and Jerry Weast from suburban Montgomery County, Md. You see where Emanuel is going with this, right?