The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Chicago Schools:
New Boss, Same Old ...

Oct 29, 2012

Jean-Claude Brizard was the CEO of Chicago public schools for barely 18 months before Rahm Emanuel showed him the door. Brizard is being made the scapegoat for this year’s strike. You might think he’d be mad, since he only ever did what Emanuel told him. But then he’s getting paid an additional $250,000 severance, on top of the same amount in last year’s salary and the $30,000 he received to take care of “moving expenses.” That money, which could pay the salaries for teachers who would actually still work in Chicago schools, will probably keep him quiet.

Brizard’s replacement is Barbara Byrd-Bennett, who just came from Detroit, where she helped hand almost half of the schools to charters. Before that, she headed Cleveland public schools, where dozens of charter schools replaced public schools. Like Brizard, Byrd-Bennett went through the Broad Foundation’s training. We’ve seen the Broad playbook: attack the teachers, attack the unions, expand meaningless testing while cutting the budget, open more charter schools. There’s no reason to expect anything different from Byrd-Bennett: same stuff, different pail, as they say.