While researching the new CPS CEO, Mr. Brizard, I wasn't surprised by my findings.....
He was born in Haiti and raised in poverty in a New York housing project by his immigrant parents — both teachers — Jean-Claude Brizard had to fight his way to the top. Good Story...sounds familiar?
When you dig deeper you will understand why Rochester's educators wanted him to leave, banded together in a 94% vote of no confidence, and held public demonstrations:
Jean-Claude Brizard holds a corporate, privatization agenda which we recognize as an agenda hostile to the best interests of the students and the people of the community. This agenda blatantly disregards student and community voices and devalues engaged citizens, especially when they don't blindly obey the privateer-pushed profit-driven direction held by "Business Driven Leaders". The people in Rochester who resisted this agenda and fought for positive, research-based alternatives stand in solidarity with us in Chicago who continue this struggle. The sooner more recognize this for what it is in Chicago and organize and mobilize throughout the nation, the better. For those interested in more knowledge on how this agenda has unfolded in Rochester and likely will continue in Chicago, you can read additional information on
Here's a clip of Sharkey at a CTU press conference, criticizing Brizard's position on merit pay and several other school policies:
Chicago Sun-times: Rahm Emanuel announced his Chicago Public Schools team on Monday, tapping Jean-Claude Brizard, the Rochester, N.Y schools chief as his Chief Executive Officer. Business executive Penny Pritzker--who led the Obama fund-raising drive in 2008--is named by Emanuel as a CPS board member. Names of other top appointees and their bios:
No one in this city should be confused about where Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel wants to take the Chicago Public Schools.