Schools Chief Who Clashed With Emanuel Out After Just 17 Months

Saturday, 13 Oct 2012 02:00 PM

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The chief of the public schools system who infuriated Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel during the city's teachers' strike is leaving after just 17 months on the job.

Chicago Public Schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard, who was recruited by Emanuel from Rochester, N.Y., said in a statement on Friday that he is stepping down from his leadership role in the nation’s third largest public school system, the Christian Science Monitor reported.

Brizard took a vacation in the days leading up to the contentious strike, infuriating Emanuel, according to the Monitor. He also was mostly absent during the historic standoff.

Brizard told the Chicago Tribune that his personality was not a fit with City Hall.

“I call it a marriage that was perhaps imperfect. My style and personality is maybe not what the mayor wants. I have felt he is not comfortable with me,” he said.

Emanuel criticized some of Brizard’s hiring decisions and the friction between the two soon became a liability.

“The questions about J.C. became a distraction from what we had to do,” Emanuel told the Chicago Sun-Times. “We had a mutual agreement [that the distraction was] not helpful.… It kept on becoming about the static and noise about J.C.”

Former New York City teacher and CEO of Cleveland’s public school system Barbara Byrd-Bennett will replace Brizard, the Monitor reported.


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