Rahm Emanuel, the mayor-elect of Chicago, just appointed a new head of schools. Jean-Claude Brizard comes from Rochester, NY schools and is a Broad superintendent. From the Huffington Post:
Brizard, a native of Haiti, embodies two types of urban superintendents. On the one hand, he’s a former principal with masters' degrees in school administration and science education. He’s a product of the classroom who went on to follow a traditional path of school management, serving as a regional superintendent of New York City schools.
On the other hand, he’s a graduate of the Broad Foundation’s Superintendents Academy -- a program that stresses the corporate-tinged, charter-school championing policies emphasized by the Obama administration -- that is much maligned by teachers unions.
His tenure saw improved graduation rates and higher test scores in math and English, but was also marked by clashes with teachers' unions over a push for increased charter schools and merit pay. An overwhelming 95 percent of teachers voted "no confidence" in Brizard, in an unprecedented vote taken by the Rochester Teachers Association.
Sound familiar? Here's what the comments say:
I do not envy you, Chicago. Brizard earned himself a 95% no-confidence vote from teachers, a 5% college-readiness in graduates (of which are only 46% of students), unsafe schools and cut programs. Rochester is not sad to see him go, but I am sad to see that he still managed to get another superintendent job. Business men think the business model can apply to anything, sadly.
One of my favorites is that he virtually eliminated suspensions.....what Jean Claude leaves out is that he took suspension rights away from principals. Do not kid yourselves, the Rochester City Schools are no safer and behavior is no better....if anything it is worse. Now students get to come to school and be afraid of the students they are around. Additionally, he did not meet with teachers on any regular schedule and most certainly refused to answer emails from teachers or even look at teachers when they were speaking at board meetings. Instead, he typically would be texting on his cell phone while teachers, parents and students would try and express their thoughts to him.
He also signed his new contract with a guaranteed raise each year without tying that raise to any signs of student success yet he refuses to commit to any teacher contract unless their salary is tied to student success...yet he has yet to define how he would measure that success.
The story also said that Providence, Detroit, Newark, Atlanta, Broward County, FL and Montgomery, Maryland are looking for new supers. I guess the question is how fast can the Broad Academy churn them out?