With a bit of a bumpy start, Jean-Claude Brizard is settling in as Chicago Public Schools chief. He's in the middle of a listening tour around the city, and he joined us to tell us what he's hearing from students, teachers and parents about education reform.
Brizard said the sometimes controversial magnet and charter schools are not a panacea for solving problems with schools, but are part of a portfolio including good neighborhood schools.
On the subject of the education reform bill moving its way through Springfield, Brizard said Gov. Pat Quinn should sign the bill in front of him, and doing so will put Illinois ahead of the country
“We’re going to reform and push forward. We want to do it with teachers not to teachers,” Brizard said. CTU President Karen Lewis spoke with teachers in New York, Brizard said, and found that he had a good relationship with teachers there, despite some animosity between him and Rochester administration as well as parents. He said he asks skeptics to watch how things change because actions speak louder than words.
In the next 24 to 48 hours, Brizard and the mayor will begin implementing new plans for education, Brizard said.
Brizard also said he has always loved Chicago, and typically has visited three or four times a year.
“It’s a big city with a small-town feel,” Brizard said.