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The Politics of Urban Education

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Our December guest is Mr. Jean Claude Brizard, former Chief Executive Officer of Chicago Public Schools.  Recently, Mr. Brizard and the CPS Board of Education were in the media spotlight with the 2012 CPS teacher strike.  Prior to his appointment in Chicago, he was Superintendent of Schools for the Rochester City School District (Rochester, NY), a position he held for three years.  Our conversation will focus on the political aspects that both facilitate and hinder leadership and progress in urban contexts.

The Chicago Public Schools serves approximately 409,000 students in more than 670 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school system. Every child brings a wealth of talent, gifts, and potential to us,” Mr. Brizard says. “They also bring dreams, aspirations, struggles, and needs. We must embrace that talent and potential and equip every student with an education that draws forth their unique talents (the masterpiece) that lies within each of them.

Mr. Brizard’s experience also includes a 21-year career as an educator and administrator with the New York City Department of Education. He served as a Regional Superintendent, supervising more than 100 K-12 schools serving over 100,000 students in three New York City geographic districts.

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