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Brizard: ‘Lousy’ Principals Must Be Replaced

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Jean Claude Brizard (Credit: Craig Dellimore/WBBM Newsradio)

Jean Claude Brizard (Credit: Craig Dellimore/WBBM Newsradio)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — The head of the Chicago Public Schools says officials will replace a substantial number of principals, in an effort to help address the problem of poor performance in the most impoverished areas of the city.

As WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports, CPS chief executive officer Jean-Claude Brizard says there is no way to deny that some schools are just “lousy,” in his words, with poor students, high dropout rates, and low test scores.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports

“My God, who do these kids put up with this every single day, because the environment is very, very toxic?” he said.

Other schools in equally impoverished neighborhoods have high achievement.

Principals are a key factor in making the difference, Brizard says.

“If you have a great leader, they will put together a great set of teachers, and a good teacher will never stay at a school with a lousy principal,” he said.

Chicago, he says, needs to hire more good principals.

“We also want to make sure that as we get this new blood, they’re being trained in the way that we need,” Brizard said.

Brizard is the guest this weekend on WBBM Newsradio’s “At Issue” program. Listen in for more of his comments on Sunday at 9:30 a.m. and 9:30 p.m.

CPS also plans to reward principals whose schools show improvement.

CPS chief education officer Noemi Donoso said earlier this week the measures have been designed to highlight progress, not just reward teachers whose students have the highest test scores.

“This means that principals of schools where significant numbers of students are performing below grade level will be eligible for a bonus if their students make significant academic gains during the 2011-2012 school year,” Donoso said.

Principals and their support staff could make and additional $5,000 to $20,000 a year, depending on their performance.

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