Brizard: ‘Lousy’ Principals Must Be Replaced

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.

  • No Dough For "Lousy" Principals | District 299: The Inside Scoop on CPS

    […] Brizard: ‘Lousy’ Principals Must Be Replaced CBS2:  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. […]

  • Shadaie

    Too bad they can’t replace all of the lousy parents as well!

  • frank

    Just listen to this overpaid superintendent speak and you realize what a fraud he is.


    Would love to see him try to put in a honest month’s work in a school of my choice without publicity. He wouldn’t survive!

    His talk, like recent superintendents, is just gumbo verbiage.



  • Kenny

    I don’t understand how a principal is supposed to force parents, or should I say parent, to make sure their kids are studying, doing all of their homework, showing up to school every day, staying home on school nights, and basically taking part in their kid’s education, the way parents in well performing schools do. I don’t blame the principals or the teachers at all. It’s all about the parents

  • Jennie

    Oh yes, parents do play a great roll in a child’s life, if not the greatest roll. I believe in parental responsibility, not involvement or being engaged with YOUR CHILD. However, we cannot over look the HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE principals that are in these schools. The principals set the tone for a good or bad school. Many of (not all) them set a negative envrioment for the educational community. There is one that I know of requires members of her “team” to give her $35.00 for Xmas. The money that she received was enough to send on a trip to Cancun. She has ran away EXCELLENT teachers because of her condensening personality. Additionally, she is padding her attendance rolls. CPS knows of all of these FACTS PLUS MORE. However, they have not taken action. When a principal creates a negative learning enviroment, the teachers and students are impacted.

  • Lyndia

    THIS GUY IS FINALLY TALKING WITH SOME SENSE. There are some nasty, snooty principals. I went up to my daughter’s school, wanting to speak with the principal and was told that I have to have an APPOINTMENT TO SPEAK WITH HER!!! AN APPOINTMENT TO SPEAK WITH A PRINCIPAL!!! Have you ever heard of such? Who do these people think they are? Every parent should be able to speak with the educational leader of the school their child attends. I know they are busy, but my God, if parents did not send their children to their school, their would be no need for them.

    • Tyreese

      @Lyndia, If I saw your nappy ass walking into my school, I would have you escorted out!!!

  • tom Sharp

    Hey Lyndia,think about it (for once) the principal has dozens of people demanding her time, including the principal’s bosses. Ypu really do need to make an appointment unless it’s literally ‘life and death.”

    Once again, it looks CPS will be judging principals on the schools’ academic performance. For the 2000th time–the principal has very little impact on academic performance in CPS because the playing field is hopelessly skewed in favor of selective enrollment schools, specialty schools and charter all of which pull the best kids form the local schools and leave them with the dregs, gang bangers and special needs kids. AS I and several of the people above have noted many tomes before it’s the parents and the students themselves (i.e., their desire and willingness to learn) that determine academic achievement not the principal. Don’t believe it? Imagine the principal at Payton High trading places with the principal at Fenger. Do you think a year or two later the Payton kids would be losers and the Fenger kids would be at or above grade level???

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