Brizard Defends Decision To Close Or ‘Turn Around’ 17 Schools

CHICAGO (CBS) — Improve schools by turning them around with a new leadership team, or close them; that was the message that the head of the Chicago Public Schools took to a South Side church congregation Sunday, following the school board’s decision last week to close or “turn around” 17 schools.

Earlier in the weekend, Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis and the Rev. Jesse Jackson advocated the opposite viewpoint: keep schools open – and improve them by giving them more money.

But CPS Chief Executive Officer Jean-Claude Brizard said some of the best-funded schools still aren’t performing.

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“They’re still getting the lowest achievement in the city. That should give you the answer. Money does not solve the problem,” he said. “It’s getting a good team of people – principals, teachers together – to do what’s right for kids. In some cases, we have to close (schools), in… most cases we do turnarounds.”

Brizard spoke to reporters after addressing the Apostolic Church of God congregation on the South Side.

Brizard told the church, “There are some who are calling for a moratorium on school reform. I argue and I beg that we can no longer accept a status quo that has failed our students year after year – because that’s exactly what has happened for decades.”

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  • tom sharp

    Funny, Brizzard forgets that not only tons of money was poured into these same troubled schools, but the faculty, principals, and curricula were changed by Da Ex-Mayor–all to no avail. The only thing that remains the same are the kids and their gang banger offspring along with the loser or absent parents. New teachers won’t fix this. You can have dozens of Golden Apple winning teachers in these schools and little or nothing will change. It’s a social problem much more than an educational problem. But that is not politically correct or convenient for Rahm or CPS, so they continue to act as if they are dong something new when it has already failed several times before. See Daley’s, Chico’s and Vallas’ attempts at “Intervention,” “Reconstitution,” etc. By the way, contrary to some lies, from the media, Vallas failed in New Orleans too. He is now taking on school troubles in the tiny hamlet of Bridgeport Connecticut–how the mighty have fallen!

  • cramcod

    These schools fail because they are populated by students who come from non-existing families…almost always NO DAD, frequently No mom…..Parnet teacher conferences are a joke as no parents show, or a confused old grandma is all you get….schools cannot replace Parents. Until the Urban population actually creates a functioning culture/family..NOTHING that others do will make much of a difference…

  • franz

    I know a guy who taught at one of the high schools destined to close-a female student walked in his class in the middle of the lesson and began talking and totally disrupting the entire class-when he began telling her to knock it off and leave she hit him with a chair-so yes in this case a new regime is not going to help-I feel bad for the kids that want to learn and are stuck in a he!! hole.

    In addition to the bad inept teachers needing to be purged they also need to purge the azz hole loser students that make it bad for the rest.

    Then things might improve-keeping a school going after years on probabtion is like flushing money down the toilet-why can’t Karen cLewlis see that-or is it that all she cares about are the due paying union teachers churning out dim wits

    And that apartied BS is just a laugh-Jesse Jesse always pulling the race card and blaming the white man-your a publicity hounding joke!

  • retiredinAz1

    I agree with all the comments made……it is not the teachers, the principal, nor any of the staff…it is the home environment…the gang-infested area…..wake up CPS… can go and get an entire new staff at each of these schools and they will be run out on their rears by these jerks we call students!

  • retiredinAz1

    …..and as for jesse jackson……GO HOME! The cameras are off of you!

  • I'll clean my mess. You clean yours!!!

    Just as the students need discipline so does the CPS. Bad teachers should be fired!!! Karen Lewis is probably one of them. I’m sure she’s been talking like this for a long time and nothing has been done. Just yesterday I heard a teacher on the bus saying how she bullies a student that dresses the same all the time. I felt like recording her so bad!!! she was talking about how she calls him names and that his mother is nice but the kid is stupid. What kind of talk is this?? She needs to look for another job. How can they be called teachers when they haven’t learned anything themselves!!!

  • Emanuel: School ‘Turnarounds’ Lead To Better Academic Performance « CBS Chicago

    […] Chicago Public Schools chief executive officer Jean-Claude Brizard came out in defense of the move o… He disputed an argument by Rev. Jackson that the better solution would be to keep schools open as they are, and pump more money into them. […]

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