CHICAGO (CBS) — Mayor Rahm Emanuel has tapped his top aide, Forrest Claypool, to run the Chicago Public Schools, and former ComEd chief executive officer Frank Clark as president of the Chicago Board of Education, a move the Chicago Teachers Union derided as more of the same from City Hall.
“I’ve never seen a manager with Forrest Claypool’s capacity for leadership,” Emanuel said Thursday morning. “I know Forrest is exactly the right person at the right time to lead CPS at this moment.”
The mayor said he has “tremendous confidence” in Claypool’s ability to make sure every student receives a high-quality education.
The Chicago Teachers Union blasted Emanuel’s decision not to appoint educators to either of the top two positions in the city’s public school system.
“The CTU is negotiating a contract with the Board and is willing to work with anyone, but these political appointments are telling us a lot about where the mayor is taking our schools, which is over a cliff,” CTU Vice President Jesse Sharkey said. “The need for a new CEO and Board president because of corruption and irresponsible financial practices are clear examples of why we need an elected, representative school board.”
Sharkey criticized Claypool as “political ‘fixer’ and longtime mayoral insider who represents another non-education, business-style manager of our schools.”