Jean-Claude Brizard

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Jean-Claude Brizard
C.E.O. of Chicago Public Schools
In office
May 16, 2011 – October 11, 2012
Preceded by Terry Mazany (interim)[1]
Succeeded by Barbara Byrd-Bennett
Superintendent of Rochester City School District
In office
January 1, 2008 – May 13, 2011
Personal details
Born (1963-01-12) January 12, 1963 (age 55)
Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Nationality Haitian
Spouse(s) K. Brooke Stafford (m. 1992)
Children 4
Alma mater Queens College, City University of New York
Profession Educator
Education Associate with Bill and Melinda Gates foundation

Jean-Claude Brizard (born January 12, 1963) is an American former chief executive officer of Chicago Public Schools from 2011–2012. Directly before coming to Chicago, Brizard served as the superintendent of the Rochester City School District. Brizard is best known as an education reformer, a strong charter school advocate and a champion of labor reform, particularly in regards to limiting teacher tenure status. Brizard started his career as a teacher, then an administrator, in the New York School System. He now works part time as a consultant for education reform organizations in America but primarily focuses on raising his children.[2]


Brizard was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Dictator François Duvalier had his grandfather imprisoned and his parents fled to the United States when it was learned his father might be imprisoned as well.[3] After reuniting with his family, Brizard attended public schools in Brooklyn and earned a bachelor's degree in Chemistry and a master's degree in Science Education from Queens College and a master's degree in School Administration and Supervision from the City College of New York. He began his career as an instructor at Rikers Island, later moving to George Westinghouse Career and Technical Education High School, where he taught physics and became principal in 1999. In 2003 he rose to the instructional superintendency of Region 8, New York City Department of Education. He attended the Superintendents’ Academy of the Broad Center for the Management of School Systems in 2007.

In 2008, he assumed the superintendency of the Rochester City School District.[4] In Rochester, he promoted charter schools and merit pay, pushed for performance standards, and met with so much opposition from the teachers’ union that they gave him a vote of no confidence before he left for Chicago.[5]

Chicago Public Schools[edit]

Brizard was hired by Rahm Emanuel and became the CEO of Chicago Public Schools on May 16, 2011.[3] He stepped down after 17 months on October 11, 2012. In a written response Brizard stated he and the Mayor had come to a "mutual agreement" that he was a "distraction" to school reform.[6] Rumors of Brizard's resignation were first reported by several news organizations on August 31, 2012 but were denied by Mayor Emanuel directly.[7] The possibility of an impending resignation first surfaced in July 2012, when portions of Brizard's personnel evaluation were leaked to the press. The leaks raised concerns about his ability to manage such a large organization as CPS and turnover of his leadership team.[8] In August 2012, the Chicago Teachers Union went on strike for the first time in more than 25 years. The policies of Brizard and Mayor Emanuel were cited as the impetus for the strike. As part of his resignation package, Brizard received a year's salary at $250,000 along with other undisclosed benefits.[9]


Educational offices
Preceded by
Principal of the George Westinghouse Career and Technical Education High School
June 1999 – 2003
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Region 8 Instructional Superintendent, New York City Department of Education
2003 –
Succeeded by
Preceded by
William C. Cala
Superintendent of the Rochester City School District
January 1, 2008 – May 13, 2011
Succeeded by
Bolgen Vargas (interim)
Preceded by
Terry Mazany (interim)
Superintendent of Chicago Public Schools
May 16, 2011 – October 11, 2012
Succeeded by
Barbara Byrd-Bennett