Chicago schools Chief Executive Officer Barbara Byrd Bennett completed her main assignment from Mayor Rahm Emanuel at the Board of Education's May 22, 2013 meeting when she recommended the gutting of the city's real public school system with the unprecedented closing of 49 of Chicago's real public schools. The recommendation, which was passed unanimously by the seven member school board of the nation's third largest school system, followed six months of maneuvering and lies which saw "hearings" during which 30,000 people virtually unanimously opposed Byrd Bennett's proposal to close those schools.... Substance
|Photo by George Schmidt|
George N. Schmidt - December 10, 2013
Despite her attempt to escape Chicago, schools chief Barbara Byrd Bennett will not find a new home running the nation's largest school system after a little more than a year running the nation's third largest school system. In a confirmation that Chicago Schools "Chief Executive Officer" Barbara Byrd Bennett was shopping around to get back to New York City, this time as chancellor of the largest school system in the USA, the New York Daily News reports on December 10, 2013 that she is being nixed in New York.
Why? Because she had been such a slave to the whims of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Specifically, according to the New York sources, her closing of 50 of Chicago's real public schools in May 2013 was the deal breaker. Despite Rahm Emanuel's posings as a major force in politics across the USA, it may be that there is a Curse of Rahm and Byrd Bennett's failure to reach the finalists for the NYC job is just the beginning.
Newly elected New York City Mayor Bill diBlasio was elected on a promise to change things from the dictatorial regime of billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and one of the most important changes will come if deBlasio decided to take on corporate school reform and begin to roll back the expansion of charter schools and the closing of the city's real public schools. Clearly, as The Daily News notes, the person who did the dirty work of corporate reform in Chicago is unlikely to be the choice to undo such corporate dirty work in New York.
But the deal isn't done until New York selects a schools chancellor, so Byrd Bennett is still officially in the running. And one question for Chicago is how long she has to remain here, now that she has made it clear that she wants out. She won't be the first to leave abruptly after proclaiming her love for Chicago, its schools, and the children -- repeating regularly the talking points of those who script corporate school reform locally and across the USA.