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Running the schools: CPS chief executive officers since 1995 school takeover

Paul Vallas, 1995 to June 2001. The first Chicago Public Schools CEO appointed after Mayor Richard M. Daley convinced the state legislature to let him run the schools. Vallas previously had served as Daley’s budget director. He set the CPS budget in order, rehabbed old schools and created summer, afterschool and alternative school programs. A very popular Vallas resigned in 2001 under criticism from Daley and the Chicago Teachers Union

Arne Duncan, July 2001 to January 2009. Vallas’ deputy chief of staff at CPS, Duncan was 36 when he was tasked with leading the nation’s third largest school district. In 2004, he unveiled Renaissance 2010, the city’s plan to build 100 new schools by 2010, many of them charters or contract schools. He left to become President Barack Obama’s Secretary of Education.

Ron Huberman, January 2009 to November 2010. Appointed while head of the Chicago Transit Authority by Mayor Richard M. Daley – over lifelong educator and chief education officer Barbara Eason-Watkins — after Duncan went to Washington. Hired at $225,000 a year, Huberman abruptly resigned once Daley announced he would retire and not seek reelection.

Terry Mazany, November 2010 – July 2011. The head of Chicago’s Community Trust agreed to serve as interim CEO, filling the vacancy left by Huberman’s resignation until the new mayor could make a permanent choice. He was paid a salary of $1 from the district.

Jean-Claude Brizard, July 1, 2011 to October 2012. Hired by Rahm Emanuel at $250,000 a year from Rochester, N.Y., where he’d just suffered a vote of no confidence from the local teachers union. As recently as Sept. 18, the day after the city’s first teachers strike in 25 years ended, Emanuel said Brizard had his full confidence.



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