In the past few weeks, I have been following the CPS strike and all of the other news surrounding that. One personal reason for that is I have a lot of friends who attend various CPS high schools such as Lincoln Park, Walter Payton, or Northside so I’m very interested in keeping up with the news directing affecting their schools. Although the strike has stopped after about 8 days, I have begun to question the lasting effect it will have on school students, teachers, and administrators. Will this hurt or help the students in the end? Will the teachers be more willing to go on strike in the future? We might not know the answer until later this year at minimum.
Recently though Chicago Public School CEO, Jean-Claude Brizard was replaced by Barbara Byrd-Bennett who Rahm Emanuel placed in that position. Byrd-Bennett believes she has what it takes to turn any CPS school around that needs help. She says she is very relatable to many students because, “I come from less than blue collar” and “somebody with integrity and honesty.”
While in this interview she makes a very convincing case for herself as the strongest person to take over as CEO of one of the biggest public school districts in the country, because she was personally appointed by Rahm Emanuel. However it could be an interesting dynamic between her and the teachers. Emanuel and the CPS Union President Karen Lewis have had many disagreements over the past years. Some possible questions come up as to how will the teachers and Byrd-Bennett get along? Will any more conflicts arise? Will Byrd-Bennett be able to keep her promises and turn CPS schools around?