Emanuel defends pick for schools chief

April 20, 2011

Associated Press

Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel defended his pick to lead the Chicago Public Schools and says he picked someone to "shake up the status quo."

Emanuel talked about new CPS president Jean-Claude Brizard on Wednesday after Brizard held a press conference in Rochester, N.Y., where he is leaving as schools superintendent. Brizard had a contentious tenure in Rochester. The teachers union recently delivered a no-confidence vote in him.
Emanuel says Brizard understands politics and people who Brizard was tough on are now criticizing him.
At the Wednesday news conference in Rochester, Brizard made no excuses for wanting to overhaul public education there and he called himself a "completely effective" leader.
Brizard used to work in the New York city schools and says he understands big school systems.