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New CPS Chief Meets with Teachers Union

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New Chicago Public School System chief calls it a "great beginning."

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The man who will lead the Chicago Public School System calls it a “great beginning.”

Mayor–Elect Rahm Emanuel’s choice for School CEO, Jean-Claude Brizard, sat down with Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis Monday.

“The key is that when you have conversations, then you probably have less problems in the future,” Lewis said. She compared the wide range of issues facing the school system to a perfect storm, “Our initial impression is that we have our work cut out for us. It’s going to be a challenge."

Mayor-Elect Rahm Emanuel has publicly pushed for longer school days, but Brizard said Monday’s meeting was less about specifics and more about opening the door for future talks.

One issue that did come up was something Brizard recently referred to as differentiated pay, instead of merit pay for teachers.

“There are some questions," Lewis said. “He talked about the work of Susan Moore Johnson out of Harvard, and career ladders. But again, it was so brief there were no details.”

 
But Brizard says those details will be coming soon.
 
“I think we’re going to get on the same page about what that means. We both know the same researcher who was an expert in this work. So we’ve got similar friends. We’re looking forward to regular conversations around that.”

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