CTA Prez Pick for CPS Getting Poor Grades

CTA Official, Teachers Union dismayed by choice

Chicago Transit Authority President Ron Huberman, an all-purpose mayoral troubleshooter with no background in education, was appointed Tuesday to run the nation’s third largest school system.

Huberman replaces Arne Duncan, newly-appointed U.S. education secretary, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

Huberman has run the CTA since May 2007 after about two years as Daley's chief of staff. He also has headed the city's Office of Emergency Management and Communications and was a Chicago police officer, rising to the rank of assistant deputy superintendent, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Like Duncan, Huberman does not have a teaching degree.  At 37, Huberman is one year older than Duncan was in 2001 when he was tapped to fill the big shoes of Paul Vallas.

City and education officials are speaking out against the appointment, saying Huberman isn't qualified.

Others are concerned the move will mean a step backward for the CTA, which has arguably seen improvments under Huberman's watch. [Read More...]

Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown said she was dismayed at the appointment, and the clear and only choice was current CPS Chief Education Officer Barbara Eason-Watkins. Note: Earlier Tuesday, NBCChicago incorrectly attributed this statement to CTA Chair Carole Brown.  We apologize for any confusion this created.

A statement from Chicago Teachers Union President Marilyn Stewart indicated that the union also would have preferred an experienced educator, the Tribune reported.

"We were hoping the mayor would appoint someone with a strong background in education since we face so many challenges as an urban district," Stewart said. "However, we will work with whomever the mayor sends, and we look forward to continuing a collaborative partnership with CPS."

In a release, Alderman Leslie Hairston said her "phones have been ringing off the hook with callers irate over Hubermann."

Hairston said she does not believe "CPS students should be used as a management experiment or to boost one's resume."

One of the first issues facing Huberman is a plan to close or reorganize 22 schools.

It's unknown who will now replace Huberman at the CTA. 

Copyright CHIST - SunTimes
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