BRIZARDBULLSCHIDT... Casals parents catch the CEO in a half dozen outright lies... A new Substance regular feature will monitor the lies of the man Rahm Emanuel calls 'J.C.' during this holiday season

As everyone who has followed the media tsunami that came in the wake of Rahm Emanuel's election as Mayor of Chicago knows, for several months, Rahm kept the man he affectionately calls "J.C." on a pretty short media leash. On the rare occasion where Rahm wasn't watching Jean-Claude Brizard carefully during one of the mayor's multitudinous media events, his minders were there observing Jean-Claude carefully, making sure he keeps that vapid smile turned on and repeats his platitudes until everyone's eyes glaze over.

But the onslaught of the "Turnaround" announcement in December 2001 has caused the media to demand direct contact, on camera, with Brizard himself. Brizard has also become overconfident and has taken to taking phone calls from parents who were not pre-selected to be the official "parents." Official parents are like those at Morton AUSL school on November 29 — parents who are screened to sing the praises of anything Brizard is doing as if on cue in church during a revival.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel carefully avoided exposing his hand-picked schools "Chief Executive Officer" Jean-Claude (Emanuel refers to him as "JC") Brizard to too many questions during the carefully scripted mayoral media event at Chicago Police Headquarters on December 13, 2011 to unveil "CPS CompStat" to reporters. Brizard was also clearly uncomfortable, dropping his usual unctuous smile for a worried look. While nobody would say why (and Emanuel avoided a simple Substance question about truancy for fear it would be aimed at Brizard's legal troubles in Rochester New York), Brizard was clearly not allowed to say much during the event, after having spent a few days on his own and catching more and more foot-in-mouth trouble as he lied to parents at Casals and other schools about proposed closings and turnarounds. At the CompStat media event, even reporters who normally simply quote Brizard's irrelevancies and inaccuracies noted that during his attempts to intervene in the hard-nosed discussions of gang violence in and around Gage Park High School that Brizard's reminiscences and remarks about his days two decades ago as a rpincipal in Brooklyn (where the gangs were Hollywood's "Crips" and "Bloods," according to the $250,000-per-year CPS CEO) were largely beside the point, or worse. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.One of the more enterprising parent groups to take on Brizard has been at Pablo Casals Elementary School. There, the entire school community was infuriated when Brizard declared their school a "failure" and announced he was going to turn the place around on November 29 (during that Morton dog-and-pony show). According to Brizard, the teachers and everyone else at Casals should be fired, and the school turned over for another AUSL miracle show, because, well, you know, it's really, you know, a "failure" (look at the so-called "data") and also, you know, CPS has "successful seats" nearby to replace those "failing seats" at Casals.

To which most people have already been saying "Huh." "What's a frigging "failing seat"?!

By December 8, a little over a week after Brizard slimed the people of Casals and 19 other schools, what can only be called the Casals Truth Squad went into operation. They sent us the results:

We're adding the flyer we printed out today at the bottom of this email. Basicallly we were just counter-attacking the comments Brizard made on the phone conference on Dec. 7, 2011.

Our school was notified of the security protocols for tomorrow's (Dec. 9) CPS meeting at Casals. They want the Security guards to have an alpha list of parents, and ONLY parents would be admitted. Not community or other interested parties. Of course the meeting is at 9am at Casals, so no teachers or staff either. Some of our staff who are also parents are going to take the day off so they can attend the meeting. This was quite the talk of the day, as you can imagine !

The flyer I'm enclosing below was a response to the phone conference where Brizard supposedly answered parents' questions. They were given a number and an access code to be able to listen to the conference. The questions were not asked by the people calling, but by a moderator who sometimes twisted the questions in a certain slant. As I told you before, I doubt there is a recording of this conference, so the items at the top can only be verified by people who were listening .

Thanks for your interest ! We are definitely in close communication with CTU, and will be joining for several action events next week and right before Christmas. (Maria Guerrero, Pablo Casals School)

Mr . Brizard’s Comments on the Conference ( phone) of December 7, 2011 at 7pm.

Responding to a call from a parent (“Andre”) , Mr. Brizard made the following statements : 1. Casals is scoring far below the 70% average on ISAT of Humboldt Park schools

2. Casals’ growth has been flat for the past 5 years

3. Casals’ is one of the lowest performing schools in the city

4. Visits were conducted by his team , which came back with negative data about the school culture

5. Expectations at Casals are below level for what CPS expects

6. AUSL schools have a good track record of improving schools they “turnaround”

7. A school cannot be measured by its ISAT scores because it is only 1 test.

The TRUTH about Mr. Brizard’s statements ( all data can be checked on 2011 Report Cards and the Interactive Report cards available on the ISBE website ): 1. Casals is scoring at par or above its neighboring Humboldt Park schools , which are mostly in the 50%-60% range. 2. Casals’ ISAT composite scores have been going up for the past 10 years: 2002 - 33% 2005 – 49% 2007 – 51% 2011 – 61.5%

3. In rankings on the 2011 Report cards, Casals is ranked 2051 out of 2192 elementary schools. There are over 100 schools scoring lower than Casals.

4. Neither Mr. Brizard nor any team of his has EVER visited Pablo Casals. The only visits have been conducted by our Network, and their reports have been positive. We do not think the Network was acting directly on behalf of Mr. Brizard in their routinely scheduled visits.

5. Since Mr. Brizard has never visited Casals, it’s difficult to comment on how he came to believe our expectations are below level.

6. Catalyst and WBEZ just printed a report on Dec. 7 which shows exactly how turnaround / closed schools have fared for the past 10 years, including those taken over by AUSL. Many became selective enrollment or charter schools. Casals’ presently outscores 6 of the 11 AUSL schools, including Sherman School which became an AUSL school 6 years ago. It is still a Performance Level 3 school , as is Casals.

7. In Illinois, AYP ( Annual Yearly Progress) and Probation status are directly measured by a school’s performance on the ISAT according to NCLB standards.Mr. Brizard can dismiss this data as unimportant, but in fact it is the measurement by which a school’s status is determined.


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