WBEZ reporter finally gets Chicago's quarter million dollar schools 'Chief Executive Officer' to admit he has never been at the bargaining table!... Brizard to outline strike breaking plans to principals via 'Webinar' August 30

After finally admitting during a radio talk show (WBEZ radio "The Afternoon Shift" on August 29, 2012) that he had not been attending even one of the collective bargaining sessions with the Chicago Teachers Union leadership despite his quarter million dollar annual salary as "Chief Executive Officer" of Chicago's public schools, CEO Jean-Claude Brizard ordered principals to attend a "Webinar" on August 30, 2012, at which he and his staff will outline the Board of Education's plans to try and break the forthcoming Chicago Teachers Union strike.

Chicago schools chieftains Jean Claude Brizard (CEO), David Vitale (President of the Board), and Penny Pritzker (billionaire member of the Board) have been planning the Board's attempt to force the Chicago Teachers Union into a strike and then deploy millions of dollars in propaganda against the city's teachers. The secret meetings to plan the continuation of the attack on the city's teachers and the CTU will become clear at the August 30 Webinar with principals. Brizard, like most members of his administration, came to Chicago after being vetted by the Broad Foundation. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.Brizard claimed during his radio talk show that he and his senior staff are all "educators." He neglected to say that whatever education experience they may have comes from cities other than Chicago. All of the senior education staff at CPS (Chief Education Officer Barbara Byrd-Bennett and Chief Instruction Officer Jennifer Cheatham) like Brizard were brought in from out of town, have little Chicago knowledge, and deal in the abstractions and Power Point versions of reality favored by the Broad Foundation, which has trained and vetted all of them.

Brizard's meetings with the principals, like most of his dealings with the press, have been filtered through technology. (Brizard has not held one press conference at which open questions were allowed, in stark contrast to the openness with which the CTU leadership has been operating). Brizard's "Webinar" is viewed by many principals who have contacted Substance on condition of anonymity as typical of his methods for avoiding answering face-to-face questions from real people.

Despite the facts, Brizard told WBEZ's Steve Edwards on August 29 that he had "met with" more than 17,000 teachers since he took office in June 2011.

The memo to principals came out at around 8:00 on August 29, and follows:

FROM: Jean Claude Brizard 7:39 PM 29 AUGUST 2012


During the August 2012 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education, "Chief Administrative Officer" Tim Cawley (above) again claimed the Board was broke and facing an enormous "deficit," while the Board agenda included new expenses of $49 million for strike breaking and union busting initiatives. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.Dear CPS Leader,

We began this school year on August 13th with the promise of the full school day for our students, providing them with more quality time in the classroom with our teachers and providing you as principals the discretion to determine what is best for your school. And we look forward to the start of school for the majority of Chicago Public Schools students on September 4, 2012.

This afternoon, the Chicago Teacher’s Union leadership filed its 10-day strike notice with the Chicago Board of Education and the Illinois Education Labor Relations Board, meaning the leadership has the ability to call on its members to strike starting September 10, 2012.

We know this is an extremely busy time for you, but it's important for us to outline our plan to support our students in the event of a strike, and ask that you join us tomorrow for one of two informational seminars:

• Elementary school principal webinar at 11:00 AM

• High school principal webinar at 11:45 AM

A link to access the webinar will be sent to you later tonight or early tomorrow morning. Thanks again for all you do on behalf of our students.


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