BOARDWATCH: Rahm's latest Board appointment again demonstrates the political bankruptcy of diversity politics and the fetishes of 'choice'... Jaime Guzman has been serving the reactionaries since he was 'teaching' with Teach for America...

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's announcement that he was appointing Jaime Guzman to the Chicago Board of Education.The January 6, 2016 announcement by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emaneul that he was appointing Jaime Guzman to replace Jesse Ruiz on the seven member (appointed) Chicago Board of Education was praised by a few: After all, Emanuel was keeping the "Latino" representation on the school board. From every other perspective, however, Rahm was replacing one reactionary with another, and it matters little that Guzman is not a banker or business executive, like others on the Board. The mayoral appointment simply adds another reactionary with a privatization and union busting agenda to a Board filled with them.

The official City Hall press release devoted words to Guzman's "public service." The mayor left out the fact that Guzman's career had been from the earliest days in the service of prvatization and reaction. His teaching career began with the controversial "Teach for America" program, and like many TFA alumni, he immediately began working in "public service" jobs, both public and private sector, that continued the ruling class's attacks on public schools and public worker unions. By 2008, Guzman was at the Chicago Board of Education, promoting so-called "school choice." He acted as a translator at community meetings for UNO during the years it was expanding its charter schools, often at public expense, across Chicago's Southwest Side.




CONTACT: Mayors Press Office. 312.744.3334.

Guzman appointed to Board of Education following Jesse Ruizs transition to President of the Board of Commissioners to the Chicago Park District

Jaime Guzman (above left) acted as translator for the Board of Education at community meetings promoting the expansion of the controversial UNO charter schools. Above right, UNO's chief, Juan Rangal, at the community meeting promoting the expansion of the UNO schools, supposedly to "relieve overcrowding" on the Southwest Side. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.Mayor Rahm Emanuel today announced the appointment of Jaime Guzman to serve on the Chicago Board of Education, and is recommending he be elected Vice President by fellow members. Guzman, a former educator and education administrator, will replace Jesse Ruiz, who, after service to the board since 2011, has stepped down to serve as President to the Board of Commissioners of the Chicago Park District.

Guzman is a native Chicagoan who has served for more than 15 years in a variety of roles in the private, public and nonprofit sectors, including senior leadership positions in both City Colleges and at Chicago Public Schools (CPS).

Jaime is a committed public servant who has worked tirelessly to improve our schools and opportunities for the next generation of Chicagoans, said Mayor Emanuel. Jaimes leadership is ideal to build on the progress made by the Board, and his experience in both the classroom and as an educational administrator make him well-suited to continue driving improvements in our classrooms across the city.

Guzman currently serves as Executive Director, Chicago for the Taproot Foundation, a national nonprofit that connects social change organizations with skilled volunteers through pro bono service. Guzman, a graduate of both Dartmouth College and Harvard University, has held leadership positions in Chicago education organizations, including: Chief Advisor to the Board of Trustees of the City Colleges of Chicago; and as Director of the Office of New Schools, where he managed authorization of new schools as part of the Districts quality schools initiatives. Additionally, Guzman taught for two years as bilingual teacher in the District, working closely with English Language Learners at Gerald Delgado Kanoon Magnet School in the Little Village community.

I am honored that Mayor Emanuel has nominated me to serve the Board of Education, and I am excited to begin working on behalf of Chicagos children to improve educational opportunities throughout our great city, said Jaime Guzman. I am confident that my experience in both the classroom and the boardroom will lend itself well as I work alongside CPS leadership and our Mayor to continue investing in our classrooms and our childrens futures.

Guzman replaces Ruiz this month, following his nomination to the Chicago Park District board in November 2015. Ruiz served as Vice President of the Chicago Board of Education from May of 2011 through December 2015, including a three-month stint as Interim CEO of Chicago Public Schools (CPS). Since 2011 and with Ruizs continued support on the Board, CPS made investments in key programs that are proven to help prepare students for high school graduation and the rigors of 21stcentury college coursework.

Ruiz was appointed by the Mayor to serve as president to the Board of Commissioners for the Chicago Park District in anticipation of a major Parks initiative that will be announced early this year.

Its been a tremendous honor to serve on the board for the past four years, and though my departure is bittersweet, I am confident that our schools are in good hands with Jaimes appointment, said former Vice President to the Board of Education, Jesse Ruiz. Jaime has an impressive track record of enacting change through his service to the public sector, which will make him a tremendous asset to the Board as it continues to ensure accountability in our schools and a first-rate education that will prepare our students for 21st century success.

Assisting in the search to identify a board member replacement for Ruizs post was the Latino Advisory Committee, CPS Latino-focused task force designed to increase engagement with the Latino community and to enhance the educational success of Latino students. The 13-member committee seeks to accomplish its mission by uniting Chicago's Latino leaders in order to provide support to Latino students, teachers, administrators and families at CPS.

We are enthusiastic about Jaimes appointment, as he will not only play a critical role in representing the now majority Latino population of students and families across the District, but he will also be fully committed to improving education opportunities for all of Chicagos students, said Manuel Medina on behalf of the Latino Advisory Committee. We believe it's a step in the right direction as we continue working with the district to increase diversity among educators and leadership in CPS to reflect the diversity of the student body.

Guzman will preside over this months Board meeting, held on Wednesday, January 27th at CPS headquarters. During the same meeting, fellow members will vote to approve his recommendation to serve as Vice President.


From: Communications, Internal

Date: Wed, Jan 6, 2016 at 4:46 PM

Subject: Announcing New Board of Education Member

Dear CPS Colleagues,

I am excited to announce a new addition to the CPS leadership team. Today, Mayor Emanuel announced the appointment of Jaime Guzman to the Chicago Board of Education. Mr. Guzman replaces Jesse Ruiz, who served our students for four years as Vice President of the Board and was recently named President of the Board of Commissioners to the Chicago Park District.

Though new to the Board, Mr. Guzman is no stranger to Chicago Public Schools. He has worked as a bilingual teacher at Canoon Elementary, serving English Language Learners in the Little Village Community, and previously served as Director of the Districts Office of New Schools, managing the authorization of new schools as part of our quality schools initiatives. Mr. Guzman has also held senior leadership positions with the City Colleges of Chicago, and currently serves as Executive Director, Chicago for the Taproot Foundation.

Mr. Guzman will join the Board during the January 27 meeting, at which time his fellow Board members will vote on Mayor Emanuels recommendation that he assume the role of Vice President. I am confident that his experience as an educator and educational leader will serve Mr. Guzman well in his new role, and look forward to working with him as we continue our mission of providing every child in Chicago with a quality education that prepares them for success in college and in life.

Sincerely, Forrest Claypool, Chief Executive Officer


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