Incoming schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard had his first meeting with Chicago Teachers Union president Karen Lewis Monday, and here's the good news--neither was wearing boxing gloves.
In his current job heading Rochester, N.Y., public schools, Brizard's relationship with the teachers union has been so sour that the union gave him a no confidence vote. And so when Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel announced Brizard as his pick to lead Chicago Public Schools, Lewis joked she was ready to buy a pair of boxing gloves.
On Monday, though, the meeting between Brizard and Lewis lasted for 45 minutes. Witnesses say it was civil. Brizard talked about his own experience as a teacher and principal and how that's shaped his views on education. He also discussed his troubles with the union in Rochester and how he hopes his relationship with Chicago teachers will be different. Other topics included standardized testing, administrators' credentials and workforce diversity.
Both agreed to keep the lines of communication open even as issues become contentious, although Lewis couldn't resist a little joke.
"I was disappointed he didn't bring that pair of boxing gloves, but maybe next time?" she said.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun