CHICAGO
10/31/2012 01:54 pm ET

Jean-Claude Brizard Severance: Ex-Public Schools CEO Gets $250,000, Benefits, Glowing Recommendation

Former Chicago Public Schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard is getting a handsome severance package that includes $250,000 and an overwhelmingly positive review after just 17 months on the job.

In addition to his quarter-million-dollar severance -- formerly his yearly salary -- Brizard will get full health benefits for him and his family, and perhaps most surprisingly, what the Chicago Tribune calls a "glowing letter of recommendation for future prospective employers." Brizard signed a two-year contract with CPS in April 2011 and it was set to expire in May of next year.

The letter of recommendation is said to praise the embattled former-CEO for raising test scores and graduation rates. In reference to Brizard's education agenda. The Tribune reports the letter says "some have called it a masterpiece."

Mayor Rahm Emanuel handpicked Brizard for the CEO post, reports WBEZ, but many speculated Brizard would be on the way out following the Chicago Teachers Union's historic walkout. Emanuel named CPS interim Chief Education Officer Barbara Byrd-Bennett as CEO the same day Brizard's departure was announced.

Brizard came to CPS from the Rochester, N.Y. school system where he was given a vote of no-confidence by 95 percent of the Rochester teachers union, the Sun-Times said in 2011.

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