Jean-Claude Brizard, Ex-CPS CEO, Talks Working For Rahm Emanuel In Rare Interview

08/23/2013 02:14 pm ET
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Former Chicago Public Schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard made it pretty clear there wasn't too much love lost between him and Mayor Rahm Emanuel, if a new interview published this week is any indication.

In an interview published by the Thomas Fordham Institute Thursday, Brizard reflected on his experiences working for Emanuel while leading CPS during the historic teacher strike in 2012.

Brizard called Emanuel an "interesting man" who was "always 'on' and a master at managing media." He added that the mayor is "frustrated by the challenges of a school system in crisis and a crime situation that is making international headlines" and described Emanuel's biggest challenge as "to learn to let go and allow his managers to lead."

The former CPS head also said he and the Emanuel administration "severely underestimated" the Chicago Teachers Union's ability to mobilize for the strike.

Brizard, who was handpicked by Emanuel in 2011 and then replaced following the teacher strike by Barbara Byrd-Bennett in 2012, now works as a senior advisor at the College Board in Washington, D.C. As NBC Chicago notes, he is considered by many to be a possible future contender for New York City Public Schools chancellor.

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