Brizard defends turnaround plan

February 26, 2012 3:32:56 PM PST
Chicago Public Schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard Sunday strongly defended last week's school board decision to close or turn around 17 failing schools.

He went to the Apostolic Church of God to talk about issues facing local students. Wednesday, the board voted unanimously on the closure and turnaround plan.

Brizard said demands for a moratorium on the plan are not acceptable when huge numbers of students are in low performing schools.

"For 10 years, I've been doing school turnarounds and closures and unfortunately you get entitlements, people who have their own self interest in keeping things the way they are who push a different kind of message and we find ourselves either having to get around the message or respond to it," Brizard said. "It's unfortunate because the kids get lost in the conversation."

Brizard called the achievement gap in city schools unprecedented. He argued more money is not always the answer since some well funded schools are among the lowest performers.