Thursday, July 31

Gapers Block

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr

The Mechanics
« Follow the Petition Numbers "Social Justice Isn't Just For Rock Stars -- It's For Workers, Too." »

Education Tue Nov 16 2010

Daley Appoints Another Non-Educator to Head City's Education

Mayor Daley announced today the appointment of Chicago Community Trust CEO Terry Mazany to head up the Chicago Public Schools. The Sun-Times piece, in listing Mazany's qualifications, leaves out that he sits on the Board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

Mazany seems like a perfectly capable man, but his education qualifications to run the Chicago Public Schools are not immediately evident. Note: While Mazany has served as a public administrator in school systems in California, it was not in an educator capacity, which is the principle concern of critics. The Chicago Community Trust has created programs for increasing access to arts programs in schools and fund grassroots after-school programs, but has not delved into the structural problems facing the Chicago Public Schools.

In defending his choice of a non-educator to head the public schools, the Mayor reiterated the need to put a business type at the top of the schools, with the bizarre rationale that it has served the district well since he took over the schools in 1995. I'm curious; why do "market solutions" get infinite time to prove themselves? The schools have not appreciably improved--certainly not to a point that has satisfied privatization-focused reformers--in the fifteen years since the Mayor decided a "business model" would improve the schools.

Mazany was also a driving force behind the Renaissance Schools Fund, the private sector partner of the abysmal Renaissance 2010 initiative. Why any of this should endear Mazany to parents, students, and teachers is unclear. Renaissance 2010 is predicated on the idea that some students must fail, and that a school system should focus on giving an extra boost to students already more likely to succeed. This undermines the entire premise of public education. Is that the mindset we want at the top of a public school system?

Disclosure: The Chicago Community Trust funds the Community News Matters grant along with the John S. and James L. Knight foundation. Gapers Block is a grantee.


rdb / November 16, 2010 4:08 PM

From Mazany's bio (which you linked to): "Mazany came to the Trust from a distinguished career in public school administration, leading improvement efforts in school districts in Michigan and California." This seems like relevant experience to me. Maybe you should see if Mazany did well in that work or not before you say he's not qualified.

Ramsin / November 16, 2010 5:20 PM

He did indeed service in public schools administration in California, but having been a professional administrator, as opposed to an educator, is the issue I'm concerned with. I can make that point more clearly.

Thanks for reading.

BKW / November 19, 2010 3:34 PM

Another piece of proof that Daley has never cared about the plight of the city's public school system. Doggone shame...

Add a Comment

Please enter the letter w in the field below:

Live Comment Preview

Notes & Tags

Items marked with a * are required fields. Please respect each other. We reserve the right to delete any comments borne out of douchebaggery or that deal in asshattery.

Permitted tags and how to use them:

To link: <a href="">Link text</a>
To italicize: <em>Your text</em>
To bold: <strong>Your text</strong>


How Lawsuits, Lobbyists and Parking Meter Deals Led to Ventra

By Jason Prechtel / 1 Comments

Cubic learned early on that if you don't win a contract through bidding, there are other ways to prevail. More...

Special Series

Classroom Mechanics Oral History Project

About Mechanics

Mechanics is the politics section of Gapers Block, reflecting the diversity of viewpoints and beliefs of Chicagoans and Illinoisans. More...
Please see our submission guidelines.

Editor: Monica Reida,
Mechanics staff inbox:



 Subscribe in a reader.

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15


Sign up for our free email newsletter I Star Chi and get a weekly round-up of the best of Gapers Block, plus our picks for must-do events each weekend!


Preferred format    Preferred format