CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis says the new public schools CEO is "highly qualified" and was a key in helping to settle the recent strike.
Lewis says that Barbara Byrd-Bennett has a reputation of fostering good labor-management relations. Byrd-Bennett has served as CEO at Cleveland schools.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Friday that Byrd-Bennett was replacing Jean-Claude Brizard. He resigned Thursday night after 17 months as CEO.
Emanuel says his departure was by mutual agreement because Brizard feared questions about his management were becoming a distraction to the mayor's reform goals.
Byrd-Bennett was serving as the district's interim chief education officer and joined the contract negotiations in late summer, just before teachers went on strike.
Lewis says Byrd-Bennett was the only person on the district's negotiating team with teaching experience.