Chicago Superintendent of Schools J.C. Brizard has admitted that he does not know how to improve Chicago’s public schools. He did so by asking the Gates Foundation to supply millions of dollars to open another 100 charter schools.,0,7306759.story

Handing public schools over to private management is a frank admission of failure on the part of school leadership. It amounts to saying, “I don’t know how to improve them. Let’s turn the kids over to the private sector and see if they can do it.”

Of course, Brizard arrived with an uneven record after having served briefly as superintendent of schools in Rochester. While he was there, the low graduation rate fell even lower. And, even though he claimed test scores gains, the proficiency rate in English and math was less than 30% when he left for Chicago. Brizard claimed that the state had raised standards in 2010, but in fact the state education department admitted that it had dropped the passing mark on state tests year after year, creating a false image of progress.

It is a shame that Mayor Rahm Emanuel was unable to find a superintendent for the city’s public schools that was able to develop a plan to improve them. Not having a plan, Brizard is ready to throw in the towel and privatize them. But, then, as a graduate of the Broad Superintendents’ Academy, he probably thinks that this is a good strategy, rather than an admission of defeat and failure.