January 27, 2009

Mayor Daley Appoints Ron Huberman CEO of Chicago Public Schools

Challenges New Education Team to "Keep the Progress Going"
Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Mayor Richard M. Daley today named Ron Huberman as Chief Executive Officer of the Chicago Public Schools. Huberman, who has served as President of the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) since May 2007, replaces Arne Duncan who now serves as Secretary of the United States Department of Education.

"Ron shares my commitment to offer our city's children the best education in the nation. He understands that in a changing world a world-class education system is critical to our city's long term economic future," said Mayor Daley during a press conference held at City Hall.

As President of the CTA, Huberman, 37, improved management, cut unneeded spending and implemented innovative approaches that have improved services and set the CTA on course to be a the kind of transportation system that suits the needs of our residents.

"Ron has a strong history of service to our city and Chicagoans know him to be a devoted public servant who can accomplish any task he is given. As the next CEO of Chicago Public Schools, he will bring an understanding of the importance of good management to the system,' added Daley.

Barbara Eason-Watkins will remain the Chief Education Officer for CPS, continuing her leadership role in developing innovative education programs and building on the great progress made in the classroom.

"Arne Duncan and Barbara Eason-Watkins offered Chicago's schools both the management and education leadership that has been recognized throughout the country," Daley said. "Working together, Ron and Barbara will form a new team for progress that will keep our schools moving forward into the next decade."

"I want to thank Barbara Eason-Watkins for all she's done and will continue to do on behalf of our students. As the educator on the team she is responsible for much of the progress we've seen.

She has been outstanding in her lead position as the city's Chief Education Officer. She has both my gratitude and ongoing support," Daley added.

Arne Duncan who joined the Mayor for the announcement added, "Along with many other non-traditional school leaders across our nation, Ron brings the ability to achieve our education goals with vision and clarity. He also understands the importance of reaching out to all the communities of Chicago who are partners in our progress.

"Barbara deserves great credit for the progress our schools have made and has been a partner in making every important education decision. Ron and Barbara will be a great team for our students, our city and our future," added Duncan.

"We've implemented groundbreaking approaches to assure that students of all backgrounds can attend a good neighborhood school or another specialized school to achieve their potential in life," said Mayor Daley.

"We've made great strides in the classroom over the past several years and I want to continue to build on that success on behalf of all of Chicago's children." said Barbara Eason-Watkins, Chicago Public Schools Chief Education Officer.

He pointed out that the results of these initiatives have been record high test scores, attendance and graduation rates and that more students are going to college or some form of higher education.

"However, even with the progress our students have made, much more remains to be done. I challenge our new education team to keep the progress going," Daley added.

The Mayor outlined the priorities for Chicago Public Schools moving forward including:

  • Ensuring student progress in the classroom continues to improve
  • Continuing to turnaround troubled schools where students underperform from year to year, especially high schools
  • Keeping students safe -- both on school grounds and as our children go to and from school each day
  • Expanding our after school programs throughout the year
  • Continuing our ongoing commitment to improve accountability at all levels -- from the bureaucracy to our teachers
  • Improving teacher quality
  • Seeking support of our city's business community and groups such as the Gates Foundation, each of whom have been supportive of our efforts to turnaround troubled schools and get more students to go to college or some other form of higher education.
  • Pushing for education funding reform and increased funding statewide for public education and capital improvements to city schools.

"There are real challenges ahead that will require Ron's unique skills. It won't be easy but we need to work together to ensure our vision for Chicago's schools where every child in every school regardless of their neighborhood or background is given the opportunity to receive a good education," added Daley.

Prior to serving as President of the CTA, Huberman was Chief of Staff to the Mayor from May 2005 to April of 2007 where he directed the operations of 49 departments, led the City’s reform initiatives and implemented a new performance management system.

From April 2004 to May 2005, Huberman served as Executive Director of the Office of Emergency Management and Communications where he greatly expanded technology used to reduce crime and increase public safety. Prior to OEMC, Huberman served the Chicago Police Department for nine years.

Huberman holds a bachelor's degree in psychology and English from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and master's degrees in Business Administration and Social Service Administration from the University of Chicago, where he was both an Albert Schweitzer and Paul and Daisy Soros Fellow.