CHICAGO (CBS) — Mayor Lori Lightfoot has chosen San Antonio faculties superintendent Pedro Martinez as the following Chicago Public Faculties chief government officer, changing into the primary Latino to run the town’s faculty district.
Martinez, an immigrant from Mexico who grew up in Pilsen, and graduate of Benito Juarez Excessive College, mentioned he was excited to return again dwelling to his “dream job.”
Martinez served as chief monetary officer for CPS from 2003 to 2009 underneath former CEO Arne Duncan. He’s run the San Antonio faculty district for the previous six years. He’s the primary Latino to function everlasting CEO of the Chicago Public Faculties.
The Chicago Lecturers Union criticized the selection of Martinez as the following head of CPS, noting he doesn’t have a level in schooling, and has no expertise as a instructor, however Lightfoot stood by her selection.
“I selected somebody who I believed was a wonderful chief, and has a observe report of success,” she mentioned.
Lightfoot mentioned, throughout his time in San Antonio, Martinez helped improve the district’s grade from an F to a B, obtain a 100% improve within the variety of college students admitted to four-year universities, and make the best achievement features of any district in 2019. The San Antonio district additionally was named the quickest bettering giant district in Texas in 2018.
“You may’t try this with out being a gifted chief,” the mayor mentioned.
She additionally praised Martinez for defying Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s “silly ban on masks in public faculties” by requiring all of that district’s college students and employees to put on masks in faculties this 12 months, and requiring all employees to be absolutely vaccinated by Oct. 15.
“As he’s demonstrated lately, he’s a staunch advocate for youngsters,” Lightfoot mentioned.
Martinez pledged to position a precedence on security on the metropolis’s faculties, with college students again in lecture rooms full-time amid the pandemic, and nonetheless ready for vaccines to be permitted for youngsters underneath age 12.
“I will probably be ensuring that I take heed to my academics, that we take heed to our mother and father,” Martinez mentioned. “I do know the potential of our youngsters, I do know that once we companion with our mother and father and academics, and the superb neighborhood organizations which are right here within the metropolis of Chicago — there’s only a wealth of them, in addition to management throughout our metropolis – I do know what’s doable for our youngsters. I do know that our youngsters can attain their full potential.”
Martinez takes over for former CEO Janice Jackson, who left at the end of June, when her contract expired. Former Elgin-based District U-46 superintendent Jose Torres has served as interim CPS chief since then.
Jackson herself was a CPS graduate, in addition to a former CPS instructor, principal, administrator, and chief schooling officer.
“Dr. Janice Jackson raised the bar on excellence for CEOs. When our college district is led by somebody who embodies excellence, and in addition has lived expertise just like the scholars that they serve every single day, it not solely helps be sure that the scholars’ distinctive wants are met, however it showcases to them, their mother and father and guardians, and our total CPS neighborhood that they, too, can get into management positions and thrive,” Lightfoot mentioned.