An economics professor and former Cabinet member to former President Barack Obama will serve as the newest member of the Chicago Board of Education.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel has tapped Austan D. Goolsbee to fill a seat that had been vacant since January, when Arnie Rivera left the board to serve as chief operating officer for Chicago Public Schools under CEO Janice Jackson.
Goolsbee is currently the Robert P. Gwinn Professor of Economics at The University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He previously served in Washington as the chairman of the council of economic advisers and as a member of Obama’s Cabinet.
“The Chicago Public School system is the backbone of the Chicago economy and its workforce,” Goolsbee said in a statement from the mayor’s office. “It has become perhaps the finest large urban school district in the nation. I am excited to work with Dr. Jackson and the entire Chicago community to make sure that it works for everyone. It is one of our crown jewels.”
Chicago Teachers Union President Jesse Sharkey criticized the pick, saying in a statement: “[The mayor] appointed a proponent of the kind of public-private ‘partnerships’ that are rich in returns for corporate investors, and poor on public oversight and accountability for the Black, Brown and working class families who are forced to bankroll the privatization of public services.”
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