Jean-Claude Brizard is Partner and Vice-President at Cross & Joftus. For more than a decade C&J has been devoted to helping public education leaders achieve outstanding results. In addition to current practice areas in school and district improvement, educational leadership, talent management, strategic planning, school finance, community schools, and education policy Brizard brings to Cross & Joftus two new practice areas – a unique collaborative structure that will support the work of many state departments of education and public school districts as they seek to turnaround chronically failing school systems as well as a practice area focused on education to career.
Mr. Brizard spent the 2013 calendar year as an advisor to the leadership of College Board developing the organization’s career readiness initiative. This engagement culminated in a strategic plan for integrating career readiness into the College Board’s mission and a special supplement that was published as part of the 45th edition of the PDK/Gallup Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools. He is the former Chief Executive of Chicago Public Schools. Prior to his appointment in Chicago, he was Superintendent of Schools for the Rochester, NY School District.
Under Mr. Brizard’s leadership, both the Chicago Public Schools and the Rochester City School District saw substantial improvements in student performance. He introduced a comprehensive change agenda across the Chicago Public Schools, including closing a significant budget gap of more than $1.3B over two fiscal years while preserving core reforms and investing in classrooms. He developed a new framework for teaching and the system saw record increases in student achievement, graduation rates and on college readiness benchmarks. He created a Blueprint for reform that will continue to serve as roadmap for years to come.
Mr. Brizard’s experience also includes a 21-year career as an educator and administrator with the NYC Department of Education. He served as a Regional Superintendent, supervising more than 100 schools in the Borough of Brooklyn and he also served as the system’s Executive Director for secondary schools. He is a National Trustee of the Chicago Field Museum of Natural History, a Senior Advisor to Say Yes to Education, Board Member of Teach for America DC Region, founding board chair of Anseye Pou Ayiti (Teach for Haiti) and New Voice Strategies (VIVA Teachers).
A licensed commercial pilot, Mr. Brizard credits his parents—both of whom were educators—with inspiring him to pursue a career in education. He holds a Master’s Degree with honors in School Administration & Supervision from The City University of New York/City College of New York and a Master’s Degree in Science Education from Queens College, as well as a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry from Queens College.
Mr. Brizard is a Fellow of the Broad Center, a Fellow of the third class of the Pahara-Aspen Institute Education Fellowship, and a member of the Aspen Institute’s Global Leadership Network.