A former Chicago Public Schools official who now serves on the Illinois State Charter School Commission is joining the Chicago Board of Education. Mayor Rahm Emanuelannounced yesterday Jaime Guzman will replace Jesse Ruiz, who stepped down from the Board last year to become the new Chair of the Chicago Park District Board. Emanuel is also recommending the Board of Education elect Guzman to fill Ruiz’s old job of Board Vice President.
Guzman currently serves as the Taproot Foundation’s Executive Director for the Midwest. The national nonprofit connects business professionals with nonprofits in need of pro-bono services. Guzman will vacate his spot on the state charter school commission once his appointment to the BOE is finalized.
During Mayor Richard M. Daley’s administration, Guzman led CPS’ Office of New Schools (ONS), the department in charge of authorizing all district charter schools and new schools. Before that, he taught at Kanoon Magnet School, a public elementary school in the city’s Little Village neighborhood. According to his LinkedIn, Guzman got his first teaching job as a Teach for America teacher in Paterson, New Jersey.
The Chicago Teacher’s Union called the appointment “unfortunate” and Guzman a charter school ally, saying, “With the mayor’s selection of Guzman, more than half of the Board of Ed’s members are now unabashed charter supporters.”