Payne appointed Chief Education Officer of CPS

Charles Payne is a Distinguished Service Professor at the School of Social Service Administration.

By Amy Myers

University Professor Charles Payne was appointed Chief Education Officer of Chicago Public Schools Friday–the second highest post in the system. Payne’s selection marks the first time since 1995 that a teacher or superintendent has not held the position.

Payne is an affiliate of the University’s Urban Education Institute and is the author “Getting What We Ask For: The Ambiguity of Success and Failure in Urban Education.”

Current Chicago Public Schools Interim CEO Terry Mazany announced Payne’s appointment as the interim officer in a televised news conference at the John Fiske Elementary School this morning. Payne will replace Barbara Eason-Watkins, who left the post in June.

Payne does not view the position as long-term. He told the Chicago Tribune on Friday that his major goals include the creation of an education plan for the future of CPS.

President of the Chicago Principals Association Clarice Berry expressed concern that the short-term quality of Payne’s tenure won’t allow for enough progress.

According to the Tribune, CPS teachers have questioned Payne’s lack of experience in the teaching field. However, Payne responded that the position requires the creation of a new education plan, not teaching.