Mayor Richard Daley has tapped Chicago Transit Authority President Ron Huberman to take over as Chicago Public Schools CEO, replacing Arne Duncan, the nation’s newest Secretary of Education. Huberman, who has no educational experience, skips over Chief Education Officer Barbara Eason-Watkins, a popular former principal who was rumored for weeks to be Duncan’s replacement.
Chicago schools face severe belt tightening this year as enrollment continues to fall and the economy worsens—tight financial conditions that will be similar to those Huberman faced as CTA president. Billed as an effective manager, Huberman is expected to continue the district’s push to use data analysis in its decision making. While working for the Chicago Police Department, Huberman helped craft an information system that shares crime data across dozens of state and federal law enforcement agencies. CTA has also developed bus tracking systems under his leadership.