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Gay Chicago Schools Chief Ron Huberman to Step Down

The Chicago Tribune reports on the departure of gay Chicago Public Schools chief Ron Huberman:

Huberman Despite an ambitious agenda, Huberman will leave the $230,000-a-year job before many of his signature initiatives — including a $40 million anti-violence project — are fully realized.

Mayoral spokeswoman Jodi Kawada said Daley will announce a replacement for Huberman before the superintendent's last day.

Kawada said the mayor did not press Huberman to move up his resignation date. "Ron expressed to the mayor his desire not to work for another administration, and they discussed an appropriate time for Ron to step down."

Huberman did not return a call seeking comment. But in an e-mail Wednesday to district employees, he said he informed the mayor last week of his resignation. He also thanked teachers and administrators for their work, and said no job had been "more fulfilling" in his 16 years of public service.

The Sun-Times adds: "A CPS news release said Wednesday that Huberman, 38, 'wants to spend more time with his family before beginning a new career endeavor.' Huberman and his partner, Darren DeJong, are raising a son, Aiden DeJong Huberman, born in July 2009."

Chicago Public Schools Chief Ron Huberman and Partner Have Son

Friday's Chicago Sun-Times made this quiet announcement, buried in a gossip column:

Huberman "Congrats to Chicago Public Schools chief Ron Huberman and his partner, Darren DeJong, on the birth Thursday of their first child, Aiden DeJong Huberman. The dads are delighted."

Sun-Times columnist Carol Marin assesses the scant attention given this announcement, comparing it to hesitancy about her own birth announcement, noting both Huberman's private personality as well as the difficulties faced by gay parents who want to raise a child without many of the rights afforded heterosexual couples:

"My small debate back then over balancing the public and the private in no way compares to what a gay couple such as Ron Huberman and his partner deal with, even today. While some of us see the Huberman story as one that further advances a view of the normalcy of gay families, state Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago) reminded me Friday that it also "further advances the outrage of opponents. . . . For people who believe in equality, it's quietly reassuring . . . but not necessarily for the opposition." Harris, who is gay, continues to spearhead efforts in the Illinois General Assembly to pass not only a civil union bill but one that legalizes gay marriage in this state. It hasn't been easy, but it's made more difficult now by an economic crisis that trumps virtually everything else. As a result, Illinois' gay and lesbian citizens still do not possess the same rights as the rest of us. But there is always hope. And today, that hope is wrapped in a blanket and watched over by two soon-to-be-sleep-deprived fathers. Blessings to you, young Alden DeJong Huberman and to those who love you."

Chicago School CEO Huberman: Being Gay Offers Helpful Perspective


Friday night's Chicago Tonight with John Callaway on public television station WTTW featured a long interview with new Chicago Public Schools chief Ron Huberman, who was appointed after Obama appointed former chief Arne Duncan as Secretary of Education.

You may remember that Huberman came out publicly in February in an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times. Callaway asked Huberman why he decided to do so.

Replied Huberman: "Because she asked."

Callaway then asked Huberman whether he thought his sexuality gave him a special perspective in terms of his work: "I absolutely believe that [being gay] makes me more sensitive to the human condition, because it's something that, as you grow up, you identify yourself as somehow being different, as somehow belonging to a group that's not the norm. And so as I think of many of our kids, and certainly the lens by which they view the world, they also see themselves differently. And sometimes it has advantages, and sometimes it has disadvantages. But I believe being sensitive to it and thinking about it is very, very important as to how we structure programs and has to how we educate kids."

Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...

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CEO of Chicago Public Schools Huberman: I'm Gay


It was apparent based on the many comments that were left on news items last week that many people were already aware of the sexual orientation of newly-appointed CEO of Chicago Public Schools Ron Huberman, but Huberman discussed it in an interview yesterday with the Chicago Sun-Times:

"At 15, while attending Lyons Township High School, Huberman made a declaration that, at first, was difficult for his parents to accept: He's gay. 'It's always difficult for kids. It was difficult for my parents at first. But they've become very accepting and very supportive,' said Huberman, who lives with a partner who's a friend from college. They reconnected four years ago. 'It has given me a great sensitivity for the need to be inclusive. If I didn't grow up being part of a group that was viewed differently, I may not have that sensitivity. It makes me in tune to individuals, groups and others who are not fitting in and may need extra support.' While he has an unusual perspective on the issue, Huberman refused to say where he stands on the stalled proposal for a gay high school. To parents who might be uncomfortable with a gay CEO running the public schools, he said, 'There are always those who will look to divide us. I'm focused on what unites us. What I believe unites every Chicagoan is the need to have a world-class educational system for our kids.'"

Huberman, the former president of the Chicago Transit Authority, was selected to replace outgoing schools chief Arne Duncan, who is Obama's Secretary of Education.

Ron Huberman: The mayor's man [sun times]

Mayor Daley Appoints Ron Huberman to Run Chicago Public Schools


Chicago Mayor Richard Daley has chosen CTA President Ron Huberman to replace Arne Duncan (Obama's new Secretary of Education) as head of Chicago Public Schools, reports the Chicago Tribune: "Huberman has run the CTA since May 2007 after for about two years as Daley's chief of staff. He also has headed the city's Office of Emergency Management and Communications and was a Chicago police officer, rising to the rank of assistant deputy superintendent."

And commenters on message boards of local news sites are wrangling with another subject.

Tribune: "Another great Daley appointment. The only thing Luberman is qualified for is the principal of the proposed gay high. school.What a putz."

NBC Chicago: "Mr. Huberman has done a great job at the CTA. But is Chicago ready for a gay man to lead the CPS? Progressive cities on the east and west coasts have shown they will embrace a gay mayor, but are the parents of Chicago forward enough to accept a gay man without kids at the school sup? This should be interesting and groundbreaking."

"I don't mind that he's gay. I do mind very much that he has little experience in a classroom."

Catalyst-Chicago - who will replace Arne Duncan: "Ron Huberman? He's Black, white and gay!!! Great choice!"

Yelp commenter, in response to a coment about Huberman's good looks: "QJZ....sorry to disappoint you but, huberman is gay"

On a more concrete note, the Windy City Times reports: "In an analysis, The Chicago Sun-Times stated that Huberman, 35, who has practically no transit experience, has a huge job revamping the CTA. However, the article added that sterling reputation for efficiency should help make inroads with some state lawmakers in order to secure funds. Huberman has a history of helping the LGBT and HIV/AIDS communities. Not only does he serve on Chicago House’s board of trustees, but he has supported events such as AIDS Foundation of Chicago’s World of Chocolate."

CTA President Huberman shows off evacuation techniques in city transit in a video posted last month by the Tribune, AFTER THE JUMP...

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