CHICAGO — Mayor Lori Lightfoot is expected to name her choice for CEO for Chicago Public Schools Wednesday morning.
Reports say Pedro Martinez, a graduate of Benito Juarez High School, is set to be the mayor’s pick out of 25 candidates. He will replace Janice Jackson who recently stepped down in May.
Martine’z roots run even deeper with CPS — he is a former employee of the district. Currently, he is serving as the San Antonio Independent School District’s superintendent — a position he’s had since 2015.
Before becoming superintendent, he was in Chicago working under former CPS CEO Arne Duncan as a financial advisor.
San Antonio newspapers credit Martinez for improving the school districts academic accountability rating to a B rating from a C rating.
The San Antonio Report also says Martinez is a Mexico native who moved to Chicago when he was 5 years old.
There are already some key hurdles Martinez may face. He’s coming from a school district that has a population of about 50,000 students, while cps has more than 300,000. He’s also coming to schools that are still dealing with COVID-19–and battles over remote learning.
However, he’s known for fighting. Recently, Martinez implemented COVID-19 vaccination mandates which Texas Gov. Greg Abbott banned public entities from doing. That led to a lawsuit against the San Antonio school district from the Texas attorney general.
Martinez will also face the continued battled between CPS and the Chicago Teachers Union. CTU has not yet issued a comment.