Dear Commons Community,
Various news media are reporting that New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio this afternoon named current Houston Superintendent Richard Carranza as the New York City’s schools chancellor. This after Miami-Dade schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho accepted and then declined the position last week. Here is an excerpt from the New York Daily News on this announcement.
“De Blasio named current Houston Superintendent Richard Carranza as the new city schools chancellor.
Carranza, 51, joined de Blasio for a press conference Monday announcing his appointment at the Blue Room at City Hall along with current city schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña and first lady Chirlane McCray.
Still stinging from Carvalho’s betrayal, de Blasio sought to put a sunny light on Carranza’s appointment, calling his announcement “joyous and positive” news.
“His story is the story of the American dream if ever there was one,” de Blasio said in introducing Carranza.
“Richard, in everything he’s ever done, has been devoted to children,” de Blasio added.
A fluent Spanish speaker and the grandson of Mexican immigrants, Carranza has served as superintendent of the Houston Independent School District since 2016.
He served as superintendent of the San Francisco Unified School District for four years before going to Houston.
Before that, he was a superintendent in Las Vegas and an educator in his native Tuscon, where he was raised by working-class parents.
Carranza’s name was on a short list of candidates under consideration by de Blasio that insiders said also included Orange County schools Superintendent Barbara Jenkins and former Baltimore City Public School System CEO Andrés Alonso.
Like Fariña, Carranza is a lifelong educator who studied social sciences in college and learned to speak English at school.
Carranza said he intends to create a more equal schools system for the city’s 1.1 million students.
He said without the education he received as a young person, he’d be installing sheet metal like his father.
“Education is the cornerstone of our democracy. It is the great equalizer and the great empowerer of our next generation,” he said.
“The equity agenda championed by our mayor is my equity agenda,” Carranza added.
Carranza said there would be “no daylight” between his priorities and those of Mayor de Blasio, whose control of the city schools was extended through 2019 in June.
He will be paid $345,000 as city schools chancellor, the same as he made running the schools in Houston and nearly 50% more than Fariña made on the job.
That’s the same salary that the city had set for Carvalho, de Balsio’s first pick for the job.
Carvalho’s rejection of the job puzzled observers in Miami and New York, but de Blasio said he called Carranza to offer him the job just three hours after Carvalho turned down the position on live television Thursday afternoon.
Besides his work as an educator, Carranza is an accomplished mariachi musician who was inducted into the Mariachi Hall of Fame in 2016.
His appointment was seen as an effort to build a bridge with the city’s Hispanic students, who are the largest and fastest growing ethnic group in the public schools.
Hispanic students account for more than 40% of city students and nearly a quarter of all city students speak Spanish at home.
But those students lag behind their white and Asian peers on a number of indicators of academic achievement including graduation rates and math and reading proficiency.
CUNY and Brooklyn College Education Prof. David Bloomfield said that Carranza’s background as a Spanish speaker will help him reach those kids and English Language Learners.
“The new Chancellor’s strong commitment to the education of English Language Learners, not viewing them as language deficient but having native language strengths, will be a big plus,” Bloomfield said.”
I agree with my colleague, David Bloomfield comments about Carranza.
We wish Superintendent Carranza well!
P.S. Politico has an excellent review of Richard Carrranza’s previous experience in Houston and San Francisco.