New York, NY – Former Houston Schools Superintendent Richard Carranza will be taking on the job of leading New York City’s school system. On Monday March 5th, Mayor Bill de Blasio announed Carranza as the next chancellor. The selection of Carranza took place only a few days after the city’s first pick, Miami superintendent Alberto Carvalho, rejected the job on live television after privately accepting it.
In the selection process De Blasio wanted a chancellor who would carry out his education priorities. These include expanding pre-K to 3-year-olds; filling schools with medical and after school programs; and providing extra resources, such as Advanced Placement and computer science classes. Carranza’s philosophy and track record suggests that he is in sync with de Blasio. In Houston, he worked to reduce suspensions, and added additional services in the schools. He also believes in working closely with educational associations and unions.
“The equity agenda championed by our mayor is my equity agenda,” Carranza said. “There is no daylight between Mayor de Blasio and myself in terms of what we believe in, what our aspirations are for the children of New York City.”
Carranza is skeptical about charter schools. These privately managed but publicly funded schools operate outside of the local school system. Carranza has pushed back against charter schools in most cases while opening the door to them in others. He believes that often school choice comes at the expense of neighborhood schools. But he helped the KIPP charter network get its first high school in San Francisco off the ground.
Both former chancellor Carmen Fariña and Carranza are non-native English speakers. They are lifelong educators. Carranza and Ferina believe in the importance of a strong bilingual education program as well as adding resources to struggling schools rather than closing the operations. Both believe large school systems need central control. They both see unions as partners in the goal of improving student performance.