New York City Chancellor of Education Richard Carranza is stepping down, Carranza himself announced Friday.
“And I am a New Yorker, a New Yorker who has lost 11 family and close friends to COVID. A New Yorker who needs to take time to cry,” Carranza said at a news conference.
Mayor Bill de Blasio has appointed Meisha Porter, an educator who has served as Executive Superintendent since 2018, as Chancellor of Education and who will be the first African-American woman to serve. Porter will begin his term on March 15.
New York City’s school district is the largest in the nation with more than one million students.
Carranza has been in office for three years and before coming to New York he was a school superintendent in Las Vegas, San Francisco, and Houston. Carranza was born in Arizona.
In a message on social networks, Carranza referred to his departure.
“I came to New York City 3 years ago with a mission: to help the DOE reach its full potential and to serve and encourage all of our @NYCschools children. And we have created such an important change along with everything I have. March I will leave the position of chancellor, “says Carranza.
I came to New York City 3 years ago with a mission – to help the DOE reach its full potential, and to serve and lift up all of our @NYCschools children. And we have created so much important change together with all that I have. In March, I will be stepping down as Chancellor.
— Chancellor Richard A. Carranza (@DOEChancellor) February 26, 2021
The pandemic has put Carranza in the eye of the hurricane due to controversies over school closings and reopens. Likewise, about remote teaching programs.
At times in recent months it seemed that the problems brought about by the pandemic were of such magnitude – complicated by the controversial figure of Mayor de Blasio in the middle making decisions – that the Chancellor of Education seemed a secondary actor in the drama of dozens of thousands of New York families with children in public schools.
The mayor, however, appreciated Carranza’s work in this area.
“Under Carranza’s leadership, New York City has consistently led the way in reopening schools nationwide,” de Blasio said.
Another area that was difficult for Carranza was the attempt to diversify many of the city’s schools, particularly many of those considered best.
Some of these schools are dominated by Asian-born students – who have earned their income by performing well on admissions tests – with relatively few Latino and African-American students.
Carranza tried to change this reality but encountered serious opposition from parents precisely from the Asian community.
In other cases, schools with a majority of white students in which an attempt was made to have more minority students, the opposition was from the parents of white students.
Carranza always honored his Latin roots. The Chancellor speaks Spanish, is proud of Latino culture, and was frequently seen playing guitar like an expert.
The chancellor still said that the conditions had been created to be able to leave office.
“I feel like I can take that time now because of where we are and the work we’ve done,” Carranza said.
“We’ve created safe learning environments for the children of essential workers, delivered half a million devices for remote learning, served 80 million meals to New Yorkers, and reopened nearly all of our schools, ahead of every other district in the nation.” I add.
“We have stabilized the system in a way that no one thought possible: the light is at the end of the tunnel.”