Houston Superintendent Named NY Schools Chancellor

Richard Carranza has been appointed the new Schools Chancellor in New York City, after serving nearly two years as Superintendent in Houston.

“Richard Carranza understands the power of public education to change lives, and he has a proven record of strengthening public schools and lifting up students and families,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement.

Carranza was praised for his work reopening schools in Houston two weeks after Hurricane Harvey last year.  That included coordinatoring transportation for students living in shelters and providing counseling for students and staff.

"Richard is the right person to lead our school system forward as we build on the progress we’ve made over the past four years and make our vision of equity and excellence for every child a reality," Mayor de Blasio said.

Before being named Superintendent in Houston in 2016, Carranza led the San Francisco schools sytem.  There he increased graduation rates to historic levels, growing them faster than the state of California as a whole.  Advocates say he also has a provden track record of narrowing the achievement gap and turning around struggling schools.

“As the son of blue collar workers and a lifetime educator, it is an honor to serve New York City’s 1.1 million children as Schools Chancellor,” Richard Carranza said. “I want to thank the Mayor and First Lady for the opportunity to join an administration that knows public education is an investment in our future."

Carranza is actually Mayor de Blasio's second choice for the job.  Last week, Miami-Dade Superintendent Alberto Carvalho backed out of the job after accepting it.  He made the announcement on live television, leaving a stunned Mayor de Blasio to admit that he had never experiened anything like that.  Carvalho said he couldn't leave the students in Miami.

Carranza will replace Carmen Farina, who has been the Schools Chancellor since Mayor de Blasio took office in January 2014.  She's scheduled to leave the Department of Education at the end of the month.

"Carmen Fariña leaves a tremendous legacy not only from her four years as Chancellor, but as an inspiring and innovative educator and public servant for more than 50 years,” Mayor de Blasio said.

Photo Credit:  Getty Images

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