De Blasio Has Found His Schools Chancellor

New York City Mayor-Elect Bill de Blasio holds a press conference to announce members of his senior leadership team on December 4, 2013 in New York City. The de Blasio administration is due to take office on January 1.
Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

Bill de Blasio is going with another relatively safe pick for one of his most important appointments. On Monday, De Blasio will name close adviser Carmen Fariña as schools chancellor, according to the New York Times. Fariña has worked in New York City schools since 1965, first as a teacher, then principal, superintendent, and finally deputy chancellor. She retired from that position in 2006, saying she wanted to spend more time with her grandchildren. Fariña initially said she wasn’t interested in the job, but explained earlier this month, “Bill is a very persuasive person.” “My grandchildren are important to me,” she added. “I spent a lot of years in the system. But I will do whatever the new mayor wants me to do.” As chancellor, she’ll be tasked with several tough jobs, including negotiating a teachers contract, deemphasizing standardized testing, charging rent to charter schools, and helping De Blasio implement his signature plan for universal pre-K and expanded afterschool programs.