New York City Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza announced Friday that he will be resigning from his role effective March 15.
Meisha Porter, the current executive superintendent for the Bronx, will succeed Carranza, becoming the first Black woman to run the country’s largest public-school system.
Speaking at a press conference Friday morning, Carranza cited the pandemic as he announced his decision to step down. “I know the pandemic has not been easy for you or for any New Yorker,” he said. “And make no mistake, I am a New Yorker — well not by birth, but by choice — a New Yorker who has lost 11 family and close childhood friends to this pandemic. And a New Yorker who, quite frankly, needs to take time to grieve.”
Carranza was appointed to the position in 2018 by Mayor de Blasio after working as superintendent of the Houston Independent School District.
The role came to him after de Blasio was publicly turned down by his first choice for the job, Alberto Carvalho, who initially accepted the position but then decided to stay in Florida as head of the Miami–Dade County schools.
At the press conference announcing his hiring in 2018, 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.”
But in the following years, disagreements between Carranza and the mayor only seemed to grow, particularly when it came to the issue of school desegregation.
Eliminating segregation in New York City schools was a top priority for Carranza from day one, but he reportedly differed with the mayor on how to tackle the issue.
According to a report in the New York Times, Carranza wrote a resignation letter after an argument with the mayor earlier this month over the gifted-and-talented programs and selective admissions policies. He ultimately didn’t submit it.
Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers, released a statement calling Carranza “a real partner in our efforts to open school safely” and saying he will be missed.
“We have successfully partnered with [Porter] on projects in the past, including the Bronx Plan and expanding community schools. We look forward to working with her in the future,” Mulgrew said.