Houston superintendent tapped as next leader of New York City schools

March 6, 2018
Appointment of Richard Carranza comes less than a week after Miami superintendent backed out of taking the job.

Houston schools superintendent, Richard A. Carranza, has been chosen to be the next chancellor of the New York City school system.

The New York Times reports that Carranza's selection comes less than a week after the first choice, Miami Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, abruptly turned down the job after initially accepting it.

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Monday that Carranza will replace Carmen Fariña as the top administrator in the nation’s largest school system. 

“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,” de Blasio said in a news release. “He understands the tremendous work New York City educators do every day to put our children on the path to success."

Fariña, who has been chancellor since 2014, announced in December that she was retiring.

""I am thrilled Richard will be New York City Schools Chancellor,” says Fariña. “We are philosophically on the same page, and he has a proven track record as an educator with a laser focus on what's in the classroom."

Carranza was among the candidates de Blasio interviewed before picking Carvalho. Carranza has been Houston's superintendent only since August 2016. Before that he was the superintendent of the San Francisco school system for four years.

“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,” Carranza says.

Houston has the seventh-largest school district in the nation, with 214,000 students. New York City has 1.1 million students.

Before becoming San Francisco superintendent, Carranza was the district's deputy superintendent of instruction, innovation and social justice for three years. Prior to that, he was a regional superintendent for the Clark County (Nev.) School District and a high school principal in Las Vegas and Tucson, Ariz.

Last week, de Blasio announced his intention to appoint Carvalho as chancellor. But the next day, at a Miami school board meeting, board members, parents and students persuaded him to reject the New York City offer and remain in Miami.

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