Here’s hoping that Richard Carranza is a smashing success as city schools chancellor — and that Mayor de Blasio gives him the freedom to bring the “system change” that First Lady Chirlane McCray says Carranza wants.
De Blasio to name new schools chancellor after disaster with first pick
We were happy to see Carranza hold out an olive branch to charter schools in his introductory press conference, saying he’s in favor of any schools that provide children with a good education.
And his record shows he’s willing to close schools that fail to do that, which is a nice break from the approach of retiring Chancellor Carmen Fariña.
Indeed, reality seems to have sunk in with Team de Blasio on this front: The city last month finalized 10 school closures, a record for this mayor’s tenure.
Carranza has also proved willing to embrace alternative talent pools for good teachers, such as Teach for America. Good: The city needs that openness to new ideas.
City Hall touts Carranza’s past success in raising graduation rates to historic highs as well as his record of narrowing the achievement gap and turning around struggling schools. New York can indeed use real results on all those fronts.
Showing he learned how to play politics while leading systems in Las Vegas, San Francisco and Houston, Carranza also said, “There’s no daylight between Mayor de Blasio and myself.”
But Education Week profiled him as a national 2015 Leader to Learn From. Let’s hope de Blasio is willing to learn from his new chancellor — rather than surround him with political minders who frustrate Carranza’s goal of creating “joyful learning” in city classrooms. New York’s schoolchildren deserve a chancellor who makes them, not adult “stakeholders,” his priority.
Carranza won national praise for leading the successful effort to reopen Houston schools two weeks after Hurricane Harvey hit, taking care of students, families and teachers who suffered. He’ll find that managing a system in crisis was excellent practice for taking over New York’s schools.
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