New York City Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza is leaving his post on March 15, a sudden departure in the middle of a public health crisis that has meant a tumultuous, draining year for the city’s roughly 960,000 students and their families.
Meisha Ross Porter, the executive superintendent of the Bronx, will replace Carranza and become the first Black woman to lead the nation’s largest school system, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Friday.
Porter will take over a fraying school system, with many students having lost out on critical instructional time and facing mounting mental health needs. On top of that, many schools have seen significant enrollment drops, with the overall student population dropping 4% from the previous year, and as a result, many principals might start next year in serious debt.
Families on both sides of the reopening debate — those who wished this year was fully remote and those who want their children back in classrooms five days a week — are frustrated with Carranza and de Blasio, and have blasted them for not having a clearer plan for September.
Porter, a New York City public school graduate, started out as a youth organizer in the Bronx’s Highbridge neighborhood and has worked for the education department for 20 years, serving as a teacher, principal, and superintendent in the Bronx. In 2018, Carranza appointed her to fill the new role of executive superintendent in the Bronx, overseeing the borough’s 361 schools.
“I am ready to hit the ground running and lead New York City schools to a full recovery,” Porter said in a statement.”
UFT President Michael Mulgrew on the Resignation of Chancellor Richard Carranza
“Richard Carranza was a real partner in our efforts to open school safely. Too often he had to fight behind the scenes to keep the needs of students, staff and their families ahead of politics. We wish him well. He will be missed.”
“We have successfully partnered with Meisha Ross Porter on projects in the past, including the Bronx Plan and expanding community schools. We look forward to working with her in the future.”