Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza will resign on March 15 after nearly three years as head of the nation’s largest school system, city officials announced on Feb. 26. Meisha Ross Porter, the Bronx executive superintendent and a lifelong educator, will take over as chancellor of New York City public schools. She will be the first Black woman to hold the post.
UFT President Michael Mulgrew, who had a close working relationship with Carranza, expressed his appreciation for Carranza’s role in the ongoing fight to open schools safely during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Richard Carranza was a real partner in our efforts to open school safely,” Mulgrew said. “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.”
During a news conference, Carranza said he had lost 11 family members and close friends to the pandemic and needs time to grieve.
“It has been my greatest honor to serve as New York City schools chancellor and I can’t think of anyone who would be better to take the helm than Meisha Porter,” Carranza said.
Mulgrew also welcomed Porter. “We have successfully partnered with Meisha Ross Porter on projects in the past, including the Bronx Plan and expanding community schools,” he said. “We look forward to working with her in the future.”
Porter, a 20-year veteran of the city Department of Education, started out as a teacher at the Bronx School for Law, Government and Justice, where she later became principal. In 2015, she was appointed community superintendent for District 11 in the Bronx. Three years later, Carranza appointed her as one of the DOE’s nine executive superintendents, a new administrative tier he created to oversee the 31 superintendents.
Alice Cooper-Jackson, the Bronx UFT District 11 representative, has known Porter since Porter herself was a student at PS 123 in Queens, where Cooper-Jackson taught. Cooper-Jackson worked with her during her three-year tenure as superintendent in District 11. “She always showed her love of the students, and she was very approachable,” Cooper-Jackson said. “She supported us as educators, and that’s my expectation of her as chancellor.”
In a statement on Twitter, Porter said, “I've dedicated my life to NYC schools and cannot imagine a greater honor than the opportunity to lead as chancellor. New York City Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Carranza have laid an incredible foundation. I am ready to hit the ground running and lead our schools to a full recovery.”