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Optimism, relief, and an open invitation to visit schools: New York City responds to Carranza’s appointment as chancellor


Reaction to the appointment of Richard Carranza as New York City schools chancellor was a little slow to get started — likely a result of Mayor Bill de Blasio keeping news of the appointment under wraps until shortly before announcing it at City Hall Monday afternoon.

But once the city’s education insiders started weighing in, many expressed optimism. Those with a positive take included union officials who detailed Carranza’s track record in Houston and local educators who back his positions on school discipline and special education.

Critics of de Blasio’s education administration also expressed optimism — that Carranza would soon turn against the mayor.

And an outgoing city official expressed relief that Carranza appears committed to the job, unlike de Blasio’s first choice.

Here’s the reaction that has rolled in so far. We’ll update as we see more.

From Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers:

Mr. Carranza has earned a reputation for collaboration with teachers, parents and school communities and has been a real champion of public schools. We are encouraged by his commitment to all children, his resistance to a “testing culture” and his support for the community schools approach.

From James Merriman, CEO of the New York City Charter School Center:

We welcome Richard Carranza to New York City, and we’re excited to work with him to keep improving educational opportunities for more children. Carranza has an inspiring life story and career as an educator. We look forward to partnering with him in his new role here as chancellor.

Richard Buery, the outgoing deputy mayor, told Chalkbeat:

He is actually taking the job, so that’s a plus. He’s got great big city experience, and that’s not easy to come by.

From Jenny Sedlis, executive director of StudentsFirstNY:

We welcome Richard Carranza as NYC Schools Chancellor and hope he will show himself to be an independent leader who critically reviews Mayor de Blasio’s education policies and charts a new course. Carranza said he will ‘look under the hood’ and when he does, he’ll see that Mayor de Blasio’s inattention to K-12 school improvement and the achievement gap, his hostility to school choice and his failed turnaround programs mean that a change is needed.

From Houston Federation of Teachers President Zeph Capo and American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten:

Houston’s loss is New York City’s gain. Under Superintendent Carranza’s leadership and vision, we collaborated to strengthen and support public education in Houston. Together, we ended the teacher assessment sham that was VAM (value-added measures), and we coordinated to get schools aid and new books in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. Richard worked tirelessly to help communities recover and heal, well after the floodwater receded. He was a proud servant of the children of Houston, and, if his track record is any guide, he’ll be a similarly indispensable asset to the children of New York. While we’re sad to see Richard leave Texas, we congratulate him on his appointment and New York City on its wise choice.

Evan Stone, co-founder and co-CEO of Educators for Excellence, a teacher advocacy group:

In selecting Richard Carranza, Mayor de Blasio has chosen a lifelong educator and a proven leader with a track record of leading large and diverse school districts, seeking the input of communities and teachers and focusing on improving outcomes for students who have been historically underserved – experiences that should set him up for success in our nation’s largest school district. We are also excited by Mr. Carranza’s history of coupling improved student achievement with a reduction in punitive discipline. Today, Mr. Carranza emphasized the need for both equity and innovation. For our 1.1 million students we hope that translates into ensuring our education system provides each child with the support and resources that they need to excel, and that teachers receive the professional development, autonomy and meaningful feedback they need to provide an excellent education for all our children. E4E-New York teachers extend our new Chancellor an invitation to work together in this critical mission.

Leona Fowler, a teacher at P233 in Queens and Educators for Excellence member:

As an educator, I need a leader who prioritizes listening to teachers and parents in making important decisions for children. We need someone who will continue the fight for equity and equality in New York City to make sure all our families, students and teachers have a voice. Superintendent Carranza today stated that he will fight for the unheard students of New York City. Teachers like me look forward to working with him to build on the work we’ve done to make schools welcoming and safe for all our students, and that educators have the training and support required to help our children reach their academic potential, and protect the most vulnerable among them.

From Success Academy CEO Eva Moskowitz, who did not include Carranza on her list of 14 chancellor suggestions:

Congratulations to Chancellor Carranza. We look forward to showing you the 46 Success Academies that make up the highest performing school district in the state.

From the consul general of Mexico in New York City:

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