Second Time’s the Charm? De Blasio Selects Houston Superintendent Richard Carranza as New Chancellor

This afternoon at a 2:30 press briefing, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a (second) new Schools Chancellor, Richard A. Carranza, who has served the last 18 months as Superintendent of Houston and for four years before that as San Francisco superintendent. Here are some highlights from news coverage.

The New York Times:

The speed of the announcement underscored Mr. de Blasio’s need to find a replacement for Ms. Fariña, who seemed to already have one foot out the door. Her goodbye party at Tweed Courthouse, the education department’s headquarters, was held on Friday.

Wall Street Journal:

According to a Houston Independent School District press release from 2016, Mr. Carranza had a contract for three years at a base annual salary of $345,000. Mr. de Blasio said Mr. Carranza’s pay in New York will be same as his base pay in Houston.


“His story is the story of the American Dream, if there ever was one,” de Blasio said about Carranza, an Arizona native whose mother was a hairdresser and father was a sheet metal worker. He said he had offered Carranza the job at 10 p.m. Sunday and “Richard agreed immediately.”

Carranza said he would work to execute on de Blasio’s education agenda. “There is no daylight between Mayor de Blasio and myself,” he said. “The equity agenda championed by our mayor is my equity agenda.”

In a question-and-answer session, Carranza offered details, saying that he sees schools as a solution to segregation; he wants to see schools offer social services to students and their families; and believes students with disabilities should be included in mainstream classrooms whenever possible. All of those positions align with de Blasio and Fariña’s.

Daily News:

Still stinging from Carvalho’s betrayal, de Blasio sought to put a sunny light on Carranza’s appointment, calling his announcement “joyous and positive” news.

NY Post:

Hoping to chase away Alberto Carvalho’s specter as soon as possible, Mayor Bill de Blasio named Houston schools boss Richard Carranza as his new chancellor Monday…He held senior administrative positions in Tucson and Las Vegas earlier in his career.

In San Francisco, Carranza pushed for reduced suspensions and bolstered LGBT and ethnic studies curriculums while managing to avoid any major scandals.

Fluent in Spanish and an accomplished mariachi musician, Carranza has been a coveted target of big-city school systems in the past

Education Week:

Mayor de Blasio, his wife Chirlane McCray, Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina, and Carranza were photographed entering City Hall, all but guaranteeing that this hire would stick.

On the job in Houston for less than two years, Carranza helped the city’s schools rebound after the devastating Hurricane Harvey flooded several buildings and caused millions of dollars in damages.

UFT President Michael Mulgrew (via AMNY)

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


“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,” said StudentsFirstNY Executive Director Jenny Sedlis.

Carranza is an accomplished Mariachi musician who was inducted into the Mariachi Hall of Fame. Check it out.



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