The leader of New York City's school system will step down amid the coronavirus pandemic and ongoing struggles to achieve equity in classrooms.
Chancellor Richard Carranza announced his resignation Friday after three years. He sat alongside Mayor Bill de Blasio and ticked off accomplishments in dismantling structures and policies of entrenched racism in the school system.
"I'm proud of what we've accomplished over the last three years," Carranza said.
Carranza cited the need to grieve many close to him who died during the coronavirus pandemic as his reason to leave.
"Make no mistake - I am a New Yorker, not by birth but by choice," he said, becoming visibly emotional. "A New Yorker who has lost 11 family members and close childhood friends to this pandemic. A New Yorker who needs to take time to grieve."
Meisha Ross Porter, a Bronx native who now leads its schools, will succeed Carranza. She will be the first Black woman to lead the city's school system — the largest in the country.
"An African American woman will take the helm of the nation's greatest public school system," de Blasio said.
Porter has a long career within the city's schools. She said she'll never forget her own experience in classrooms and as a principal.
"I'm ready to hit the ground running and leave New York City schools to full recovery," she said.
The New York Times first reported Carranza's resignation and highlighted growing tensions between him and de Blasio over integrating schools.
and de Blasio during their appearance together lavished warm praise on
each other. But when asked point blank about reported differences over
selective admissions programs and gifted and talented, Carranza largely
sidestepped the question.
Instead, Carranza highlighted de Blasio's broad commitment to achieving equity in schools starting with the mayor's push for universal 3-K and pre-K.