What’s behind door #2: The new schools chancellor

Stephon Johnson | 3/8/2018, midnight
“Houston’s loss is New York City’s gain,” said American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten and Houston Federation of Teachers ...
Richard Carranza New York City Mayor's Office photo

Politico reported that Carvalho wouldn’t have been able to pick his own human resources director or chief of staff if he said yes to the gig. Did going from a king in Florida to a possible pawn in the five boroughs play a role in Carvalho reneging? Most will never know, but de Blasio wasn’t ready for any excuses after Carvalho’s announcement.

“Obviously whatever happened here is quite unusual but if he wasn’t interested in the job I don’t know why he flew up here several times and had incessant conversations about all the details and agreed to the release of the information publicly,” said de Blasio to reporters last week.

But Carranza is here and with that, he’ll jump feet first into the frying pan of education politics in the city. Look no further than the statement put out by a pro-charter school group.

“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,” said StudentsFirstNY Executive Director Jenny Sedlis in a statement. “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.”

So de Blasio has a new schools chancellor who will now be thrown into the battles over charter schools, closing schools, district woes, classroom space, funding and carrying on the mayor’s agenda. However, with the drama surrounding the hiring process in the first place, it’ll take some time for the mayor to live this down. As for the first choice for chancellor, Carvalho, he claimed to be “absolutely at peace with [his] decision” to stay in Miami.

“This is a community I love and one that has outperformed most urban school districts,” Carvalho said on Twitter. “We have great public education success stories, but you don’t hear about them enough.”

De Blasio’s Press Secretary Eric Phillips put the situation in a different light on the same social media platform.

“He was a Yes for a week+, until he was a No 15 minutes ago,” said Phillips on Twitter. “Bullet dodged.”