Credit: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office photo

New York City Schools Chancellor Dr. Meisha Porter announced she’s stepping down from her position at the end of the month.

Porter said during a televised interview on Wednesday that she’s taking the position as chief executive officer of The Bronx Community Foundation.

“It has been the honor of a lifetime to serve my home – New York City – and its incredible young people, educators, and families as Chancellor during one of the most pivotal times in our history,” Porter said in a statement. “Our school communities have been through so much, and I am incredibly proud of the heroic work from each and every one of our staff members who made it possible to reopen our school buildings and provide our students with the excellent, affirming education they deserve. At my core I am a public servant, and I am so deeply grateful my next steps aren’t taking me too far and I get to continue serving the communities and neighborhoods that make this city the best in the world as the inaugural President and CEO of The Bronx Community Foundation.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio appointed Porter as schools chancellor in March after former Chancellor Richard Carranza stepped down. She made history as the first Black woman to hold the position and spent nine months on the job. 

“Throughout her entire career, Meisha Porter has shown up for the children of New York City. Together, we fully reopened our schools, launched an historic academic recovery for students, and made unprecedented gains for equity in our school communities,” said de Blasio. “She has worked tirelessly and fearlessly to make sure our kids get the high-quality education they deserve. There is no doubt in my mind that she will bring the same determination and passion to her work serving Bronx families.”

Reports indicate that Mayor-elect Eric Adams’ top contender for schools chancellor is David Banks, the founding principal for the Eagle Academy for Young Men. Adams is expected to make an announcement on his choice after he returns from his trip to Ghana.

“I congratulate Meisha Porter on her tenure as Schools Chancellor. She assumed the role amid unprecedented challenges to our school system, and successfully oversaw the implementation of a universal summer school program, the resumption of in-person learning this fall, and historic investments in our schools under the Fair Student Funding formula, among many other achievements. I wish her all the best as she transitions into her new role, and know that she will continue to be a powerful voice for our students and educators, as she has been throughout her entire career,” Adams said.

Porter was the executive superintendent of the Bronx school districts before being appointed to chancellor. She came on the job as the city’s school system continued to pull over 1 million students through the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Throughout her entire career, Meisha Porter has shown up for the children of New York City,” de Blasio said in a statement. “Together, we fully reopened our schools, launched a historic academic recovery for students, and made unprecedented gains for equity in our school communities. She has worked tirelessly and fearlessly to make sure our kids get the high-quality education they deserve.”

A New York City public school graduate with over 20 years of experience in education, Porter is a native of South Jamaica, Queens coming from a family of educators including her mother. She taught at the Bronx School for Law, Government, and Justice where she became the principal. Porter faced many challenges when she came on as the city battled the COVID-19 pandemic. The situation threw a curve ball on education nationally with fears of students not only being behind but also suffering with the mental health fallout from the pandemic.

“I think it makes a difference in understanding that New York City, this school system is like no other—first of all, the size of the school system is beyond any other school system in the country,” Porter said during Wednesday’s interview. “But I also think having relationships with teachers, with leaders, with principals, with elected officials, particularly in this moment, in the pandemic, when we needed to partner with community-based organizations, I think stepping into this role having those relationships, knowing our system, knowing our city, is critically important.”

In a joint statement, Bronx Community Foundation founders and brothers Derrick Lewis and Desmon Lewis said Porter is well-qualified to take over as CEO. 

“Dr. Meisha Porter’s qualifications speak for themselves, but we’re most excited that her actions both as chancellor and as a daughter of The Bronx speak to the values of the Foundation: Community, Equity & Justice, Economic Security and Health,” they said. “Dr. Porter epitomizes The Bronx! We couldn’t be more thrilled to have her lead us into our next era.”

York City Schools Chancellor Dr. Meisha Porter announces she’s stepping down from her position at the end of the month.

Porter said during a televised interview on Wednesday that she’s taking the position as Chief Executive Officer of The Bronx Community Foundation.

Mayor Bill de Blasio appointed Porter as Schools Chancellor in March after former Chancellor Richard Carranza stepped down. She made history as the first Black woman to hold the position and spent nine months on the job.

Reports indicate that Mayor-elect Eric Adams’ top contender for Schools Chancellor is David Banks, the founding principal for the Eagle Academy for Young Men. Adams is expected to make an announcement on his choice after he returns from his trip to Ghana.

“The next mayor gets to do what the next mayor gets to do, and I’m going to support this system no matter what because my heart is in ensuring that our families and communities are served well,” she said during the interview.

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