Meisha Porter appointed to become first Black woman to run NYC schools

Porter will take on the post vacated by former chancellor Richard Carranza, who departs after losing family members to COVID

Mayor Bill de Blasio has appointed Meisha Porter to run the New York City system following the resignation of Chancellor Richard Carranza

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Porter, a Queens native, currently serves as the executive superintendent for the Bronx. She is a 20-year education department employee who is now making history as the first Black woman to lead the nation’s largest school district, per Spectrum News.

Meisha Porter (Twitter)

“As a lifelong New Yorker, a product of our city’s public schools, and a career educator, it is the honor of my lifetime to serve as Chancellor,” said Porter in a statement. “Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Carranza have laid an incredible foundation for me and I am ready to hit the ground running and lead New York City schools to a full recovery.”

Carranza’s resignation comes after a chaotic year that saw the city’s schools shut down amid the COVID pandemic. The system switched to remote learning last March as coronavirus cases surged in the city. Carranza himself lost eleven family members or close friends to the virus, according to the report.

During his three years as chancellor, he was outspoken about racist policies entrenched within the city’s school system, which earned him both supporters and critics. Most recently, he condemned testing four-year-olds for the city’s Gifted and Talented program. 

In a series of tweets on Friday, Carranza announced his resignation. In the remarks, he describes himself as a “New Yorker who needs to take time to grieve.”

Porter is set to take over on March 15.

Mayor de Blasio says Porter will build on the “tremendous accomplishments of Chancellor Carranza,” which includes continuing to lead the school system through the pandemic and promoting equality in schools. 

“Today is a historic day for New York City schools. Meisha Porter is a homegrown New Yorker who knows what it takes to give every kid the high-quality public school education they deserve,” said Mayor de Blasio.

Carranza also praised Porter in his statement on Twitter, writing, “We have stabilized the system in a way no one thought possible – the light is at the end of the tunnel. And I can’t think of anyone who would be better to lead this work and serve as New York City’s next Chancellor than @MeishaPorter.”

In her own statement on Twitter, Proter gushed about her new role. “I’ve dedicated my life to @NYCschools, and cannot imagine a greater honor than the opportunity to lead as Chancellor,” she wrote.

Read More: Erica Buddington says schools must teach Black History beyond February

Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers, also noted: “We have successfully partnered with Meisha Ross Porter on projects in the past, including the Bronx Plan and expanding community schools. We look forward to working with her in the future.”

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