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DeBlasio Names New Schools Chancellor After First Choice Resigns

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New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio named Richard Carranza Monday as the new Chancellor of NYC’s public schools. In a tweet, de Blasio extolled Carranza, who served one-and-a-half years the Houston Independent School District’s superintendent, as “an educator’s educator,” who “understands our children.”

“He’s exactly the kind of leader we want and I am so proud that he will be our next NYC Schools Chancellor,” the Mayor wrote. In his announcement Monday, de Blasio said Carranza’s base pay as Chancellor would equal the $345,000 a year he received during his time as Superintendent in Houston.

Alberto Carvalho, De Blasio’s choice to replace outgoing Chancellor Carmen Farina, unexpectedly backed out of the position last week, for reasons which remain unclear. According to a March 2 NY Post report, De Blasio said in an interview with WNYC radio that he believes the resignation, which Carvalho made on live television, may have been connected with the latter’s anxiety over the intense vetting process required for the role.

“I went over every element in the vetting with him personally and reminded him that all these issues would be rehashed,” de Blasio explained in an interview with WNYC radio.

“It was quite explicit there would be scrutiny. It was quite explicit that this is the number one city in the country, the number one education job in the country, and if you’re going to come here, this is the big leagues and expect to get ready for it.”

The selection of Carranza was praised by Farina, who held the post of Chancellor for four years before announcing her retirement in December.

“I am thrilled Richard will be New York City Schools Chancellor,” Farina was quoted as saying by news site Click2Houston. “We are philosophically on the same page and he has a proven track record as an educator with a laser focus on what’s in the classroom.”

As for Carvalho, de Blasio did not conceal his disappointment when speaking with WNYC.

“The people who were blindsided — 1.1 million school children in this city — deserved better,” de Blasio told the station. “If he had wanted to stay there, he should never have traveled here twice to interview at length and have dinner with the first lady and I and all the things he did. But here we are.”

According to ABC 13, Houston Federation of Teachers president Zeph Capo said he couldn’t blame Carranza for accepting the new position.

“Practically speaking, from one professional to another, I don’t blame the man,” Capo said. “He couldn’t turn down that offer that was made to him and Houston’s loss is most certainly going to be New York City’s gain.”

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