Ding-dong, NYC Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza has resigned.
No one has done more to harm New York City’s public schools than Carranza, and his resignation now, eight months until the next mayoral election, is akin to a captain abandoning a sinking ship that he purposely steered into an iceberg, with the hope that the crash can be blamed on others.
Appointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio in 2018, Carranza set to work accusing everyone around him of racism, degrading parents who dared speak up for their children. He focused primarily on destroying New York’s best schools while doing absolutely nothing for the worst ones. His departure has come too late for many kids across the city who have suffered under his leadership.
In a letter sent to colleagues, Carranza praised himself for having “worked to undo segregation and turn ‘equity’ from an esoteric concept into a reality for our students.” First, segregation is the illegal, racist barring of ethic groups from each other. Some New York City schools may not be as diverse as the population in general, but this isn’t segregation. Either way, there’s no evidence that diversity in schools was improved whatsoever during Carranza’s reign and the only equity he produced was making life equally difficult for all kids across the city.
A look back on his years at Schools Chancellor is a trip through misguided policies, hare-brained ideas and a level of ineptitude New York City should never have had to endure.
In his first year, he subjected “principals, central office supervisors and superintendent teams” to ridiculous presentations on white privilege. As Susan Edelman, Selim Algar and Aaron Feis reported at the time, “White employees who object when accused of harboring deep-seated bias are branded ‘fragile’ and ‘defensive,’ one insider who received the training has said.”
The City sunk $23 million into presentations like these.
By 2019, three female high-level DOE employees filed a $90 million discrimination lawsuit against Carranza.
Carranza railed often against “screened” schools, ie: schools that consider factors like grades or test scores for admission, yet sent his daughter to such a school in San Francisco. His First Deputy Chancellor also sent her kids to NYC’s screened schools — and even managed to get them in after the application date for these schools had passed.
Carranza generally skipped the normal hiring process and put his cronies into various well-paid positions within the Department of Education.
When parents complained about deteriorating schools, Carranza made racist comments including that he didn’t “buy into the narrative that any one ethnic group owns admission to these schools” slandering Asians who worked hard to get there.
When parents confronted him about violence in their schools, he walked off the stage.
When people complained about any part of Carranza’s poor performance, he screamed racism and said they were targeting him because he is “a man of color.”
Writing in The Post in 2019, Wai Wah Chin pointed out that many people of color who had previously held Carranza’s job hadn’t whined that any criticism against them was racism.
Carranza has spent the year of the pandemic adrift and inept. Instead of focusing on getting kids back into the classrooms, he has continued to target New York’s Gifted & Talented programs as his main priority, getting rid of the G&T test for kids but having no admissions replacement for it. Before the presidential election he openly speculated that a possible President Joe Biden administration would let states skip state tests. Carranza did not want the accountability.
He has done the impossible and made Mayor Bill de Blasio look mildly competent by comparison.
Here’s hoping the new NYC schools chancellor will be better. It will be hard to be worse.