Richard A. Carranza will resign as chancellor of New York City’s public school system, the nation’s largest, in March, city officials announced Friday. The abrupt move comes after disagreements between Mayor Bill de Blasio and Mr. Carranza over school desegregation policy reached a breaking point in recent weeks.
Mr. Carranza, 54, is leaving one of the most influential education jobs in America about three years after he was appointed, and just 10 months before the end of Mr. de Blasio’s second and final term.
He will be replaced by Meisha Porter, a longtime city educator and current Bronx superintendent who will become the first Black woman to lead the sprawling system, which has over 1 million students and 1,800 schools. Ms. Porter, 47, will take over as chancellor on March 15.
“I know the pandemic has not been easy for you, or for any New Yorker,” Mr. Carranza will say to his colleagues at the Board of Education at a news conference on Friday, according to a copy of his prepared remarks. “And I am a New Yorker — a New Yorker who has lost 11 family members and close friends to Covid. A New Yorker who needs to take time to grieve.”
Mr. Carranza’s announcement follows years of tension between the chancellor and the mayor involving who had the final say over major education decisions. The chancellor and other senior education officials sometimes felt that their expertise was overruled or disregarded by Mr. de Blasio, who runs the school district under mayoral control.
The two men repeatedly clashed over school desegregation policy in particular.
Mr. Carranza vowed from his first day as chancellor to tackle entrenched segregation in the city’s schools, while the mayor has largely avoided even using the word. New York is home to one of the most segregated public school districts in the nation, a trend that has worsened over the last few decades as the city has introduced more selective admissions policies for elementary, middle and high school.
It became clear several months into Mr. Carranza’s tenure that the mayor and chancellor had fundamentally different approaches to the problem, particularly when it came to selective admissions policies and gifted and talented programs.
The long-simmering issues came to a head earlier this month, during one heated conversation between Mr. Carranza and Mr. de Blasio over the future of gifted and talented classes, according to several sources with direct knowledge of that conversation. Mr. Carranza drafted a resignation letter after that meeting, but did not immediately quit.