New York City officially has a new schools chancellor.
Mayor Bill de Blasio and Chirlane McCray, the city's first lady, introduced Richard Carranza as the city's new schools chancellor Monday afternoon.
Carranza had been serving as the superintendent of the Houston Independent School District, and was a former schools' chief in San Francisco.
"We're so excited for him to bring his experience, expertise and energy to New York City," McCray said. "With a proven record of leadership and success in Houston, San Francisco and Las Vegas, and a tremendous warmth that will help him connect with students, parents and teachers alike, Richard is uniquely well-positioned to build on the progress that we have made here."
Carranza's announcement as the city's new chancellor comes after Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho backed out of an offer for the same job last Thursday. City Hall had announced Carvalho as their pick to run the city's schools a day before he rejected the offer.
De Blasio said that that last Wednesday, after choosing Carvalo to replace Carmen Fariña, who is set to retire at the end of this month, he called Carranza to tell him he did not get the job.
But Thursday, Carvalho famously changed his mind on live TV during an emergency school board meeting in Miami.
De Blasio said he immediately called Carranza to gauge his interest. Carranza flew to New York, and after a whirlwind weekend of talks, was offered the job at 10 p.m. Sunday. He said he immediately accepted.
Carranza, a lifelong educator, is the son of a sheet metal worker and hairdresser. His grandparents emigrated from Mexico.
His priorities as a superintendent mirror those of de Blasio and Fariña: deemphasizing standardized tests, bringing social services into the schools, and cheering students who are learning English for having an extra language.
Carranza, 51, has clearly done his homework, echoing many of the points de Blasio and Fariña make regarding education, like focusing on equity and bringing joy to the classroom.
While Carranza has a lot of experience with urban school districts, he has no experience with New York. He said he is excited to come up to the city in the next few weeks and learn about the city and its school system.
The new chancellor is also a dedicated mariachi musician. He said he sang for the mayor and first lady during his interview process.
Carranza spoke passionately about the role music has played in his life, saying focusing on expanding arts in schools is another policy he and de Blasio agree on.