Mayor Bill de Blasio has tapped the man in charge of Miami's public schools to be the next chancellor of New York City public schools, City Hall confirmed Wednesday evening.
The mayor has chosen Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho to take over for Carmen Fariña, who announced in December that she will retire, in the next month.
Carvalho, 52, has served as the superintendent for Miami-Dade County public schools since September of 2008.
A Miami-Dade schools spokeswoman said Wednesday night that Carvalho has not accepted the job yet. The school board has scheduled a special meeting Thursday morning to discuss it.
Under Carvalho, Miami-Dade expanded choice options to include over 500 offerings, including programs in fine and performing arts, biotechnology, engineering, and forensic sciences.
In a statement, de Blasio said, "Alberto Carvalho is a world-class educator with an unmatched track record of success. I am very confident that our extensive, national search has found New York City the best person to lead the nation’s largest school system into the future. I look forward to welcoming our new chancellor to New York City in the days ahead, and to working with him in the years ahead as we deepen achievement in our classrooms and build on the outstanding record of accomplishment that Chancellor Fariña has delivered for students and their families across the five boroughs."
Carvalho would serve as the schools chancellor for the remainder of de Blasio's last term as mayor, which ends in January of 2022.
Miami-Dade County's school system is the fourth-largest in the United States. New York City has the largest, with about 1.1 million students. The population of Miami's schools is similar to the city's, with mostly black and Hispanic students, most of whom qualify for free or reduced-price lunch.
De Blasio has undertaken a national search for a replacement to Fariña, 74, who was expected to retire March.
Carvalho, a career educator, is seen as a superstar in the superintendent's world, having brought the graduation rate in his school system from about 60 percent to about 80 percent.
He would take a pay cut of about $100,000 to move to New York to run what is seen as the most prestigious education job in the country.
Carvalho, who came to New York from Portugal at the age of 17 but overstayed his visa and was undocumented, speaks multiple languages. He then went down south, where he has been for most of his career.
Fariña has overseen the city's school system for the past four years, and had spent decades in the city education department as a teacher, an assistant principal, principal, superintendent, and deputy chancellor. She was not expected to stay on for a second term.
Fariña came out of retirement when de Blasio convinced her to become his schools chancellor.
During her time as chancellor, she oversaw the public school system start universal pre-kindergarten.
The news came just before Fariña was set to attend a vote in lower Manhattan on whether to close 13 schools by the end of the year for low performance. That is the most school closures during de Blasio's tenure as mayor.