Richard A. Carranza

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Richard A. Carranza (born 1966) is an American educator who served as the Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education from 2018 to 2021.[1][2] He was appointed by Mayor de Blasio after Alberto M. Carvalho publicly turned down the job in March 2018.[3] He previously served as the superintendent of the Houston Independent and the San Francisco Unified School Districts.[4]

Richard A. Carranza
Richard Carranza.jpg
Carranza at a video press conference on NYC's response to COVID-19 on March 19, 2020
New York City Department of Education Chancellor
In office
April 2, 2018 – March 15, 2021
Appointed byBill de Blasio
Preceded byCarmen Fariña
Succeeded byMeisha Ross Porter
Superintendent of the Houston Independent School District
In office
August 18, 2016 – April 1, 2018
Preceded byTerry Grier
Succeeded byGrenita Latham (interim)
Superintendent of the San Francisco Unified School District
In office
Preceded byCarlos A. Garcia
Succeeded byMyong Leigh (interim)
Personal details
Born1966 (age 54–55)
Tucson, Arizona, U.S.
EducationUniversity of Arizona (BA)
Northern Arizona University (MEd)
Nova Southeastern University (EdD)

Early life and educationEdit

Carranza was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona, the son of Mexican day immigrants.[5] His father worked as a sheet metal worker and his mother was a hairdresser.[6] He graduated from Pueblo High School in 1984.[7]

He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in secondary education from the University of Arizona and a Master of Education with distinction in educational leadership from Northern Arizona University.[6] He completed his doctoral coursework in educational leadership through Northern Arizona University and Nova Southeastern University in Davie, Florida.[8]


He began his career as a high school bilingual social studies and mariachi music teacher, and then as a principal, both in Tucson, Arizona.[6]

Carranza was the Northwest Region superintendent for the Clark County School District in Las Vegas.[when?][6] He served the San Francisco Unified School District, first as deputy superintendent and then as superintendent, where he was accused in 2015 of creating a hostile environment for women.[6][9]

Houston Independent School DistrictEdit

He was the superintendent of the Houston Independent School District (HISD) beginning in fall 2016.[10] Carranza, who had signed a contract to serve for three years,[11] served in this capacity until April 2018, when he was hired as New York City Schools Chancellor with a $345,000 salary.[6] He announced his acceptance of the new job in March of that year.[10] Observers in the Houston area were not aware that Carranza was seeking to exit his position with HISD: He publicly stated that he and the board members of HISD did not have problems with one another.[12]

Doris Delaney, a monitor of HISD appointed by the Texas Education Agency (TEA), wrote a report stating that the former superintendent in fact disliked and felt frustration in reaction to actions taken by HISD board members. The report stated that Carranza disliked how the board was unable to deliberate important issues, overstepped its authority, and included members with inappropriate political desires.[12]

New York CityEdit

In 2018, the de Blasio administration initiated a plan to eliminate New York City's specialized high school exam, which is available to all middle school students in the city.[13] In June 2018, defending the plan, Carranza stated that "I just don't buy into the narrative that any one ethnic group owns admission to these schools."[14] Asian-American groups decried this as anti-Asian racism, considering that a disproportionately large number of students admitted to the city's eight specialized schools are of Asian descent. They believe their children are being targeted for their success on the exam.[15] Alumni, activists and Asian American groups argued that Chancellor Carranza failed to appreciate the socio-economic and other diversity among these students and internal to communities of Asian descent.[16] Carranza refused to apologize for the remarks.

In June 2019 nine members of the New York City Council wrote a letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio asking him to dismiss Carranza, accusing him of having divisive actions.[17] In response, twenty-three Council members, including the education committee chair, sent a letter to the mayor in support of Carranza.[18]

In May 2020, it was reported that under Carranza, the Department of Education downplayed the coronavirus threat as it was closing schools. Students presumed sick from the virus were left unrecorded, and teachers and parents were deprived of information by supervisors on students and staff who were presumed sick. The teachers union contends that the DOE was not complying with state protocols.[19] As of May 11, 74 NYC Department of Education employees had died due to COVID-19.[20]

Carranza resigned as Chancellor of New York City Schools, on March 15, 2021. The abrupt move came after disagreements between Mayor Bill de Blasio and Mr. Carranza over school desegregation policy reached a breaking point.[21] He was replaced by Meisha Porter, a longtime city educator, then the Bronx executive superintendent, who is the first Black woman to lead the sprawling system, which has over 1 million students and 1,800 schools.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Carranza argued that parents should opt school children out of standardized testing, saying "We do not want to impose additional trauma on students that have already been traumatized."[22]


  1. ^ "Richard A. Carranza - DOE Leadership - New York City Department of Education". Retrieved April 3, 2018.
  2. ^ "Mayor de Blasio Appoints Richard A. Carranza as Schools Chancellor". The official website of the City of New York. March 5, 2018. Retrieved April 3, 2018.
  3. ^ Taylor, Kate (March 5, 2018). "Next to Lead New York's Schools: An Educator With a Song on His Lips". Retrieved March 7, 2018 – via
  4. ^ "San Francisco Educator Takes Charge Of HISD". Associated Press at Houston Public Media. August 19, 2016. Retrieved June 7, 2019.
  5. ^ Lentz, Jon (March 5, 2018). "5 things to know about Richard Carranza". City & State NY. Retrieved February 26, 2021.
  6. ^ a b c d e f Harris, Elizabeth A.; Fernandez, Manny (March 18, 2018). "Is Richard Carranza Ready to Run America's Biggest School System?". Retrieved April 3, 2018 – via
  7. ^ "Richard Carranza". Arizona Daily Star. Retrieved February 26, 2021.
  8. ^ Writer, CAROLYN THOMPSON Associated Press. "NYC schools chancellor, a Tucson native, exits, citing virus' personal toll". Arizona Daily Star. Retrieved February 26, 2021.
  9. ^ "Controversy Swirls Around New NYC Schools Chancellor". 1010 WINS. Retrieved January 3, 2019.
  10. ^ a b Webb, Shelby; Jacob Carpenter (March 6, 2018). "Houston ISD superintendent Richard Carranza leaving for NYC's top job after 18 months here". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
  11. ^ Isensee, Laura (August 22, 2016). "It Was The First Day of School for HISD's New Superintendent Too". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved June 7, 2019.
  12. ^ a b Carpenter, Jacob (June 30, 2018). "State monitor's reports detail Carranza's frustration with HISD board, concerns about governance". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
  13. ^ "In a mostly black district, parents bring different concerns to debate over New York City's specialized high schools". Chalkbeat. December 10, 2018. Retrieved February 2, 2019.
  14. ^ Shapiro, Eliza. "Richard Carranza wants to talk about school segregation. Is New York ready?". Politico PRO. Retrieved February 2, 2019.
  15. ^ "SHSAT controversy continues to divide". Queens Chronicle. Retrieved February 2, 2019.
  16. ^ Weinstein, Boaz (June 13, 2018). "Opinion | No Ethnic Group Owns Stuyvesant. All New Yorkers Do". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved February 2, 2019.
  17. ^ "NYC Council Members Call For Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza To Be Fired". WLNY CBS New York. Retrieved July 12, 2019.
  18. ^ "Too 'Divisive' or Just Honest? Local Pols Split on Carranza". BKLYNER.
  19. ^ Smith, Greg B. (May 11, 2020). "HOW NYC SCHOOLS OFFICIALS PLAYED DOWN THE COVID-19 THREAT". The City.
  20. ^ Zimmerman, Alex (May 11, 2020). "74 NYC education department employees have been killed by the coronavirus". Chalkbeat.
  21. ^ Malone, Clare (April 13, 2021). "Richard Carranza's Last Stand". New York Magazine. Retrieved June 22, 2021.
  22. ^ Goldstein, Dana (April 8, 2021). "Does It Hurt Children to Measure Pandemic Learning Loss?". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved June 22, 2021.
Educational offices
Preceded by
Carmen Fariña
Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education
Succeeded by
Meisha Ross Porter
Preceded by
Terry Grier
Superintendent of the Houston Independent School District
Succeeded by
Grenita Latham (interim)
Preceded by
Carlos A. Garcia
Superintendent of the San Francisco Unified School District
Succeeded by
Myong Leigh (interim)