Editor’s Note: The Chancellor’s first letter to parents in also available in:
It is my pleasure to serve as your Schools Chancellor. I am eager to meet parents and families, and hear your hopes for your children and schools.
I want to share a bit about my life and career. I grew up in Tucson, Arizona, the son of a sheet metal worker and a hairdresser. My grandparents were immigrants from Mexico, and I did not learn English until kindergarten. Although my parents never attended college, they knew that the path forward for my twin brother and me included an education. They wanted more for their children—a college degree and meaningful work. I know that you also want the same opportunities for your children.
I have devoted my life to public education because it is the greatest gift I have received. I started teaching nearly 30 years ago in the same public high school that I attended. I began as a bilingual social studies and music teacher, and later became a high school principal in Tucson. I then went on to be a regional superintendent in Las Vegas, and a superintendent in San Francisco, and most recently, in Houston.
As Chancellor, I plan to build on the strong work our students, educators, schools, and families are already doing. I am particularly focused on Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Equity and Excellence for All (E&E) Excellence for All (E&E) agenda. E&E is the engine through which we are offering every four-year old a free, full day, high-quality Pre-K for All seat, and expanding 3-K for All to reach each child in this formative stage. Through our Universal Literacy initiative, we are getting all of our students reading on grade level. Beyond our students’ early years, we are making sure that all of our graduates are prepared for college and careers through College Access for All and AP for All. You are partners in this important work, and together we will continue to make sure that your children are in school and committed to learning.
I also believe that schools are more than places where children go to learn. They are the heart of our communities—and a bridge to opportunity, support, and wellness for students and their families. A great education is the best way to empower the next generation. I am excited to share this journey with you, and look forward to meeting many of you in the coming months. Your children are New York City’s future doctors, tech leaders, teachers, and mayors. I promise to serve, champion, and care for each of them.
Richard A. Carranza
P.S. This week, I’ll be visiting a borough a day to get to know some of our City schools. Check out the slideshow below to see snippets of my tour of Bronx schools, and follow me on Twitter at @DOEChancellor as I stop by school communities in the other boroughs!