“Alright, it’s time for your questions; who wants to start?”
Earlier this month, student reporters from over 40 high school newspapers across the City were invited to the DOE’s headquarters at the Tweed Courthouse for a special “student reporter roundtable” event hosted by Chancellor Richard Carranza.
The hour-long press conference provided each student journalist in attendance with the wonderful opportunity to observe and participate in a Q&A session with one of the City’s most powerful and influential public officials. Collectively, the young reporters were representative of high schools across all five boroughs.
Given the range and depth of the questions they asked, it was clear that these students were ready to ask the tough questions.
Refreshingly, Chancellor Carranza was ready to answer them.
“Why is diversity in schools so important,” asked one student.
Chancellor Carranza smiled and spread his arms out wide: “Because that’s the world we live in.”
The Chancellor then explained how students who are graduating from high school this year will be entering colleges or careers next year where they will encounter people from all over the country and around the world. “Diverse (K–12) schools help prepare you for the real world. You get exposed to different languages, customs, and ways of thinking, and those experiences help you understand the world in ways you may have never even considered before.”
Throughout the event, the Chancellor thoroughly answered over a dozen questions from students, including queries about school safety, segregation, the role of police in schools, dual language programs, immigrant rights, and community supports.
As the roundtable event began to wind down, the Chancellor stressed the importance of a free press, and invited the students to come back for another Q&A event in the future.
“I believe in the power of the press. The press is there to hold people like me accountable to the people we’re supposed to serve,” he explained. “Keep coming up with great questions, and let’s do this again soon, okay?”