HISD Superintendent Richard Carranza leaving Houston, accepting new role in NYC

HOUSTON Houston Independent School District Superintendent Richard Carranza on Monday announced his decision to end his tenure as the leader of Texas’ largest school district.

“I stand before you here, or sit before you here, with no greater opportunity than the largest school system in America, in the greatest city in America– the most diverse city in America, New York City,” Carranza announced at an afternoon press conference there on Monday.

Carranza assumed his role as superintendent with unanimous Board of Education approval in August 2016, promising to improve student academic achievement, provide student support through wraparound services, and create a system of equity for the district’s 284 schools.

“It has been an honor and privilege to have served the students of the Houston Independent School District and bring a voice to communities that have historically been underserved,” Carranza said. “It is with a heavy heart that I announce my departure as I embark on this new journey.  I am looking forward to the opportunity of serving the 1.1 million students in New York City. I am forever grateful to the people of Houston for allowing me to be a part of this great city.”

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio indicated Carranza’s past experience as a superintendent in San Francisco gave him a leg up on other choices– but it was one thing about his experience in Houston that closed the deal.

“When you look at Richard Carranza’s leadership in Houston during Hurricane Harvey, you see extraordinary strength, an amazing ability to stay calm despite the magnitude of the crisis,” de Blasio said. “He is one of the people who helped Houston get back on its feet.”

While Carranza leaves in the midst of HISD facing several challenges, we are confident in the ability to overcome those challenges with viable solutions.

“We the Board wish Carranza the best in his endeavors and appreciate the leadership he brought to this district,” said President Rhonda Skillern-Jones.  “We are committed to continuing the work he began and moving the district forward.”

The Board will meet on Thursday to discuss next steps.