Who is Meisha Porter? Meet NYC's new schools chancellor

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Friday, February 26, 2021
Who is Meisha Porter? Meet NYC's new schools chancellor
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The Department of Education announced Bronx Executive Superintendent Meisha Porter will take over for Richard Carranza starting on March 15.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- New York City Schools will soon have a new chancellor at the helm.

Current Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza announced he would be stepping down from the post on Friday during Mayor Bill de Blasio's daily press conference.

The Department of Education, and the mayor, announced Carranza will be replaced by Bronx Executive Superintendent Meisha Porter.

Porter will take over the job starting on March 15.

She is a New York City public school graduate, a 20-year veteran employee, who has led at every level in the system. Porter will be the first Black woman to serve in the role.

"As a lifelong New Yorker, a product of our City's public schools, and a career educator, it is the honor of my lifetime to serve as Chancellor," said Incoming Schools Chancellor Meisha Porter. "Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Carranza have laid an incredible foundation for me and I am ready to hit the ground running and lead New York City schools to a full recovery."

As Bronx Executive Superintendent, she currently leads community school districts 7-12 and New Visions Affinity schools, covering the entire borough's 361 schools and 235,448 students. She started her career as a youth organizer in Highbridge and joined the Department of Education (DOE) as a teacher at the Bronx School for Law, Government, and Justice, a school she helped conceive and found. After 18 years at the school, where she became Principal, Porter spent three years as Superintendent of District 11, which served the Pelham Parkway, Eastchester, and Woodlawn neighborhoods of the Bronx.

Porter has been Executive Superintendent since 2018, and has overseen the largest gains in graduation rates of any borough in that time, from 67.4 in 2018 to 73.0 - a 5.7 percentage point increase, as compared to a 2.8 point increase citywide. Postsecondary enrollment in the Bronx has also had a substantial increase under her tenure, with 54.9% of the 9th-grade cohort for the Class of 2019 enrolling in college, a 1.2 increase from the Class of 2018.

"We have successfully partnered with Meisha Ross Porter on projects in the past, including the Bronx Plan and expanding community schools. We look forward to working with her in the future," UFT President Michael Mulgrew said in a statement.

In addition to previous roles within the DOE, Porter has also taught at CUNY as an adjunct professor and been a Columbia University Cahn fellow, an Aspen Institute fellow, and a member of the Harvard University National Institute for Urban School Leaders and the Fordham University - Carnegie Foundation iLead team. Porter has also received the National Association of Negro Women Sojourner Truth Award, Mercy College honorary degree and multiple state and local recognitions.

Porter was born in Queens, New York and comes from a family of educators. She was raised by a single mother who returned to school to finish her degree and become an educator herself; "her upbringing has taught her the power of public education, and the difference one teacher can make," a press release by the city noted.

"To all the little girls out there, I'm saving a seat for you," Porter said while she gave a statement on Friday about accepting the position.


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