Mayor de Blasio has selected Miami Superintendent Alberto Carvalho — an illegal immigrant who rose to prominence and became a citizen in the process — to lead the city’s school system.
Carvalho also survived a scandal involving a newspaper reporter who covered him in Florida.
De Blasio will officially announce Carvalho, 53, on Thursday as his chancellor pick to run the nation’s largest school system, City Hall spokesman Eric Phillips said.
The incoming chancellor started his two-decade career in Miami’s schools as a teacher, eventually becoming a principal and climbing the ranks to become superintendent nearly 10 years ago. He enjoys a strong reputation as one of the country’s top superintendents, and under his leadership Miami’s graduation rates have climbed as new schools have opened.
He’s been criticized for failing to punish teachers in a cheating scandal, and was accused of having an extramarital relationship with a reporter for the Miami Herald. Email exchanges strongly suggesting an affair surfaced in 2008 — but Carvalho insisted they were just being “playful” with each other.
The reporter resigned from her job when the emails were published in the local media, but Carvalho held onto his post and received a promotion soon after.
The mayor, who likes to tout his progressive credentials and has offered support to the #MeToo movement to combat sexual harassment, didn’t mention the past when announcing his pick Wednesday.
“Alberto Carvalho is a world-class educator with an unmatched track record of success,” de Blasio said. “I am very confident that our extensive, national search has found New York City the best person to lead the nation’s largest school system into the future.”
Carvalho was born in Portugal to a working-class family and came to the U.S. in the early 1980s as an undocumented immigrant. He has served as superintendent of the Miami-Dade County public schools, the nation’s fourth-largest school system since 2008.
De Blasio struggled for months to find a replacement for retiring Chancellor Carmen Fariña, 74, and was widely criticized for conducting his search in secret.
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JILLIAN JORGENSEN, BEN CHAPMAN