Home / Education / NYC schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña to announce retirement

NYC schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña to announce retirement

City schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña will announce her retirement as soon as Thursday, according to Education Department sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Department sources said Fariña, 74, will leave her position at the end of the school year in June, or sooner.

The search for Fariña’s successor, sources said, has been ongoing for weeks, but city Education Department officials and Mayor de Blasio can’t agree on a replacement.

Candidates include educators from other cities as well as high-ranking officials in the city Education Department, with an internal search team collecting names of potential chancellors.

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And some internal groups in the city Education Department — such as the Office of Interschool Collaboration — are already being dismantled, school officials said.

Representatives for de Blasio and the city Education Department declined to comment on Fariña’s departure.

Fariña didn’t respond to an email.

Fariña ducked out after a Wednesday night panel at the High School of Fashion Industries.

Others at the Manhattan panel had thoughts.

“A lot of us were very relieved to have her there, but we need new blood, we need new vision,” teacher Aixa Rodriguez said.

Education Department officials received Wednesday evening emails saying Fariña would step down early next year.

“Fariña told UFT president Michael Mulgrew and he briefed the district reps about it, and they leaked it to the teachers,” according to a teacher who asked to remain anonymous.

Reps for the United Federation of Teachers and the city principals union didn’t respond to calls for comment.

Fariña retired in 2006 after a 40-year career in the city schools. She returned in January 2014 when de Blasio convinced her to come out of retirement.

The former city teacher, principal and superintendent stumbled after a few weeks, with an unpopular decision to keep classes open during the season’s worst snowstorm.

She also tangled with powerful figures in the charter school sector, including Success Academy founder Eva Moskowitz, drawing widespread criticism from education reformers.

She also oversaw de Blasio’s controversial, $600 million Renewal Schools program, which has produced mixed results in turnaround efforts at the city’s most troubled schools.

But Fariña also helped preside over the creation of de Blasio’s Universal Pre-Kindergarten program, which is regarded as the Mayor’s key education achievement.

She also worked on the creation and implementation of new contracts for city teacher and principals and a number of new supports for educators in the nation’s largest school system.

“Fariña’s greatest legacy is restoring teachers’ morale,” said Brooklyn College and CUNY Grad Center Education Professor David Bloomfield.

Bloomfield said the small gains in grad rates and test scores under Fariña started in the Bloomberg years and couldn’t be directly attributed to Fariña. 

With Andy Mai, Andrew Keshner

carmen farina
new york public schools

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