THE CHANCELLOR’S CHALLENGES

March 13, 2018 at 5:15 am

A change at the helm of New York City schools is underway. Richard Carranza may not have been Mayor Bill de Blasio’s first choice to succeed Carmen Fariña as chancellor, but his challenges are just as great. Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, is here with a reaction.

Aired on March 12, 2018. 

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I MET THE FIRST LADY OF NEW
YORK.
I UNDERSTAND THEIR HEART.
I UNDERSTAND THEIR MINDS.
I UNDERSTAND THE VISION THEY
HAVE FOR THE CITY.
AND I CAN TELL YOU THAT THAT IS
A VISION THAT I EMBRACED.
THE DECISION THAT I HAVE MADE
ABOUT THAT POSITION IS, HOWEVER,
A DECISION I CAN NO LONGER
SUSTAIN.
I AM, I AM BREAKING AN AGREEMENT
BETWEEN ADULTS TO HONOR AN
AGREEMENT AND A PACT I HAVE WITH
THE CHILDREN OF MIAMI
>> AFTER BEING BLINDSIDED BY AN
ABOUT FACE BY MIAMI DADE
SUPERINTENDENT, MAYOR BILL DE
BLASIO HAS FILLED THE VACANCY
LEFT BY CARMAN FARENA.
HE HEADED A SCHOOL DISTRICT IN
SAN FRANCISCO.
AND IN BOTH CITIES HE FACED
CRITICS AND CHALLENGES.
HERE IN NEW YORK HE WILL FACE
EVEN MORE.
MR. CARANSA'S MOST IMPORTANT JOB
IS TO KEEP THE CITY'S TREND OF
IMPROVEMENT IN CITY SCHOOLS
GOING.
JOINING US WITH THE INSIDE TRACK
ON WHAT TO EXPECT IS THE
PRESIDENT OF THE AMERICAN
FEDERATION OF TEACHERS, RANDY
WINE GARDEN.
WELCOME TO THE PROGRAM.
>> IT'S GREAT TO BE WITH YOU.
>> SOMEONE WHO'S VERY
WELL-VERSED IN KNOWING ALL THE
DIFFERENT INTRICACY IN THE
SCHOOL DISTRICTS AROUND THE
COUNTRY, WHAT IS YOUR TAKE ON
MR. CARANSA?
>> HE'S A GREAT GUY.
I KNOW HIM FROM BOTH SAN
FRANCISCO, WHEN HE WAS A DEPUTY,
AND THEN THE SUPE AND THEN
HOUSTON.
WE REALLY HAVE WORKED TOGETHER
VERY INTENSIVELY THIS YEAR
BECAUSE OF THE HURRICANE.
>> MM-HM.
>> AND WHEN I SAY HE WAS A GREAT
GUY, YOU KNOW, YOU GET TESTED IN
THESE KIND OF DISASTERS.
AND IT'S PRETTY QUICK THAT YOU
SEE PEOPLE WHO HAVE A SOUL
VERSUS PEOPLE WHO DON'T.
AND WHAT I SAW -- AND TEXAS IS A
VERY TOUGH PLACE.
AND WHAT I SAW WITH RICHARD IS
THAT HE WORKED HAND IN HAND WITH
PARENTS, OUR FOLKS, TO NOT ONLY
GET SCHOOLS OPEN, BECAUSE
SCHOOLS REALLY BECOME PLACES OF
STABILITY AND NURTURING IN TIMES
OF INTENSE DISASTERS LIKE A
FLOOD OR HURRICANE.
BUT ALSO MADE SURE, KNOWING THE
HISTORY OF KATRINA, TO GET THE
SCHOOLS THAT COULDN'T OPEN INTO
OTHER BUILDINGS.
SO THAT NONE OF THE VULTURES
WOULD BE AROUND TRYING TO SNATCH
THEM AND ALSO WORKED WITH OUR
UNION THERE WHO WAS KIND OF
CENTER STAGE, TRYING TO FIGURE
OUT HOW TO HELP PEOPLE, YOU
KNOW, GET PEOPLE OUT OF HOMES.
GET PEOPLE OFF OF ROOFS, THINGS
LIKE THAT.
AND IT WAS REALLY HORRIBLE IN
HOUSTON FOR A WHILE AND DURING
HARVEY, AS YOU MAY REMEMBER.
MAKING SURE THAT PEOPLE, THAT
THE EDUCATORS AND THE KIDS IN
THE DISTRICT WERE HELPED AS MUCH
AS POSSIBLE.
AND WHEN I SAY THE EDUCATORS,
I'M TALKING ABOUT FROM THE
SCHOOL BUS DRIVERS TO THE SCHOOL
CUSTODIANS, TO THE, TO THE
TEACHERS.
>> SO, THEN, AND THAT IS AN
INCREDIBLE DEPTH AND BREADTH OF
EXPERIENCE THAT HE'S BRINGING
WITH HIM.
BUT HOW DOES HE BRING THAT TO
NEW YORK?
HOW DOES THAT FIT IN A CITY LIKE
NEW YORK AND HELP THE SCHOOLS
CONTINUE TO IMPROVE?
>> MM-HM.
SO THERE'S, I MEAN, YOU KNOW,
THAT, YOU KNOW, I JUST TALKED
ABOUT HIS SOUL.
AS AN EDUCATOR, YOU KNOW, AND
PEOPLE HAVE BEEN SAYING THAT HE
SEEMS SIMILAR TO CARMEN.
AND MY APOLOGIES FOR CALLING
THEM THIS FIRST NAMES.
YOU KNOW THEM.
THOSE OF US WHO HAVE TOILED IN
THE FIELDS FOR A WHILE, YOU GET
TO KNOW THOSE FOLKS.
SO BOTH HE AND CARMEN ARE
EDUCATORS WHO REALLY UNDERSTAND
MULTI-LINGUALISM AND
BILINGUALISM.
AND THE NEEDS OF KIDS WHO ARE,
COME FROM ALL SORTS OF DIVERSE
BACKGROUNDS.
THAT'S REALLY IMPORTANT, BECAUSE
HE UNDERSTANDS THAT THERE'S NO
ONE SIZE FITS ALL, BUT THERE ARE
STRATEGIES AND BEST PRACTICES
THAT YOU NEED TO FOCUS LIKE A
LASER ON PLACES THAT ARE
STRUGGLING.
>> MM-HM.
>> AND YOU NEED TO BE ABLE TO
ASSESS PLACES THAT ARE DOING
WELL, AND WHAT KIND OF SUPPORTS
YOU NEED TO DO TO KIND OF PROD
THEM OR PROMPT THEM OR PUSH THEM
ALONG.
SO, YOU KNOW, HE ALREADY SAID,
YOU KNOW, THE FIRST DAY, I WAS
VERY PLEASED TO HEAR HIM SAY
THIS, THAT COMMUNITY SCHOOLS AND
THINKING ABOUT NEIGHBORHOOD
SCHOOLS WITH WRAPAROUND SERVICES
THAT BECOME CENTERS OF COMMUNITY
AND CENTERS FOR FAMILIES,
SOMETHING THAT NEW YORK IS DOING
ALREADY.
I'M REALLY PROUD OF MY LOCAL
UNION IN NEW YORK CITY.
YOU KNOW, HOW BIASSED I AM ABOUT
IT.
BUT I'M REALLY PROUD OF THEM FOR
OPENING 24, I THINK 30 OF THESE
SCHOOLS THERE.
BUT THINKING ABOUT COMMUNITY
SCHOOLS IS REALLY IMPORTANT.
BECAUSE WHAT RICHARD UNDERSTANDS
IS THAT THERE'S LIKE THREE OR
FOUR STRATEGIES.
WHETHER A DISTRICT HAS ONE
SCHOOL OR A DISTRICT HAS A
THOUSAND SCHOOLS.
THERE'S THREE, FOUR, FIVE
STRATEGIES THAT IF YOU INVEST
IN, YOU'RE GOING TO MAKE
SCHOOLS, YOU'RE GOING TO HELP
SCHOOLS BECOME GREAT PLACES OF
TEACHING AND LEARNING FOR KIDS.
YOU HAVE TO MEET KIDS WHERE THEY
ARE.
NOT WHERE YOU WANT THEN TO BE.
HOPEFULLY, YOU GET THEM TO WHERE
YOU WANT THEM TO BE.
NUMBER TWO, POWERFUL
INSTRUCTION.
PROJECT-BASED INSTRUCTION, ALL
SORTS OF OTHER INSTRUCTION.
AND THAT'S WHERE HIS DEPTH IN Ls
AND MULTI-LINGUALISM AND
BILINGUALISM IS VERY IMPORTANT.
TEACHER VOICE AND CREATING
CULTURES OF COLLABORATION.
AND I THINK HE'S WELL-VERSED IN
ALL THOSE THINGS IN SAN
FRANCISCO.
HE WAS AN INSTRUCTIONAL LEADER
IN HOUSTON.
HE WAS THINKING A LOT ABOUT HOW
YOU BUILD CAPACITY AT THE
WORKFORCE.
HE FRANKLY SETTLED THE CASE OF
THE INVALID EVALUATION SYSTEMS
THAT OPERATED IN HOUSTON, THE
VALUE-ADDED SYSTEM.
WE HAD BROUGHT A LAWSUIT AGAINST
THEM.
IT WAS INDECIPHERABLE.
HE SETTLED THAT CASE, THAT
UNDERSTANDING HAS TO BE HOW YOU
IMPROVE PRACTICE, NOT ABOUT A
GOTCHA OR HOW YOU TEST PEOPLE.
SO I THINK THAT HE CAN HANDLE
NEW YORK.
HOUSTON IS A VERY DIVERSE AND
VERY COMPLICATED CITY.
AND SO HE KNOWS SCOPE AND SCALE.
AND I THINK HE CAN HANDLE NEW
YORK.
I THINK HE CAN HANDLE THE FOCUS,
AND I THINK I WILL HAVE HIS
PRIORITIES IN THE RIGHT PLACE.
THAT DOESN'T MEAN THERE WON'T BE
TRIP-UPS OR STUMBLES OR FIGHTS.
THAT'S WHAT HAPPENS IN NEW YORK.
BUT I DO THINK THAT HE'S A
REALLY GOOD, SOUND, STRONG
SUPERINTENDENT INSTRUCTIONALLY.
AND, AS I SAID TO YOU BEFORE, I
THINK HIS SOUL IS AS DEEP AS THE
SUMMER DAY IS LONG.
>> RANDI WINEGARDEN, THANK YOU
FOR JOINING US AND TELLING US
THINGS WE DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT OUR
NEW SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT.