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De Blasio Appoints Carmen Fariña as Schools Chancellor

by Connor Ryan
A A
Bill de Blasio.

Flickr

Former deputy appointed schools chancellor by Mayor-elect de Blasio Monday afternoon.

Following weeks of speculation, Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio appointed Carmen Fariña — a well-known education official, who has held a variety of positions within New York City's school system spanning more than 40 years — as schools chancellor.

During the announcement, de Blasio — currently a public school parent — explained the importance of an established connection between parents and educators. 

"Carmen won't just be my chancellor as mayor; she'll be my chancellor as a public school parent," de Blasio said in a statement. "For years, I've watched her innovate new ways to reach students, transform troubled schools and fight against wrongheaded policies that hurt our kids."

She began her career in New York City at Brooklyn's P.S. 29, where she spent 22 years as an elementary school teacher. Then she moved to Manhattan and spent 10 years as principal of P.S. 6. In 2001, Fariña was elected Superintendent of Brooklyn's District 15 before being named a deputy schools chancellor three years later. She retired from that position in 2006.

"She knows our students, teachers, principals and parents better than anyone, and she will deliver progressive change in our schools that lifts up children in every neighborhood," de Blasio said.

Fariña made clear that increasing the "success rate" of students "is the only goal."

"True change happens not through mandates and top-down decision-making, but through communication, collaboration and celebrating the successes along the way," she said in a statement.

Establishing a universal pre-kindergarten program for four-year-olds and after-school programs for students in middle school, as well as making sure high school students are best prepared for college — without a heavy reliance on testing — will be among the de Blasio administration's top education goals.

Fariña will replace Chancellor Dennis Walcott, who has held the position since 2011.

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