Education

Miami-Dade Superintendent Is Pick for New York City Schools Chancellor

By Denisa R. Superville — February 28, 2018 3 min read

The latest: Miami-Dade Superintendent Backs Out of N.Y.C. Job After Change of Heart

UPDATED

Alberto Carvalho, the superintendent of the Miami-Dade school district, is the pick of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to be the next chancellor of the New York City public school system.

Carvalho, who has led the Miami-Dade system since 2008, would be moving from the nation’s fourth-largest district—with 345,000 students—to the largest one, which educates 1.1 million students.

He would take over from Carmen Fariña, a former principal and deputy chancellor, who came out of retirement in 2013 to help New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio implement his education agenda. Fariña is stepping down after a 52-year career in education.

The Miami Herald reported late Wednesday that Carvalho had been offered the job, but that he had not yet accepted it. His contract in Miami runs through 2020.

Among the things Carvalho would likely have to handle in New York City: Its ambitious Pre-K for All program, which expands the successful pre-K initiative to include 3-year-olds, and the city’s long-standing efforts to turn around some of its lowest-performing schools, known as Renewal Schools.

He oversaw rising high school graduation rates in Miami. In 2014, the district won the Broad Prize for Urban Education, which was given by the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation to urban school systems that were improving and narrowing achievement gaps. The prize was discontinued in 2015.

Carvalho, who was an undocumented immigrant from Portugal, has been a fierce advocate for immigrant students, vowing last year to protect students from immigration officials on school grounds.

“On behalf of every single kid in this community, over my dead body will any federal entity enter our schools to take immigration actions against our kids,” Carvalho said, according to CBS Miami.

In Miami, Carvalho succeeded Rudy Crew, a former New York City chancellor.

Carvalho was one of 14 candidates that charter school leader Eva Moskowitz suggested in December as possible successors to Fariña.

Moskowitz, the founder and CEO of Success Academy Charter Schools who has sparred with de Blasio on charter school co-location and other issues, called the hire an “excellent” one.

“Alberto M. Carvalho is a nationally-recognized expert on education transformation whose leadership drove Miami-Dade County Public Schools to unprecedented increases in student achievement and graduation rates,” Moskowitz said. “He’s not only the kind of top-tier educator we had hoped New York City could attract, he’s specifically one of the candidates I suggested to the Mayor in December.”

Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, said while the union and Carvalho have not always seen eye to eye, they found common ground in Florida, particularly in their opposition to an education bill that, among other provisions, required districts to share school construction money from local taxes with charter schools and his pushback against over-testing in schools.

“While we’ve agreed and disagreed on issues, at his core, Carvalho is a passionate educator who understands the importance of teaching and learning—and of educators—and knows how public education is foundational to democracy and opportunity,” Weingarten said.

Photo caption: Miami-Dade County Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho speaks with reporters at an elementary school in Miami.

--Lynne Sladky/AP-File

A version of this news article first appeared in the District Dossier blog.

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