June 17, 2019 By Laura Hanrahan
Council Member Robert Holden chastised Education Chancellor Richard Carranza for his alleged racially divisive actions in a letter penned to Mayor Bill de Blasio.
The letter, co-signed by six Council Members and two Assembly Members, claims that Carranza is focused on “ethnicity rather than efficacy.”
“Since coming to New York City in April 2018, Chancellor Carranza has been rightfully focused on creating a more equitable school system, but his comments and actions have seemingly made the system even more divided,” the letter states. (Click for Letter)
The letter follows a lawsuit filed by three white female employees of the Department of Education (DOE) who claim that Carranza promoted a hostile atmosphere where they were demoted or passed over for less qualified people of color.
The elected officials blast Carranza for cronyism in the hiring process, having reportedly handed jobs to individuals he knew from working in school districts in California and Texas, sometimes without having ever advertised the job opening.
The letter also accused Carranza of “creating an environment for schools to potentially violate equal employment opportunity laws,” seemingly referencing a DOE job posting listed on career website Indeed earlier this year that specifically requested teachers of color for New York City’s District 1 in Manhattan. The job posting was soon taken down.
City council members Paul Vallone, Peter Koo, Eric Ulrich, Joseph Borelli, Chaim Deutsch, and Karen Koslowitz co-signed the letter, supporting the condemnation of Carranza. Assembly Members William Colton and Peter Abbate Jr. also signed on.
In the letter, the electeds argue that if Carranza “continues to divide the city,” then someone “should replace him.”
The Mayor’s office, to whom the letter was directed, shot back at the elected officials and reaffirmed the Mayor’s support for Carranza.
“It’s a sad day for New York City kids when lawmakers care more about seeing their names in the press than about our school system,” said Press Secretary Freddi Goldstein. “This racially-charged smear campaign is the only thing dividing our city and anyone backing it should be ashamed. We stand with Chancellor Carranza and thank him for all he’s doing to bring Equity and Excellence to all our kids.”
Holden took to social media to publicly respond.
“Considering the response from the administration, our letter was correct,” Holden wrote on Facebook. “We need a Department of Education chancellor that can unify, not divide.”