Meisha Porter stepping down as NYC schools chancellor

Local News

NEW YORK — New York City Schools Chancellor Meisha Porter announced Wednesday she will be stepping down from the position after nine months on the job.

The Department of Education said Porter will exit at the end of the year, just as Mayor Bill de Blasio’s term as mayor comes to an end and Mayor-elect Eric Adams gears up to take over. Adams was not expected to keep Porter on as head of NYC schools.

Porter joined the PIX11 Morning News on Wednesday to discuss her departure and what’s next for her as she takes on the role of chief executive officer of The Bronx Community Foundation, a nonprofit focused on erasing inequity and building a more sustainable future.

“I’m stepping down but I’m stepping up for a community that I love and that I’m so proud of,” she told PIX11’s Dan Mannarino and Hazel Sanchez. “Continuing my work in the Bronx has always been important to me, and I felt like, what better time than this.”

Porter reassured parents that she will continue to work hard for the children of New York City all the way up until she leaves the office at the end of the year.

“Every day that I remain in this seat, I will be doing this job,” she said. “Absolutely focused on the gifted and talented [program] and building Brilliant NYC so we can leave a blueprint for the next administration, focused on continuing to develop the mosaic curriculum. It is going to be a phenomenal add to our toolkit of ensuring our students see and experience themselves in their classrooms every day. And I’m just going to continue to make sure our schools are safe. So students can continue to be where I know they belong, in their classrooms with their teachers.”

Porter was appointed as the head of the DOE by the mayor in March, after former Chancellor Richard Carranza stepped down from the role in February, citing the pandemic’s personal toll on him and his family.

“Throughout her entire career, Meisha Porter has shown up for the children of New York City,” de Blasio said Wednesday in a statement.

She was the first Black woman in the city’s history to lead the largest school district in the nation.

Under Porter’s leadership during the pandemic, all city public schools brought back students for fully in-person learning after school buildings were closed for months.

“Together, we fully reopened our schools, launchd an historic academic recovery for students, and made unprecedented gains for equity in our school communities,” de Blasio said.

A native New Yorker, Porter was a graduate of the city’s public school system and has worked at every level of the education system over her decades-long career.

Starting as a youth organizer in the Bronx, Porter was a founder of the Bronx School for Law, Government and Justice. She started working at the school as a teacher and rose to become the principal. As principal, she worked with local leaders to secure more resources for her school.

Porter rose within the DOE and was eventually named executive superintendent of Bronx schools.

Mayor-elect Adams has not yet announced who will succeed Porter as the next schools chancellor.

PIX11’s Ayana Harry contributed to this report.

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