Public schools

Richard Carranza, the Most Divisive Pro-'Equity' Public Official in America, Resigns

New York City's embattled public school system gets a new chancellor. But the influence of the old one will remain, and not just in the Empire State.

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After nearly three years of calling parents racist, New York City Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza today has announced his resignation. Sadly both for the department he misgoverned and the K-12 education consumers in faraway states, Carranza's rotten legacy will surely live on.

After having foisted upon the San Francisco school system a "desegregation" plan that objectively made things worse, Carranza came to New York in 2018 with a single-minded goal: "No, we will not wait to integrate our schools, we will not wait to dismantle the segregated systems we have!"

With 1.1 million students overseen by the New York City Department of Education (DOE), Carranza became arguably the single most influential public official in the United States to embrace the acidic language and outcomes-based approach of equity. Throughout his tenure, he attempted to work backward from perceived markers of success—the city's eight specialized high schools, its Gifted & Talented program, middle schools that use performance criteria in selecting students—and declared them to be edifices of white (or white-adjacent) privilege.

This campaign, incongruent as it may seem, continued unabated during the COVID-19 pandemic, despite the city's notoriously herky-jerky approach to reopening, which has hurt poor and minority students most of all. My oldest daughter today is attending her seventh grade class for the first time since October, and eighth time in 11 months; I count in my inbox more than 80 school emails over that span containing the word "equity." After the ransacking of the Capitol on January 6, Carranza sent us a message emphasizing that "the lives of countless Black Americans have been lost for profoundly less threatening actions than what we saw perpetrated today."

Parents, educators, and public officials who didn't agree with, or even had questions about, Carranza's preferred methods for "dismantling" systemic racism were all too frequently tarred with one of the single most toxic accusations possible in contemporary American life: racist. Here's how he set the tone, in one of his first tweets as chancellor:

At a New York City Council meeting in May 2019, in response to a query about scrapping entrance exams to elite high schools, Carranza said: "I can't tell you how many times I hear in this discussion where there's an equation [of] diversity and a lowering of academic students. I will call that racist every time I hear it….So if you don't want me to call you on it, don't say it."

When parents in Queens objected at a January 2020 meeting to Carranza's "restorative justice" policies of easing up disciplinary measures (whose punishments were deemed disproportionately meted out on black and Latino students), the chancellor cut the meeting short, then accused the parents of "grandstanding" and worse.

"This is about some voices in the community that don't like me," he said. "Just look at the abject racist things that are said about me: 'Go back where I came from,' 'taco-eating Carranza,' 'fire Carranza Ai Yi Yi,' with the exclamation points in Spanish. Absolutely, they're racist."

This behavior was not without controversy. Nine city council members in 2019 accused Carranza of "divisive rhetoric," and suggested he should shape up or ship out. (Those members were in turn accused by mayoral spokeswoman Freddi Goldstein of waging a "racially charged smear campaign.") There have been lawsuits over his alleged "anti-white bias," constant roasting in the New York Post, and a dedicated band of mostly Asian parents who hounded Carranza at his public appearances.

But I observed up close how Carranza's parent bashing trickled down to the local district level, and was used to publicly (and unfairly) shame parents who had the temerity to ask reasonable questions about their kids' schools. One such dad who I witnessed get dressed down for his alleged privilege after he asked a question at a public forum which he prefaced by saying that he supported the equity-based admissions changes under discussion, later emailed me that: "The whole process [has] left us so traumatized and frankly angry that I can't see myself going through it again for our younger daughter….It's become [such] a toxic subject of our lives that I really can't live with anymore. So, [the] end result is that we have decided to leave Brooklyn altogether."

Though New York is being held up—alarmingly, in my view—as a model for big-city public school reopening, Carranza's argumentation style has been adopted across the country by teachers unions dragging their feet on letting kids back into school buildings. Just last week, a teacher and union official in Oakland, California, tweeted that, "All the rich white parents suddenly concerned about mental health can take a seat. Most of them are causing their kids' anxiety by pressuring them to complete asynchronous work and feeding into their sense of entitlement. Sorry/not sorry."

Carranza, who is being replaced by current Bronx Executive Superintendent Meisha Ross Porter, bragged about his record at a press conference today with Mayor Bill de Blasio.

"In the largest school system in America, we made true progress in dismantling structures and policies that are products of decades of entrenched racism," he said. "Like suspending school screens."

Though Carranza's premature departure is being portrayed as the result of clashing with de Blasio (who is seen by local activists as going too slow on equity), Porter signaled continuity on that score. "The reality is segregation exists and I'm not going to shy away from the importance of really looking at inequities around admissions processes and really pushing forward for ways we can create opportunities and access for all students across New York City," she said.

New York's K-12 system, as measured before the pandemic, is 41 percent Latino, 26 percent black, 16 percent Asian, and 15 percent white, with 73 percent of kids defined as living in poverty. An influential report from the University of California, Los Angeles' Civil Rights Project concluded in 2014 that the city has "one of the most segregated public school systems in the nation," due to those populations being clustered unequally, in schools of inequal quality and funding. The history behind that sorting is tangled up with oftentimes racist land use restrictions, eminent domain, and housing policies, plus various population flows based on economics and immigration.

A mayoral advisory board on diversity in 2019, in addition to seeking the abolition of all school selection criteria, recommended that "all schools represent the socioeconomic and racial diversity of their community school district within the next three years, and by their borough in the first five years…[and] the city as a whole" within 10. Pre-pandemic results of a couple of such local initiatives showed it leading to enrollment declines.

For now, Porter will have her hands full just trying to manage the reopening process, about which she today dropped the welcome news that high schools are "ready to go." Hopefully, even if she pursues heavy-handed demographic re-sorting, the new chancellor will ease up on the active discouragement of public participation through reckless accusations of racism.

NEXT: Obama Official Still Defends Doctrine That Led to Disastrous Libya Strikes

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  1. You don’t think DeBlasio can destroy the city on his own, do you?

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  3. Why can’t white people stand up and admit that until they are actively anti-racist, they are consenting cogs in the societal machine of white supremacists civilization?

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    2. Sarc?

      1. What difference, at this point, does it make?

  4. Does he think the Irish can play the race card? I’d guess no.

    Just goes to show that it’s the most lazy ‘racism’ possible. White is wrong, doesn’t matter where you’re actually from.

    I imagine people in the Balkans are super relived to know of their privilege’s.

    See, this is the kind of retarded shit racists actually believe.

  5. In short, Richard really is a dick. A race-baiting, shit-weasel, Leftist dick.

    1. Yeah, he’s a total piece of shit and calls failure success. A perfect representative of the woke left.

  6. With 1.1 million students overseen by the New York City Department of Education (DOE), Carranza became arguably the single most influential public official in the United States to embrace the acidic language and outcomes-based approach of equity.

    Thank you Matt. It’s nice to see unequivocal language denouncing this toxic ideology.

    1. A social conservative is a libertarian with children in the NYC public schools.

  7. Speaking of which, here’s the excellent Andrew Doyle also not equivocating on this shit.

    ‘Critical race theory is reviving segregation’
    Christopher Rufo talks to Andrew Doyle about the racist ideology that’s taking over American life.

    Christopher Rufo is Andrew Doyle’s latest guest on Culture Wars. Rufo’s investigations have revealed the widespread adoption of critical race theory in US government agencies and schools. They discuss the dangerous implications of this for civil rights, and how we can fight back.

  8. “After having foisted upon the San Francisco school system a “desegregation” plan ”

    State-mandated segregation or desegregation are both race-based and therefore racist

  9. Equity is stupid.

    I’ll go for equity when I look at humanity and want them all to be thinking, feeling, and doing almost exactly the same things.

    I can look out there, see how that would turn out, and… I’ll pass.

  10. If you look at the color of a person’s skin in deciding his fate, you are a racist.
    Richard Carranza is a racist.

  11. Parents, educators, and public officials who didn’t agree with, or even had questions about, Carranza’s preferred methods for “dismantling” systemic racism were all too frequently tarred with one of the single most toxic accusations possible in contemporary American life: racist.

    This is what’s known as “misinformation.”

  12. divisive and pro-equity in the same descriptor is cute.

  13. Christ, what an asshole.

  14. Glad to see the criticism of this shite in the pages of Reason, but… I think this woke/BLM/equity/equality-of-outcome religion is going to continue tearing this country apart. I think Reason has been way too quiet/timid/reserved on this especially through the events of the past year and the election. It’s no secret that most Reason staffers supported the party who is aligned with this religion.

  15. “Hopefully, even if she pursues heavy-handed demographic re-sorting, the new chancellor will ease up on the active discouragement of public participation through reckless accusations of racism.”

    You think she’s going to make omelettes without calling some eggs racist?

    1. This plaintive sentence is, for Welch, what passes for courageous outrage.

      More accurate phraseology:
      “Hopefully, even as she thrusts the huge, studded strap-on phallus of equity deep within our colon, she won’t say mean things about enlightened white people who, after all, are on her side.”

  16. It is good that one of the candidates didn’t run on using the word equity last election. Even correcting himself when misspeaking about equality. Could have avoided a lot of this. But glad to see reason is just the slow kid in class. Welcome to cultural marxism.

  17. “White-adjacent.” I wonder if the wokies realize how comically revealing that phrase is.

    1. People high on their own supply aren’t strong on self-awareness.

  18. New York’s K-12 system, as measured before the pandemic, is 41 percent Latino, 26 percent black, 16 percent Asian, and 15 percent white, with 73 percent of kids defined as living in poverty.

    No wonder this shithead can get away with this kind of evil fuckery – all the whites have pulled their kids out of the system and nobody gives a shit about the minorities that are left. That’s the real racism here – you can do all kinds of Mengelian experimentation on the lesser breeds and everybody politely looks the other way.

    1. No wonder this shithead can get away with this kind of evil fuckery – all the whites have pulled their kids out of the system and nobody gives a shit about the minorities that are left.

      Denver Public Schools has worked the same way since the 1990s.

    2. The minorities drove out the whites in the 60s through violence and bigotry. They helped destroy the city and its schools. They’re getting what they want and deserve.

  19. Why is it that the that fifteen percent of students who are white so popular?

    Everybody wants them to be their classmates.

    There just doesn’t seem to be enough of them to go around!

    1. It’s market forces in action. The limited supply of racism creates a speculative bubble. And everyone knows you can’t have racism without white folks!

      Tragic, really. It’s hard times like these that cause the downfall of good people like that famous French actor, Juicy Sommelier.

    2. That’s why poor Juicy had to go with those cheap white supremacist knock-offs from Nigeria. And everyone saw how that worked out.

  20. OMG! What a racist piece of maligning one of the best and most sincere and most hard worker Chancellor we had in… decades, since… Joseph Fernandez! Take that “libertarian” Matt Welch.

    Your article confirms the retching intentional exploitative retrograde discrimination to minorities in NY City; as Carranza proves, it is not that there are not REAL-progressive, educated and capable Hispanics. It is that they are intentionally excluded from positions of influence.

    How can any well-intended leader not try to desegregate schools when is irrefutable the unfair classism in educational institutions as much as in the NYC society. Check the insults that Carranza has received, and you’ll see them rooted in vile denials to bring minorities to pockets of privilege.

    Let me put it straight: parents insulting Carranza in every meeting incarnated because the privileged loath dark people coming to their territory; how racist is that? You tell me. That was constant with Carranza. In the “progressive” apple.

    How can anybody deny that a child of a single-mother working 8 hours six days a week at MacDonald’s practically never is going to access good education? It is undeniable! They need help! Then, those cushy parents are the reason for the putrid racist abusive New York City society.

    Just check this 2014 article: https://tinyurl.com/4wnscmra
    It is current today.

    1. Let me put it straight: parents insulting Carranza in every meeting incarnated because the privileged loath dark people coming to their territory; how racist is that? You tell me. That was constant with Carranza. In the “progressive” apple.

      Yes, we know liberal white people are fucking hypocrites that project their self-loathing on to other white people so they don’t feel like such useless sacks of shit. They love diversity at a distance while sending their kids to charter schools and private schools in the city, and live in the whitest school districts in the suburbs.

      If liberal whites had any self-respect, they’d put a bullet in their skulls as punishment for the original sin of their skin color, and leave everyone else alone.

      1. Red: the real irony is your cancel culture refusing to mingle with, by you qualified, “shit.”
        Manifested in Carranza’s fight.

        1. Like I said, Timmy-poo, if you hate yourself that much for being born with white skin, do us a favor and put a bullet in your skull so your self-loathing doesn’t poison the rest of society.

          Carranza is a white-hating beaner and hardly worthy of the title of “human”, much less a superintendent.

    2. This has to be parody, right?

  21. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/equity
    Definition of equity
    1a : justice according to natural law or right
    specifically : freedom from bias or favoritism
    b : something that is equitable
    (What’s wrong with that? Oh! I know.)

    1. 1a : justice according to natural law or right
      specifically : freedom from bias or favoritism

      Proving, once again, that when a progressive says they want something, what they want is actually the exact opposite.

        1. Proglydytes tend to get confused when their duplicity is pointed out.

        2. “Huh?”

          This is the most intelligent thing you’ve posted. Better quit while you’re ahead.

    2. Wow, Merriam-Webster really is the worst dictionary.

      1a. is downright archaic, to the point that no one really uses the word in that sense today.

      1b. is not only useless (basically using equity to define equity, as equitable is derived from equity), but its also wrong. If you have an equitable division of property, no one would call that division equity. It might create equity between the parties, but the division is not itself equity.

      I thought dictionaries were supposed to give the most common definition first?

      The most common of course is the use of equity to represent ownership share, such as of stocks. That should be #1.

      The second most common use is ‘identical outcome’. Equality is about opportunity, equity is about end results. And that’s the sense that Carranza is using.

      1. Please check the difference between noun and subject.
        Carranza, appropriately, always refers to the concept of Equity.
        As Buckle said, great people talk about ideas, average people talk about things. I’m sorry, squirreloid.

        1. As Buckle said, great people talk about ideas, average people talk about things.

          Great people actually do things, solipsists bullshit.

    3. The Woke Bullshit and Critical Theory racist shit boils down to this : success in America is “acting white”.

      Learning to read is acting white. It should be possible to succeed in America without knowing how to read.

      Learning math is acting white. It should be possible to succeed without knowing math.

      Working hard for an income is acting white. Who has the rest of the Smithsonian List?

      So because a man from an isolated tribe in the heart of Africa can not succeed in America without first learning to read, write, and use 1st world hygienic practices, America is systemically racist.

      But non racist white people aren’t going around telling black people to “act white”. Most of us non racists think black people are perfectly capable of math, writing, and time management. We don’t think those are characteristics of white people, but if successful people. It is the liberal white woken repeating the absolutely most toxic lie told in black America that working hard to improve your family’s outcome is “acting white”.

      1. And the more they insist on that being the case – that civilization is systemically racist – the more I think we should agree that those who think that should be forcibly separated from those of us who don’t.

        1. Agreed.

        2. As long as it’s done equitably 😉

  22. Welch, your school shit never fails to make me laugh…

    “New York’s K-12 system, as measured before the pandemic, is 41 percent Latino, 26 percent black, 16 percent Asian, and 15 percent white, with 73 percent of kids defined as living in poverty.”

    What did you think was going to happen to your kids?

    1. 73% in poverty? That can’t be right.

      1. Since math is racist, perhaps Welch is compensating to show his street cred as an “ally.”

        On the other hand, most of the other well to do progressives long ago pulled their kids out of NYC’s public schools, so maybe 73% is accurate.

  23. you are dealing with Democrats, pathetically stupid, low IQ, and extremely gullible

  24. The political comedy in this country is that these pepole think WE need to be deprogrammed.

    Yes, people who think reopening schools in pandemic is some return to white supremacy, believes a society can function without police, and blames racism for morons putting gorilla glue on their hair says we’re cultists!

    1. “… and blames racism for morons putting Gorilla Glue in their hair…”

      The glue itself is racist. The clever marketing inherent in its name led her to the only conclusion possible for RightThink-ing citizens.

      “And now I’m gonna get paid!”

      Equity in action!

  25. I salute people like Carranza and Ross Porter who work diligently to ensure that all kids are equally underserved by the public school system. I salute them with a single middle finger raised high in the air.

  26. He definitely helped increase the number of kids in private schools or being homeschooled.

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