Who is Meisha Ross Porter? NYC schools to get first Black woman chancellor as Richard Carranza steps down
NEW YORK CITY: New York City schools chancellor Richard Carranza is officially stepping down from his position after nearly three years of work. Mayor Bill de Blasio has now officially appointed Meisha Ross Porter, who currently works as the executive superintendent for the Bronx. Carranza will transition out of the role by mid-March, and when Porter takes over the position, she will become the first Black woman to lead the nation’s largest school district.
Carranza’s resignation comes after an exceptional year for the city’s schools. As the entire nation faced challenges from coronavirus, New York became the first in large urban districts in the country to reopen its school buildings to some students in October 2020. From the mayor’s office, Carranza released a statement where he thanked everyone for their ongoing support.
"It has been my greatest honor to serve as New York City Schools Chancellor and I can't think of anyone who would be better to take the helm than Meisha Porter," Carranza said.
Who is Meisha Ross-Porter?
Porter, 47, was born in 1973 in Far Rockaway, New York City, and raised in Jamaica, Queens. She started her early education at New York City Public School and then graduated from Queens Vocational and Technical High School, Long Island. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English with majoring in Cross-Cultural Literature. Porter even studied Black and Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College. In 2003, Porter received her Master’s Degree in Administration and Supervision from Mercy College. She went on to complete her School District Leader certification through the NYC Advanced Leadership Institute.
Porter previously worked as Superintendent for Community School District #11 and was appointed as the principal of The Bronx School for Law, Government and Justice (LGJ). She started her tenure at LGJ by serving as a community coordinator and internship coordinator. She even taught English before becoming the Assistant Principal. As of February 2021, Porter serves as the Bronx Executive Superintendent, where her primary focus is on improving school leaders’ equity lens and building collaborative practices across schools.
Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the education system across the nation has been hampered. As part of educational reforms, schools started taking virtual classes. This has put the principals and superintendents in a very tight spot. Many students do not have the appropriate devices, or they are sharing those with parents or their siblings. In some places, teachers also have connectivity issues. As part of education reform, supervisors requested that they should get all the crucial information to understand what the student and staff need to make sure that there are no major problems.
Meet Meisha Ross Porter, New York City's new schools chancellor. She says she'll never forget what it's like to be in the classroom, especially now when teachers are grappling with blended learning during the pandemic. pic.twitter.com/MBYXzD8WzH— Emma G. Fitzsimmons (@emmagf) February 26, 2021
While talking about virtual schooling, Porter said during an earlier interview: “There are just things that we can’t know because we are operating in a space in which we’ve never operated before. Much of what principals and superintendents are looking for are answers to questions that help them solve those programming and instructional problems that they are trying to grapple with."
Porter lives in the Bronx with her husband, Norris Porter. The couple has three daughters, Jordyn, Deshauna Lakara, and Jydin.