Christie M Farriella/for New York Daily News
Carmen Farina is all smiles Monday as Mayor-Elect Bill DeBlasio names the veteran educator the city’s next schools chancellor
Vowing a dramatic break from the education policies of Mayor Bloomberg, incoming Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday named veteran educator Carmen Farina as the city’s next schools chancellor.
The 70-year-old Farina, a former deputy chancellor with 40 years of experience in the city’s school system, has informed de Blasio’s opinions on public education for more than a decade.
“The future of the city depends on the education of our kids,” said de Blasio, who made the hotly anticipated appointment after a national search.
“Every time I looked at different people and different options, I kept coming back to Carmen Farina,” the mayor-elect added. “Nobody knows the schools system better.”
The mayor-elect’s choice of Farina reflected his desire for an educator who can lead the city away from with controversial Bloomberg-era reforms such as school closings, letter grades for schools and standardized testing.
“We know it is the time to move away from high-stakes testing,” de Blasio said.
De Blaiso and his new education boss first worked together 15 years ago when she was the superintendent for the school district encompassing Park Slope, Brooklyn and de Blasio was a member of the local school board, his first elective office.
Todd Maisel, New York Daily News/New York Daily News
Mayor elect Bill de Blasio congratulates veteran educator Carmen Farina after announcing her selection as the new schools chancellor.
Farina, who also has worked as a teacher and principal and is widely respected, promised to keep the focus on teaching and learning, and to take a more inclusive approach toward decision making, as she takes control of America’s largest school system.
“This progressive agenda says that things need to be done, but with people, not to people,” said Farina.
Farina, who was lured out of retirement to take the top education job, denied speculation that she has little interest in holding the post for more than a couple of years.
She said she does not do anything half way, adding, “They tell me 70 is the new 40.”
De Blasio also announced the appointment of deputy public advocate Ursula Ramirez as Farina’s new chief of staff.
Farina said that she would mostly take the month of January to talk with key players and assess what needs to be done in the public schools.
But she promised to first tackle a remodel of the Education Department’s office of parent engagement beginning next week.