Richard A. Carranza is Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education, the largest school system in the nation. He is responsible for educating 1.1 million students in over 1,800 schools.
During Carranza’s nearly 30 years in education, he has served in virtually every role. Prior to New York City, he was the superintendent of the Houston Independent School District, the largest school district in Texas, and the seventh largest in the United States. Before that, he served the San Francisco Unified School District, first as deputy superintendent and then as superintendent. Before moving to San Francisco, Carranza was the Northwest Region superintendent for the Clark County School District in Las Vegas. He began his career as a high school, bilingual social studies and music teacher, and then as a principal, both in Tucson, Arizona.
A son of a sheet metal worker and a hairdresser—and a grandson of Mexican immigrants—Carranza credits his public school education for putting him on a path to college and a successful career. He believes that a great education changes lives, and is excited to help the next generation of New Yorkers achieve their dreams. As Chancellor, he is building on the City’s Equity and Excellence for All agenda, which supports students academically, socially, and emotionally from early childhood through twelfth grade. He is also championing initiatives to help educators strengthen their practice and to empower more parents to become engaged in their children’s education.
Carranza is the past chairman of the Board of Directors for the Council of the Great City Schools, where he served as a national spokesperson on significant issues facing urban school districts. He also served on the Board of Directors of the Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents, the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future, the American Association of School Administrators Executive Committee, and the K to College Advisory Board.
Education Week profiled Carranza as a national 2015 Leader to Learn From. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in secondary education from the University of Arizona and a Master of Education with distinction in educational leadership from Northern Arizona University. He completed his doctoral coursework in educational leadership through Northern Arizona University and Nova Southeastern University.
Carranza is a fluent Spanish-speaker and an accomplished mariachi musician. He is married to Monique and has two daughters.
Chancellor’s Listening Tour
Moving Toward a More Equitable School System covers the major themes Chancellor Carranza heard during the listening tour he took around the city in the spring. The recurring themes that came up gave him a better understanding of how the New York City public school system works and have informed his thinking for the future.
Watch Moving Toward a More Equitable School System video to learn more about the listening tour.