A few days ago I started getting messages from the media and community folks in Texas requesting background on Richard Carranza, current (former?) Superintendent of Schools of San Francisco Unified. He recently posted this message on his Facebook page.
My dear family and friends – Today I was honored to be named the lone finalist for the Houston Independent School District Superintendent position. I am both excited and thrilled with this new opportunity to lead, but also very grateful and emotional at the thought of leaving the many incredible colleagues and friends that I have had the opportunity to meet and work with in San Francisco. The state of SFUSD is strong and I am proud to have been part of the team to make it so. To my Houston colleagues and future friends – I’ve got my boots, I’ve got my guitar, and I’m ready to roll up my sleeves. Thank you all for your unwavering support.
As I have discussed previously, I began my career working for the Houston Independent School District working in the Research and Accountability Department. Combined with 8 years as a tenure-track faculty member at the University of Texas at Austin, I have developed many friendships and professional relationships in the city that I treasure (See also the post What should we name the school?). I have also blogged about education policy in Texas since 2012. One of the readers of Cloaking Inequity, a parent in Houston, sent a letter today asking about Carranza. I have redacted her name.
My name is _________ and I am a parent in the Houston ISD. I am a big fan of your work and appreciate all you do as a voice for equity. I was really disappointed to miss hearing you speak at the last two times in Texas (in Austin and in Houston last week).
I don’t know if you heard, but yesterday it was announced that the HISD board has chosen Richard Carranza as the sole finalist for our open superintendent position. I know you are not in San Francisco, but I was wondering if you have an opinion of Dr. Carranza or any information on him? The little I read seems mixed. Also, I was wondering if there are any parent or advocacy groups in San Francisco that have had experience with him that you know of that I could reach out to as well?
Thank you in advance for your time and consideration. I really appreciate it.
What do I already know? Carranza has made an appearance here on the blog in the posts .@TeachForAmerica Ground Offensive Stalling Spectacularly in California and Will San Francisco Cancel TFA?: @TeachForAmerica Alum letter to Board details threats, depression, and debt Carranza appears to be a BIG supporter of Teach For America. Teach For America has said that Carranza has given them a “strong recommendation.” In Houston, he will have LOTS of TFA. Although this former Houston principal took issue with their readiness in our first Truth For America podcast.
However, I don’t personally know Carranza, so today I want to reach out to the readers of Cloaking Inequity and crowd source your impressions of Carranza’s leadership in San Francisco and elsewhere. What can Houston expect since he is “the lone finalist for the Houston Independent School District Superintendent position.” You can either leave your thoughts in the comments here at Cloaking Inequity or email them to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will forward them to community folks in Houston.
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