Posted on

Former NYC Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza Lands Job With Ed-Tech Company

former nyc schools chancellor richard carranza lands job with ed tech company
Richard Carranza

Richard Carranza, the former chancellor of the New York City schools, is joining the ed-tech sector less than one month after leaving the nation’s largest school district. 

Carranza, who departed his position with NYC schools in mid-March, will become the chief of strategy and global development at IXL Learning, a Silicon Valley-based online personalized learning platform, the company announced in a statement.

The move marks a particularly high-profile hiring for IXL at a time when ed-tech sector growth and visibility — not just among school districts but within the investor community —  is exploding as a result of COVID-19 remote learning.

For his part, Carranza said he’s excited to make the shift to the private sector. IXL did not say when he will start the position.

“Education is undergoing a profound transformation where teachers are utilizing technology to close learning gaps and provide every child with the tools to build lasting knowledge,” Carranza said.

Carranza abruptly stepped down as chancellor of NYC schools, saying at a press conference that he needed to take time to grieve the loss of 11 loved ones and close friends to the coronavirus. The New York Times noted that Carranza’s departure followed clashes with his boss, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, over desegregation policy in the district.

In his new role, Carranza will “advise IXL Learning on meeting the growing needs of school systems around the world,” the company said. 

Aside from running the New York City schools, Carranza is also a former superintendent of the Houston Independent School District, one of the 10 largest school systems in the country, and the San Francisco Unified School District.

IXL Learning CEO Paul Mishkin said Carranza’s hiring will give the company a new advantage by being able to tap into someone who has worked at the highest levels of public education at three of the biggest school districts in the country. 

It’s not uncommon for high-ranking school district administrators to leave public education for the private sector. (In some cases, they end up returning to public education.) Carranza is also not the first ex-NYC schools chancellor to make the move. Joel Klein, a former NYC schools chief, left his post several years ago and later joined Amplify, a digital learning company that at the time was invested in heavily by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.

Photo: New York City Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza, right, at a September news conference at the Mosaic Pre-K Center while Mayor Bill de Blasio, left, listens on the first day of school. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)


See also: 

Posted on

A Superintendent Who’s Been in the Private Sector Has Advice for Companies

a superintendent whos been in the private sector has advice for companies
K12 Insider March31 2021 GettyImages 1173531479

Oregon superintendent Katrise Perera brings a district perspective to her interacts with vendors, having served as a former director of urban markets at McGraw Hill.

Schedule a Tour

Join us to get access to the rest of this premium article.

Already a member? Log in.

Posted on

Teachers Should Not Carry the Weight of Education Alone

teachers should not carry the weight of education alone
SEL

Last spring, no one knew how much chaos the pandemic would impose on our lives, or how long the pain would last. The weeks have stretched into months as COVID-19 continues to spread in many parts of the country. The return to “school” in the forms of in-person classes, virtual coursework, and pandemic pods has proven no less chaotic than the abrupt transition to virtual learning we experienced last spring.  

Unfortunately, very few of the conversations around school reopenings have been about students and what is best for our children, or the families struggling with job loss, illness, or food insecurity unable to meet all of their children’s needs when school buildings are closed. The closures of school buildings are at the core of many challenges families are experiencing that have to do with more than just learning — a clear sign that our schools play a critical social service function for students.

Schools have long provided several social services for students—everything from mental health and nutrition to career guidance. When schools offer these types of wraparound services, students’ achievement rates improve. Conversely, when schools fail to provide comprehensive support, educators are overextended, leading to high burnout rates. 

We have relied too heavily on teachers and schools to provide these various services our children require without providing adequate resources and budget to do so. The stress the pandemic has put on school systems has exposed how untenable this model is, physically, emotionally, and financially for everyone involved. 

Schools Need to Help Teachers Support Student Well-Being

COVID-19 has given us a chance to rethink how many of these essential services, including education, mental health, and nutrition, schools should carry alone.

We now have an opportunity to reimagine what our schools can provide for children. We can do so by tapping into a broader range of community resources to share responsibility. Low-income and special needs children are at the most risk of suffering consequences for a lifetime, as many school districts cannot sustain the temporary relief models used last spring. The ongoing, multifaceted crisis many districts face from COVID-19 continues to threaten the emotional and physical well-being of our most vulnerable children.

In May, a survey reported on by The Conversation found that one of the most stressful aspects of teachers’ jobs during the pandemic is addressing the needs of vulnerable students. The report also cited that teachers need more support from parents and administrators. So what can we do to help?

Here are three immediate steps we can take to expand the help and support we extend to our teachers and students.

  1. Schools must prioritize children who have been impacted the most this fall. School boards, administrators, educators, and community organizations can work together to spread the responsibility of childcare and other essential services across different platforms and services. State and federal agencies, local companies, and nonprofit organizations can all step in to provide additional support, funding, and relief. Pandemic pods have been an example of an immediate solution, and some nonprofits have stepped-up to provide equity in this model for every student, including homeless students. For example, Nevada has created the Southern Nevada Urban Micro Academy to provide micro-schooling options for those who cannot afford pandemic pods.

     

  2. Rather than scrambling to support students properly during times of crisis, school districts can coordinate with parents and community partners to proactively provide educators with the budgets and resources they need. For instance, in Minnesota, Belle Plaines Public School District supplemented its mental health support for students by partnering with a community-based intensive therapeutic services center for teenagers. School districts and communities across the country should look to models like this when coming up with their own plans to increase support for students this school year. 
  3. Perhaps the most urgent service we can offer students and teachers right now is social emotional learning. Policymakers, local governments, school boards and districts need to allocate within their budgets so that  schools can implement SEL programs for PreK-12 classes as well as teacher training to implement those programs. Educators ought to offer all students the time and space to process their emotions and build the skills required to persevere through challenges, like the pandemic. To that end, carving out time for SEL in their daily schedules (online and in person), providing reliable resources to both teachers and families, and empowering teachers to put relationships first are important steps to take. Durham Public Schools in North Carolina has been solely virtual for the first 9 weeks of school, and have dedicated Wednesdays to social emotional learning. They call them Wellness Wednesdays, and there is no instruction on those days, just social emotional learning. This is a district-wide commitment to making time for SEL when students and teachers need it most.

We cannot expect educators to manage and support students’ mental health and other needs when their own have been overlooked. As we try to adapt to all of the new challenges of remote or hybrid learning, we ought to be intentional in how we provide both children and teachers resources designed to support them. That’s why we must see districts partner with community organizations, parent associations, and more. 

For most of us, COVID-19 has represented a significant and ongoing disruption in our lives. But we continue to move forward, and our educational system can, too. We have a chance to work with a new generation of parents, educators, and community leaders that has been forever altered by the pandemic — to rethink how to help juggle all the priorities surrounding education and build something better.

We must find creative solutions and work together to build a solid foundation upon which we can layer a series of wraparound services for children that can be implemented immediately and expanded upon over time. By doing so, we can design our educational system in such a way that it can weather a global pandemic while still meeting the long-term needs of students, families, and teachers.

Image by Getty


See also:

Posted on

Tackling Learning Loss: One California School District’s Approach

tackling learning loss one california school districts approach
MB XXX Feb 18

San Diego’s school district has steered clear of diagnostic testing in favor of just-in-time learning focused on addressing student weaknesses, says Aly Martinez, a top math instructional coordinator.

Schedule a Tour

Join us to get access to the rest of this premium article.

Already a member? Log in.

Posted on

The Assurances That School Districts Want, After a Company Acquisition

the assurances that school districts want after a company acquisition
MB Exclusive Data Jan 28

EdWeek Market Brief surveyed district leaders on what outreach they expect from the education companies serving their K-12 systems, after companies strike a deal.

Schedule a Tour

Join us to get access to the rest of this premium article.

Already a member? Log in.

Posted on

Critical Ways Education Companies Can Support Employees During the Pandemic

critical ways education companies can support employees during the pandemic
MB Market Trends Jan 28

Education businesses should ask their employees what support they need to be successful during COVID — and honor their success under difficult circumstances.

Schedule a Tour

Join us to get access to the rest of this premium article.

Already a member? Log in.

Posted on

The New, Tough Expectations Education Companies Face on Race and Diversity

the new tough expectations education companies face on race and diversity
MB Market Trends Sep 24

School districts are increasingly demanding to see evidence of education businesses’ commitment to diversity and combating racism, not only in their products but in their staffing.

Schedule a Tour

Join us to get access to the rest of this premium article.

Already a member? Log in.