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)