NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The new head of public schools in New York City was apologizing Monday for an early morning tweet about a hot-button issue.
The tweet in question was about the need to desegregate schools, and went a long way in showing Chancellor Richard Carranza the ABCs of being top dog at the Department of Education.
As in, “Always Bypass Controversy.”
“I will always pay more attention in the future when I re-tweet to make sure the language that is automatically generated in the retweet is something I would say,” Carranza said.
The newly christened chancellor’s mea culpa has to do with his 1 a.m. decision last Friday to share a tweet which read, “WATCH: Wealthy white Manhattan parents angrily rant against plan to bring more black kids to their schools.”
Carranza’s tweet, linking to an article on rawstory.com, generated over 745 comments, both pro and con.
“Wow. Is this the sort of headline the new chancellor should be tweeting out at 1am his first month on the job?,” said Dave C.
“If we lack the courage to name these things plainly, or the endurance to lose a little sleep, then how will we have the courage or endurance to actually make our schools better?,” observed Abram.
While Carranza apologized for the way he retweeted the tweet, he didn’t back down from his insistence on the need for desegregated schools.
So is it a matter of busing kids in or moving students from one part of the city to another?
“I think we’re way, way, way far away from anything like that, I think we need to be having a conversation,” he said. “The criticism of my predecessor, Chancellor Farina, was that she didn’t do anything about this.”
At PS 199, the Upper West Side school where parents debated a plan to set aside a quarter of the seats for kids who score below grade level, the debate was still roaring.
“There’s something to do with meritocracy, right,” Julie Kronish said. “It’s important to have kids who are high achieving to be rewarded for it.”
“Some people in the neighborhood may be reluctant to support it, maybe they fear the quality of the school will go down, but there’s a bigger social value,” David Manier said.
The one thing Carranza made clear is that it’s a debate that isn’t going away any time soon. Mayor Bill de Blasio said he supported the chancellor’s position, but said he may have phrased the tweet differently.