NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Former city schools chancellors spoke out Wednesday about allegations by the current education czar that he’s been the subject of racial attacks as he tries to reform the school system.
Some told CBS2’s Marcia Kramer they’re stunned.
It has been a way of life since, well, pretty much forever — schools chancellors on the receiving end of the wrath of public school parents.
Cathie Black got skewered over proposed school closings. Carmen Farina was attacked over the Common Core English exam. So Richard Carranza is no exception, though he sure doesn’t seem to be weathering the storm as stoically as his predecessors.
“Just look at the abject racist things that are said about me: ‘Go back where I came from,’ ‘taco-eating Carranza,’ ‘fire Carranza Ai Yi Yi,’ with the exclamation points in Spanish. Absolutely, they’re racist,” Carranza said recently.
There have been nine full-time chancellors in the last 30 years. Six have been African-American and Latino. Kramer spoke to some of the former school bosses and they told her they were frankly stunned by Carranza’s attitude.
“Put on your big boy pants,” one former chancellor said.
“Playing the race card is [expletive], a cop out,” another said.
Carranza’s incendiary charges came in response to questions about why he walked out of a recent public meeting in Bayside, Queens, when emotional parents demanded answers about a number of disturbing incidents at their middle school, including a violent lunchtime brawl, a reported case of sexual harassment, and an alleged sexual assault in a bathroom.
“Walking out on the parents at the Queens school was dumb,” charged one of Carranza’s predecessors.
Carranza’s sulking over the ongoing criticism, his public pity party, had a predecessor offering advice.
“Don’t personalize things. You’re the chancellor of New York City schools. You should expect to be beat up. It’s New York City. You get paid to take it,” the former top educator said.
The chancellor’s ability to deal with public criticism and parent protest is expected to be challenged again Wednesday night. Sources told Kramer protests are scheduled before and during a meeting of the Panel for Educational Policy, which Carranza is expected to attend.