Chancellor Carranza Visits School District 11

Tuesday night New York City public schools Chancellor Richard Carranza came to the Community District Education Council 11 meeting at 3710 Barnes Avenue to speak and answer questions from the audience. This building is home to two schools – The North Bronx School of Empowerment, the Leaders of Tomorrow.  M.S. 113 the Richard Green School was closed for poor performance thus the two newer schools are products of a reorganization of MS 113.

The auditorium where the empty seats can be seen, and the school staff from around District 11 in the back of the room.

This was the monthly meeting of CEC 11 (Community Education Council) where the twelve parent members of the CEC discuss matters with their superintendent, while taking comments from those who attend the meetings. Normal attendance at the CEC meetings is extremely low, but this night there were many principals and other staff members of District 11 in the audience, Only six of the twelve CEC members were in attendance.
Chancellor Carranza opened by saying that Bronx public schools have been under served for many years. He went on to say that the education students receive is not equal. The chancellor then spoke of the ‘Bronx Plan’ to bring the qualified teachers to the schools that need them the most, the schools in need of improvement. He said that the Bronx Plan now includes schools in East Brooklyn and Far Rockaway. The incentive for better qualified teachers is a bonus of $7,200 dollars to teach in Bronx Plan schools, and added resources to the school. The chancellor then said that he was adding more schools to the Bronx Plan which would include the two schools in the building The North Bronx School of Empowerment, and the Leaders of Tomorrow.   

CEC 11 President Cheryl Smith opens the meeting.

Chancellor Carranza then answered questions from the audience which were written down on cards, and read by CEC 10 President Cheryl Smith. Questions included School Safety, which was answered that each school has a safety plan and team to implement said safety plan.To a question about special education the chancellor answered 82% of the children in special education are Black or Latino, while less than 40% of the teachers are Black or Latino. To a lack of middle school seats in the Van Nest area, the chancellor answered that he would like to do away with district lines. To a question about the specialized High Schools the chancellor said that one test should not be the answer to who is admitted to those schools. He would  like to see the top seven percent of students from all schools be admitted to the specialized high schools. He added that it would diversify the schools who currently have a three percent population of black and Latino students, which would change to sixteen percent. The chancellor said “Give me a better plan then”, also saying it is up to Albany not the city to make any changes, He does not want to add any more holidays to the school calender, and to the question of bullying said each school has its own supportive environment programs.

Chancellor Carranza is answering a question from the audience, as CEC 11 President Smith looks for the next question.

Chancellor Carranza ended the meeting by saying remember the gossip you shouldn’t send your kids to a school in the Bronx. He said there are good things happening in Bronx schools now, “They are doing Gods work.”

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