New York City’s New School Leader Says Integrating Gifted Program a Top Priority

As the Rev. Jacques DeGraff remembers it, when newly appointed New York City Schools Chancellor Meisha Ross Porter was a principal at the Bronx School for Law, Government and Justice, a fight erupted between two groups of girls at the school.

Some students were suspended and transferred, but Ms. Porter, who was principal at the school from 2005 to 2015 before becoming executive superintendent of Bronx schools and now head of the Department of Education, had another plan for the remaining 15 girls. She called in Mr. DeGraff, a Latina judge and a Black female police officer from the local precinct, to explain to the girls the long-term consequences of bad decisions, he recalls.

“Meisha Ross Porter changed the course of these young women’s lives,” Mr. DeGraff said.

Ms. Porter, 47 years old, takes over as chancellor for New York Public Schools on March 15, appointed to the job after Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Friday that Richard Carranza is leaving the post. Several top officials in the city have been leaving because Mr. de Blasio is term-limited and will be out Dec. 31.

But Ms. Porter is stepping into one of the most high profile short-term jobs in the city. In the months between now and 2022, she will be taking on next fall’s plan for in-person learning and the controversial redesign of the city’s gifted and talented program, which is often criticized for being segregationist.

Source: WSJ – US News

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