Carmen Farina, a leading chancellor contender, not only shares an educational philosophy nearly identical to Bill de Blasio’s, but helped to construct the mayor-elect’s beliefs during the decade she has advised him on school issues.
“They are of one mind,” said Dorothy Siegel, an education advocate, former District 15 school board member and a close ally of Farina and de Blasio.
Sources close to Farina and de Blasio say the mayor-elect is trying to convince his longtime adviser to become the next schools chancellor, and that Farina is considering the post.
The 70-year-old Farina’s influence on de Blasio’s educational philosophy is strong. Her progressive stance of focusing on the whole child and doubling down on early childhood education and middle school are themes de Blasio adopted in his campaign. He made education his centerpiece, promising universal pre-k and after-school programs for every middle schooler.
Previously, Farina insisted to Capital and other outlets that she was not planning on coming out of retirement for the schools chancellor post. Now, she’s not returning Capital’s phone calls, and sources say she’s begun to reconsider in the last few days after telling de Blasio of her dissatisfaction with the newest crop of chancellor candidates, including Barbara Byrd-Bennett, now superintendent of Chicago schools, and Kaya Henderson, chancellor of Washington’s schools, who both support the expansion of charters and closing of poor performing schools.
Former Baltimore superintendent Andres Alonso, considered a leading contender a few weeks ago, is reportedly not interested in the post, and state Regent Kathleen Cashin, more of a traditional educator who has said she wants the job, is not considered a frontrunner, sources say.
Montgomery County, Maryland superintendent Josh Starr is still a contender, but appointing another white male could be problematic for de Blasio, sources say.
I'd agree with Farina that Henderson and BBB are problematic.
Norm Scott thinks Farina is the best choice from the list of available candidates.
Couple of recent stories say Cashin is not a likely choice and Alonso supposedly doesn't want the job.
Sounds like it's between Starr and Farina, with Farina getting the job if she wants it.
But who knows - this "chancellor's list" has changed so much that's it's difficult to know what to believe.