Ideological foes express cautious optimism about NYC’s incoming schools chief, Alberto Carvalho

Update: Carvalho turned down the job in dramatic fashion on Thursday. More here

Groups on opposite sides of the ideological spectrum reacted with cautious optimism Wednesday to news that Alberto Carvalho will be New York City’s next schools chief.

Top teachers union officials and charter-school advocates — two camps that often clash — said they look forward to working with Carvalho, the longtime superintendent of the Miami-Dade County school system, who city officials said will succeed Chancellor Carmen Fariña. Their positive reactions may partly reflect Carvalho’s reputation as a middle-of-the-road schools chief.

A number of his policies seem to fit Mayor Bill de Blasio’s union-friendly agenda, including an attempt to turn around struggling schools by offering academic and discipline support and creating more Advanced Placement classes. But he is also known for expanding the number of magnet schools, an endorsement of school choice that charter advocates may find encouraging.

The full statements are below, in the order they arrived. We’ll update this post as more come in.

StudentsFirstNY Executive Director Jenny Sedlis

“On behalf of our more than 13,000 parent members, we welcome the new Chancellor and hope that Alberto Carvalho will be the independent leader that public school children desperately need. We extend our best wishes for his success and we look forward to working together to expand school choice and improve teacher effectiveness. After four years and half a billion dollars on a failed school turnaround program, NYC students need a leader who will work with urgency to give them the quality of schools they deserve.”

United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew

“Chancellor Fariña’s leadership has led to important progress for our students.  We look forward to working with Mr. Carvalho – who has had a collaborative relationship with his district’s teaching staff  — to build on that progress, to further streamline and improve management, and to focus the system on initiatives that help our kids succeed.”

Charter School Center CEO James Merriman

“Alberto Carvalho knows first hand the transformative power of a great education. We look forward to working with him to give every New York City student the future they deserve by growing our successful charter-district partnerships and making it easier for families to find a high quality public school of their choice. “Over the last four years, charter and district schools have been able to work together more productively to share ideas and improve teaching and learning across schools. We want to thank Chancellor Farina for being a strong partner in that effort and are excited to continue that work with Mr. Carvalho.”

Success Academy Charter Schools CEO Eva Moskowitz

“Alberto M. Carvalho is a nationally-recognized expert on education transformation whose leadership drove Miami-Dade County Public Schools to unprecedented increases in student achievement and graduation rates. He’s not only the kind of top-tier educator we had hoped New York City could attract, he’s specifically one of the candidates I suggested to the Mayor in December. Congratulations to Mayor de Blasio and all the families in New York City schools on this excellent hire.”

American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten

“An education pipeline has been forged between Miami and New York City over many decades. Joe Fernandez went from Dade to New York. Rudy Crew went from New York to Miami. And now there’s Alberto Carvalho moving from Miami to New York. We’ve worked closely with all of them. “The difference now is how hostile Tallahassee has become to educators and public education. State lawmakers and Republican governors have layered obstacle upon obstacle in front of public schools and taken punitive measures against educators and kids. H.B. 7069—last year’s bill to allow charters to take money from public schools regardless of school board decision-making—and this year’s bills to arm teachers with weapons, while stripping them of their unions, are but two examples. Again and again, lawmakers have put their thumb on the scale to privatize and defund public schools while disrespecting educators and overtesting students. “Superintendent Carvalho has fought this assault on public education as a lead litigant against the charter theft bill. Even under this top-down, test-fixated system, he has kept an open door with educators. While we’ve agreed and disagreed on issues, at his core, Carvalho is a passionate educator who understands the importance of teaching and learning—and of educators—and knows how public education is foundational to democracy and opportunity.”