Former Chancellor Carranza gets gig at Silicon Valley-based educational firm

Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza speaks at a news conference at the Office of Emergency Management about the Coronavirus, March 2, 2020.
Photo by Ben Fractenberg/THE CITY

Former New York City Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza, who abruptly resigned nearly six weeks ago, has a new gig as chief of strategy and global development at educational tech company IXL Learning in San Mateo, California, the company announced Thursday. 

After nearly three years on the job, Carranza suddenly announced he would step down as chancellor in an emotional speech late February during one of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s daily COVID-19 press conferences in which he also revealed then Bronx Superintendant Meisha Ross Porter would take his place. 

At the time, Carranza claimed the reason for his abrupt departure was to “take time to grieve” the loss of 11 friends and family members to the virus which had not taken time to properly to do during the 11 months he helped lead the nation’s largest public school system through the pandemic. 

The former chancellor’s departure came after a school year plagued by multiple interruptions due to the virus and difficulties presented with a sudden need to transition 1.1 million public school students into online learning. It also came after multiple clashes with the mayor with one disagreement over how to desegregate schools contributing to his decision to leave his post, according to The New York Times. 

In a statement released shortly after the announcement, United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew hinted at the tension between both officials.

“Richard Carranza was a real partner in our efforts to open school safely. Too often he had to fight behind the scenes to keep the needs of students, staff, and their families ahead of politics,” said Mulgrew.

IXL Learning creates  “personalized learning products” since 1998 including learning platforms for math, English, Spanish, the sciences as well as social studies and has purchased platforms like Rosetta Stone, Wyzant, Education.com, ABCya and Vocabulary.com.

Carranza’s role at the Silicon Valley-based company will allow him to use his nearly three decades of experience as an educator and chancellor to “better meet the evolving needs of educators, identify where the company can make an even greater global impact and reach students no matter what setting they learn in,” according to a company statement.

“Richard will supply IXL with an abundance of wisdom gained from working at the highest levels of K-12 education and a boundless commitment to ensuring all students have access to world-class learning experiences,” said Paul Mishkin, CEO of IXL Learning. “He has been a transformative force throughout his career and we are excited to continue shaping the future of education with him.”

The new position will not be the first time Carranza has worked out west. Before becoming New York City schools Chancellor, Carranza headed school systems in Houston and in San Francisco. It remains unclear when Carranza will official start at IXL or when the offer for the position was made. 

“Education is undergoing a profound transformation where teachers are utilizing technology to close learning gaps and provide every child with the tools to build lasting knowledge,” said Carranza in a statement. “IXL has harnessed the tremendous power of innovation throughout this shift to empower teachers and build students’ learning capacity. I am thrilled to join IXL and execute our vision of bringing the wide-ranging benefits of educational technology to as many students as possible across the world.”