New York Schools Chancellor David Banks quits DEO team
Schools Chancellor David Banks has started to cut out his predecessors’ executives and replace them with his own team – promising “more dramatic changes” to the city’s Department of Education in the coming months.
At least seven senior officials under former chancellors Richard Carranza and Meisha Porter have already left the DOE, and six will remain for the time being – but in lower-level positions with less pay.
“I’m committed to radical change,” Banks told the Post, saying he plans more staff moves to reduce and streamline DOE’s massive bureaucracy.
“The intent here is to save millions of dollars for the system that is getting closer to schools,” he said. “I’m not here to appease and make people feel good. I came here at the request of the mayor to bring about real change, and it’s coming.
Mayor Adams’ schools boss, who finished three weeks on Friday, assembled a seven-member cabinet, up from 15 in the former DOE administration.
In some cases, their salaries are higher than those previously paid to top DOE leaders. For example, newcomers Daniel Weisberg, first vice-chancellor, and Desmond Blackburn, vice-chancellor for school leadership — a newly created position — will each earn $265,000 a year. Blackburn was CEO of a national nonprofit, the New Teacher Center.
“I’m really starting to reduce the number of people who report to the chancellor, reduce the size of the cabinet, give bigger portfolios,” said Banks, who will earn the same salary as Carranza and Porter, $363,346.
“There will be fewer people with greater responsibilities.”
Among the changes:
–Marisol Rosales, promoted by Porter last August to senior vice chancellor with a salary of $241,000, was demoted to “special adviser” in the academic support division with a pay cut. She has agreed to leave “on a certain date” – by the end of next year, sources said.
–Lashawn Robinson, a former vice-chancellor for school climate and wellbeing, who earned $236,000 last year, was demoted to “senior director of strategic initiatives” under Blackburn with a reduced salary.
In a similar title, Banks named Jawana Johnson chief of school culture, climate and wellbeing. Johnson previously served as Director of Achievements at the Eagle Academy Foundation, which supported six public schools founded by Banks. His salary: $222,972.
–Linda Chen, appointed director of studies by Carranza, is absent. Chen’s salary was $236,332.
Banks appointed Carolyne Quintana as vice chancellor of teaching and learning, with a salary of $241,000. Quintana, a former DOE teacher and Bronx principal, will oversee all academics as well as support for early childhood education, students with disabilities and multilingual learners.
The DOE did not provide the pay cuts for Rosales, Robinson and others who received a pay cut.
In another major appointment, Banks named Karine Apollon director of diversity, with a salary of $222,972.
She will oversee a first-ever Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Such offices have sprung up in many other school districts, colleges and businesses, but often with broader and controversial progressive mandates.
The DOE office will be “tightly focused,” Banks said, on contracting more women and minority-owned businesses, and hiring more staff of color.
Black-owned businesses get less than 1% of DOE contracts, he said. “The numbers are just horrendous. We can do better than that in a city as diverse as New York. »
The DEI office will not get involved with academics, he said.
“It’s not about creating a controversial agenda,” Banks said in a nod to the furor over critical race theory, the concept that racism is embedded in legal and other systems.
A spokeswoman for IntegrateNYC, a group opposed to de facto segregation in the city’s schools, is disappointed the bureau isn’t tackling issues like high school admissions “screens,” gifted and talented classes or other selective programs.
“It’s concerning — the omission or absence of the pillars we’ve been working on for so long,” said communications director Seba Uchida, a 2019 Bronx HS of Science graduate.
A school diversity advisory group appointed by former mayor de Blasio called on him in February 2019 to appoint a director of integration. DeBlasio never did, and Banks has no plans to do so, DOE spokespersons said.
But Banks created another new title – Chief of Student Pathways, appointing Jade Grieve to the position to oversee all college and career preparation, as well as workplace learning. Grieve last worked at Bloomberg Philanthropies in Career and Technical Education, and previously served as Senior Advisor to Australia’s Prime Minister for Education.
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