Schools Chancellor Meisha Porter will be leaving the top post at the city’s Department of Education at the end of the year. The longtime education official will become the chief executive officer of the non-profit Bronx Community Foundation. She made the announcement on NY1 Wednesday morning.
"I will be transitioning from the Department of Education but stepping up into the role as the inaugural CEO of the Bronx Community Foundation," Porter. She noted that her understanding that school is the "hub" of life for many families will be a key in being able to support Bronx services.
The news comes as Mayor-elect Eric Adams prepares to announce his selection for schools chancellor. David Banks, the founder of the Eagle Academy for Young Men, and a close advisor to Adams, is considered a likely pick for the education department’s top job.
Porter, the first Black woman to serve as the city’s school’s chancellor, has been at the helm of the nation’s largest public school system since March, after Richard Carranza abruptly resigned. Porter steered schools through the spring semester, oversaw the city’s vastly expanded free summer school called Summer Rising, and led the full reopening of schools for in-person learning this fall.
Mayor Bill de Blasio also credited Porter with developing a plan to reimagine the city’s Gifted and Talented program, however it is not clear that the incoming Adams administration will proceed with that plan. She also supported de Blasio's decision to require all school staff to be vaccinated for the new school year, and rolled out vaccine pop-ups for students.
“Throughout her entire career, Meisha Porter has shown up for the children of New York City," de Blasio said in a statement. "Together, we fully reopened our schools, launched an historic academic recovery for students, and made unprecedented gains for equity in our school communities. She has worked tirelessly and fearlessly to make sure our kids get the high-quality education they deserve. There is no doubt in my mind that she will bring the same determination and passion to her work serving Bronx families.”
Porter grew up in Queens. She studied plumbing at Queens Vocational High School; she has said her teachers there inspired her to become an educator. She went on to work within the school system for decades. She helped create the Bronx School for Law, Government and Justice, where Banks was founding principal, and eventually became principal of the school herself. Porter served as Superintendent and Executive Superintendent in the Bronx before she became chancellor.