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New NYC Chancellor Fariña Pledges to Make Parents 'Real Partners'

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Cross-posted and updated from District Dossier

New York City's new schools chancellor is expected to give parents a stronger voice in the 1 million-student school district, with the backing of the city's new mayor.

Carmen Fariña, a former principal and deputy chancellor in the 1 million-student New York City public school system was chosen by Mayor Bill de Blasio to be the city's chancellor.

GothamSchools reported on Dec. 30 that the Department of Education's Division of Family and Community Engagement will be brought directly under Fariña's supervision this month. She also is expected to meet with parents who are the presidents of the city's community education councils, according to a Dec. 31 article in the New York Daily News.

According to a blog by Education Week's Lesli A. Maxwell, most observers believe that Fariña will present a significant departure from the education policies that were the foundation of former Mayor Michael Bloomberg's administration: rapid expansion of charter schools, shuttering underperforming schools, and an increased use of student-test scores to grade the performance of teachers and schools. During the campaign, de Blasio's education agenda focused on modifying or undoing those policies and advocating for more prekindergarten and early-childhood programs.

In his remarks during a Dec. 30 press conference, de Blasio praised Fariña's education record in New York City, saying her experience will "immediately command the respect of parents, teachers, and principals and all members of the school community."

Ms. Fariña spoke extensively about the value of partnering with parents and treating all parents, regardless of their background, with the utmost respect in her remarks during last week's press conference.

"We are going to have a system here where parents are seen as real partners, and teachers are going to understand that working with parents is a real enhancement for the classroom," she said.

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