Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza urged a white Upper West Side parent to get anti-bias training after she criticized him about a controversial tweet.
“That late night tweet was divisive, in my opinion,” said the parent who identified herself as Debra during a call-in to Carranza, who was being interviewed on WNYC radio Monday.
“Why not more good middle schools instead of blaming parents in a divisive way,” the caller said, referring to a plan to diversify Upper West Side middle schools.
“I’m still vocally supportive of it, but I have to say, chancellor, you stunned me because of what I heard loud and clear. Me as a white parent in PS 199. I am not part of your constituency — my family, my children.”
The caller was referring to Carranza’s tweeting out a story with the headline, “Wealthy white Manhattan parents angrily rant against plan to bring more black kids to their schools.”
The reference was to the Department of Education’s plan to reserve 25 percent of seats at 17 middle schools for kids who score below grade level on state exams.
“The video speaks for itself,” Carranza responded in defending his tweet, which linked to video footage of the meeting that aired on NY 1 last month.
“I won’t support that kind of dialogue,” the chancellor said, adding that some of the parent’s assumptions were wrong.
He noted the DOE obtained $23 million for anti-bias training and advised the parent to enroll in classes.
“I hope you will avail yourself of that training,” Carranza said. “We’ve secured millions of dollars for anti-implicit bias training. Again, I hope you will avail yourself of that.”
The chancellor said it was important to have an “equity lens” to serve disadvantaged students and vowed “we’re going to have resources” to serve them when they’re integrated in schools with higher-performing students.
And he told the caller that he cares about all students, saying, “You all matter.”
“I want to make we’re all part of the conversation,” Carranza said.
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