To The Editor:
We don’t know for sure whether the new schools chancellor is indeed guilty of the allegations of sexual discrimination and retaliatory practices lodged against him while he was in charge of San Francisco’s public schools, the details of which the taxpayers forked over a princely sum to suppress.
But we can be certain that if the accused were a New York City teacher, he’d be pulled from the classroom immediately, ruled ineligible to work with children and dispatched to an isolated site, investigated at length under a presumption of culpability.
I don’t begrudge incoming Chancellor Richard Carranza his gracious acceptance of the double standard of which he is the beneficiary. But when rank has its privileges, a double standard is no standard at all.
Regardless of the merits of past complaints against him, Carranza may prove a fine chancellor and he deserves a chance.
But his stentorian disavowal of having a mind of his own, does not bode well. He has rushed to swear absolute obedience to the mayor.
Richard Carranza is perfectly content to be the mayor’s rubber stamp and has said so. And the mayor is just as tickled to rubber-stamp the new chancellor’s self-styled vindication of his own past.
“We are entirely confident [the lawsuit] was baseless, and entirely confident Richard Carranza is the right person to lead our school system,” said the mayor’s spokeswoman.
De Blasio didn’t need to backtrack on his endorsement of Carranza, but neither did he have to double down on it.
It has become an American sport to frame public figures and is a lucrative temptation for those professionals who ply their trades by doing so.
Often, there’s a direct correlation between the virulence of critics and the virtue of their curiously selected targets. Mona Davids, president of the New York City Parents Union, said, “It’s alarming to me as a parent and as a woman that de Blasio would select Carranza. He’s a poor choice for chancellor.”
State Sen. Catharine Young calls it “unconscionable” to have chosen a chancellor with “such an unsightly blemish on his record.”
Neither of the above experts will ever sanction established facts to put a dent in their stubborn and instinctive partiality.
For now, let’s stop playing “Pin the Tail on the Donkey” and let the guy lead. If he can.