Education

Alberto Carvalho offered job as New York City’s next schools chancellor

Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho greets students in a class on Intensive Reading at Miami Jackson Senior High School on the first day back to school after Hurricane Irma on Monday, Sept. 18, 2017.
Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho greets students in a class on Intensive Reading at Miami Jackson Senior High School on the first day back to school after Hurricane Irma on Monday, Sept. 18, 2017. cmguerrero@elnuevoherald.com

Miami-Dade Schools chief Alberto Carvalho could be leaving Miami for New York City.

The superintendent has been offered the job of New York City schools chancellor but has not yet accepted the post, said school district spokeswoman Daisy Gonzalez-Diego.

The Miami-Dade School Board has scheduled a meeting for 10 a.m. Thursday to discuss the offer, and to begin a search for Carvalho’s replacement, should he decide to accept the job.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio announced late Wednesday that the city had offered Carvalho the position.

“Alberto Carvalho is a world-class educator with an unmatched track record of success,” de Blasio said in a short statement. “I am very confident that our extensive, national search has found New York City the best person to lead the nation’s largest school system in the future.

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Carvalho, 51, has led Miami-Dade’s public schools since 2008. He would replace Chancellor Carmen Fariña, who is retiring.

Carvalho did not respond to a request for comment on Wednesday evening. Gonzalez-Diego said he will not comment on the job offer until he meets with the School Board.

Aventura Mayor Enid Weisman, who hired Carvalho more than 30 years ago as a teacher at Miami Jackson Senior High School and promoted him to assistant principal when she became an administrator, said the superintendent has a lot to consider.

“He will really think tonight,” Weisman told the Miami Herald. “He’s talked to all the board members today. They all asked him to please stay. He will make a decision tomorrow.”

Carvalho has won a string of national awards in recent years for his oversight of the nation’s fourth-largest school district, including being named the country’s top schools chief in 2014 by the School Superintendents Association. He is also the founder and principal of the award-winning iPrep Academy in downtown Miami.

During his tenure, the Miami-Dade school district has seen graduation rates and school grades rise. The district has also opened dozens of specialized programs — ranging from forensic science and conservation biology to international finance and robotics.

Carvalho has faced controversies as well, including an alleged affair with a former Miami Herald education reporter before he became superintendent.

Carvalho has been outspoken about political issues, including immigration and gun control. He often shares his own immigration story of arriving in New York City from Portugal at the age of 17. After attending Broward College and Barry University, Carvalho became a math teacher at Miami Jackson Senior High, where he was known for his smart suits and fashion sense. Students there reportedly called him “Mr. Armani.” He then rose through the school district ranks as an administrator.

Carvalho spoke after hundreds of students from Brentwood Elementary School in Miami Gardens were evacuated Friday afternoon after administrators found a suspicious package, described to be a device with wires and a clock, sitting near a fence by a

Though Carvalho is fairly remarkable as a superintendent for his long tenure, Weisman said the last few years have been more contentious than earlier in his career.

“This has been a rough couple of years,” she said.

Carvalho has long been associated with rumors and speculation that he aspired to either a more prestigious position or political office. As recently as last year, his name was bandied about as a possible candidate for Congress in a seat that will be vacated by retiring Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. The seat has garnered enormous interest, especially among Democrats, who view Ros-Lehtinen’s district as ripe for a political flip.

Carvalho wouldn’t be the first Miami-Dade superintendent to leave Miami for New York. Former superintendent Joe Fernandez took the New York City job in 1989. Fernandez, like Carvalho, was in his early 50s at the time, originally a math teacher and worked in Miami-Dade Schools as a teacher and administrator for more than 25 years.

Carvalho’s predecessor as Miami-Dade superintendent, Rudy Crew, was a former chancellor in New York. Crew left the New York post in 1999 and was named superintendent by Miami-Dade in 2004.

Kyra Gurney: 305-376-3205, @KyraGurney

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