Confronted with allegations that he hired out of state cronies for lucrative Department of Education posts, flouting the competitive hiring process, Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza on Monday played the race card — and claimed he was being targeted for criticism because he is a “man of color.”
As The Post reported Sunday, the Special Commissioner of Investigation is probing a complaint that Carranza hired two former out-of-state colleagues for the posts with the help of waivers.
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Whistleblowers also questioned his creation of a new position — “senior executive director of continuous improvement” — for associate Abram Jimenez at a salary of $205,416.
Despite it being a senior-level post, the Education Department never publicly announced his hiring.
Asked about the controversy Monday, Carranza said he was being targeted “as a man of color.”
“There are forces in this city that want me to be quiet,” he said when asked about the complaint at a press conference on school integration. “There are forces in this city that want me to be the good minority and be quiet and don’t say a word. Don’t bring the race issue up.”
Carranza groused that his hires are only being subjected to scrutiny because of their ethnicity — all three hires, from California and Texas, are Hispanic — and that prior Big Apple schools chancellors have not been subjected to similar oversight.
Richard Carranza accused of waiving rules to give pals high-paying jobs
Chancellor Richard Carranza waived job postings and other requirements to…
“I want New Yorkers to answer the question — you go back through the last seven chancellors and you do the math,” he said. “Who was hired, who was not hired — what was their process? How did they get chosen? Who did they know?
“Is it any wonder that those individuals who have been criticized are men and women of color?” he asked.
Some of the loudest opposition to Carranza’s rocky reign has come from Asian New Yorkers. As the city’s top academic achievers, they have the most to lose from City Hall’s various diversification campaigns – including admissions changes at the city’s specialized high schools.
Carranza also contended that the criticisms of his tenure — which have included several allegations of anti-white bias — were suggestive of student mistreatment in city schools.
“If you want me to be quiet on these issues and have the ability to take on the chancellor of the largest school system in America — a system that has a footprint as large as Nissan — imagine what happens to kids in classrooms,” Carranza extrapolated.
“I will not be silenced,” he vowed. “I will not be quiet.”
Carranza spoke after addressing a set of diversity initiatives floated by the School Diversity Advisory Group, a coalition created by City Hall to address complaints of de facto school segregation.
Co-chaired by Mayor de Blasio’s former chief counsel Maya Wiley, the SDAG has clamored for reforms ranging from increased monitoring of school diversity metrics to an examination of the impact of academic screening on black and Latino kids.
De Blasio and Carranza adopted 62 of their 67 recommendations.
City Hall did pass on one notable SDAG push — the transfer of school safety duties from from the NYPD to the DOE, Carranza said.
He demurred when asked about rumors that he and de Blasio have offered to expand Gifted & Talented programs if state lawmakers agreed to scrap the specialized high school admissions exam — but did reiterate his opposition to the test.