New York City Schools Chancellor Meisha Porter Shares Message of Gratitude, Announces New Role

  • Posted: Wed Dec 01, 2021

NEW YORK – New York City Schools Chancellor Meisha Porter today announced that she will conclude her role as Chancellor at the end of the year. As a lifelong public servant, Chancellor Porter will continue her dedication to New York City families and serve as the inaugural Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of The Bronx Community Foundation beginning in the new year, a non-profit dedicated to supporting The Bronx. 

Chancellor Porter is a New York City public school graduate who has led at every level of the Department of Education system over her decades-long career. She stepped into the role as Chancellor during one of the most pivotal moments in City and schools’ history as COVID-19 upended our schools, classrooms, daily lives, and the academic and social well-being of students.   

Under her direction, New York City led the nation with every single school welcoming back their students to in-person learning this year that was supportive, rigorous and most of all, safe. Thanks to the vision and dedication of Chancellor Porter and her leadership team, New York City’s school reopening has been nationally lauded and set the gold standard in meeting the needs of children, families and staff.  

“Throughout her entire career, Meisha Porter has shown up for the children of New York City. Together, we fully reopened our schools, launched an historic academic recovery for students, and made unprecedented gains for equity in our school communities,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “She has worked tirelessly and fearlessly to make sure our kids get the high-quality education they deserve. There is no doubt in my mind that she will bring the same determination and passion to her work serving Bronx families.”

“Through an extremely difficult period with daily challenges for our one million students, their families and our schools, Meisha Porter showed remarkable leadership, always keeping her students and their families at the center of every effort,” said First Deputy Mayor Dean Fuleihan. “Every day, her unique experience as a teacher, principal, superintendent, and executive superintendent was apparent in finding a clear path forward. A path that centered health and safety so that all our students are back in a classroom. But also, one that builds stronger schools through fair student funding, academic and mental health services, a focus on literacy and technology, a new approach to summer learning, and the foundation for a new inclusive curriculum. Meisha builds trust, cooperation and inspires confidence. It has been a privilege to partner with her as Chancellor.”

“It has been the honor of a lifetime to serve my home – New York City – and its incredible young people, educators, and families as Chancellor during one of the most pivotal times in our history,” said Schools Chancellor Meisha Porter. “Our school communities have been through so much, and I am incredibly proud of the heroic work from each and every one of our staff members who made it possible to reopen our school buildings and provide our students with the excellent, affirming education they deserve. At my core I am a public servant, and I am so deeply grateful my next steps aren’t taking me too far and I get to continue serving the communities and neighborhoods that make this city the best in the world as the inaugural President and CEO of The Bronx Community Foundation."

"I sincerely thank Chancellor Porter for her years of service to New York City's schools and children," said Governor Kathy Hochul. "I look forward to partnering with Chancellor Porter in her continued work for the people and communities of the Bronx."

"I congratulate Meisha Porter on her tenure as Schools Chancellor. She assumed the role amid unprecedented challenges to our school system, and successfully oversaw the implementation of a universal summer school program, the resumption of in-person learning this fall, and historic investments in our schools under the Fair Student Funding formula, among many other achievements. I wish her all the best as she transitions into her new role, and know that she will continue to be a powerful voice for our students and educators, as she has been throughout her entire career," said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.

"As chancellor, Meisha Porter led the safe reopening of the nation’s largest school system and worked to provide high quality education and mental health supports to all New York City’s students,” said United States Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “I look forward to the work she will continue to do for the families, students, and communities of the Bronx.”

Since her appointment in March, Chancellor Porter has put the recovery of New York City school communities at the center of all Department of Education priorities. Beginning with reopening high schools during her second week as Chancellor, she worked every day to support and keep schools, educators and students safe: 

Setting gold-standard health and safety protocols - New York City’s school safety protocols have resulted in an incredibly low in-school positivity rate of 0.34%. Porter ensured this was a collaborative effort with the city’s health experts, families, community leaders, employees and more, and schools have served as neighborhood hubs of the COVID-19 response through in-school vaccination sites which have led to over 42,000 students getting vaccinated, over 1 million free meals given out to NYC residents, and the distribution of 650,000 devices to students across the City. She led the groundbreaking COVID-19 DOE employee vaccination mandate which is keeping our students and staff safe, ensuring that 100% of DOE employees working with children in schools are vaccinated.  

Expanding 3-K for All to every district citywide – New York City is leading the nation in making early childhood education accessible for all, and Porter announced the latest expansion of 3-K for All to reach every school district citywide and provide 40,000 three-year-olds with free, full-day, high-quality, early childhood education. Building on the success of Pre-K for All, 3-K for All is the nation’s most ambitious effort to provide universal early education for every three-year-old and helps ensure children are prepared for kindergarten and have a strong start in school and life.    

Creating Summer Rising, a bridge back in person learning - Under Porter’s tenure, DOE launched Summer Rising, a free, in-person, all-day summer program that served 200,000 students at almost 800 sites across the five boroughs this summer and will continue in the years to come. Summer Rising created a bridge back to school in the fall and gave families an opportunity to reengage with their school communities as they too returned to normal routines including going back to in-person work. 

Launching a bold, rigorous Academic Recovery Plan - Supported by the gains made in Summer Rising, Porter also announced critical initiatives and programs to support the return to school in the fall – The New York City Academic Recovery Plan. This bold, rigorous framework focuses on early literacy, developing students as digital citizens, preparing students for college and careers, investing in special education services, expanding social and emotional learning supports, and building the “Mosaic Curriculum,” a universal curriculum for all schools that reflects New York City’s diverse students.   

Supporting the Social-Emotional & Mental Health of Every Student - The last two years caused significant disruption and trauma in communities across our city. Under Chancellor Porter’s leadership, the Department of Education put supporting the social-emotional needs of our young people at the core of opening schools this fall. By hiring over 500 social workers and 100 school psychologists, every student has access to mental health supports from a social worker, counselor, or school-based mental health clinic. Building on a foundation established by the Administration, educators have access to trauma-informed trainings and resources that provide them with the tools necessary to meet the needs of our young people as we all work to heal the trauma caused by this pandemic. 

Reimagining an equitable way to deliver accelerated learning - A champion for equity, Porter also led the launch of Brilliant NYC, a reimagined way to deliver accelerated learning to every child and the dismantlement of segregated Gifted and Talented classes. Centered on community feedback, Brilliant NYC engagement opportunities are being offered in every single neighborhood in New York City to hear directly from parents, students and educators.  

Prior to her appointment as Chancellor, Porter served as Bronx Executive Superintendent, leading almost 400 schools and over 235,000 students across the entire borough. Under her tenure, The Bronx had the largest gains in graduation rates of any borough at that time, and students who went on to pursue post-secondary enrollment substantially increased.  

A graduate of New York City public schools, Porter began her lifelong career in City classrooms at The Bronx School for Law, Government and Justice (LGJ). As a co-founder of LGJ, she began as a community coordinator, then teacher, and worked her way to become Principal before being asked to serve as Superintendent of District 11 in The Bronx, which covers Pelham Parkway, Eastchester and Woodlawn.   

Chancellor Porter will begin as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of The Bronx Community Foundation (BxCF) in the new year. BxCF is the first and only community foundation dedicated to supporting and investing in community power to eradicate inequity and build sustainable futures for all Bronxites. Visit for more information.  

“As Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education, Meisha Porter made history not only as the first Black woman to lead our schools but as a committed educator who has always made centering the needs of our students her number one priority,” said Congressman Jamaal Bowman (NY-16). “As she moves on to become the first CEO of The Bronx Community Foundation, Chancellor Porter will continue to be a beacon of hope and possibility as she works to transform the way we support Bronx families holistically. I had the immense honor of working alongside Chancellor Porter in our mission to provide an exemplary education to our students and I’m excited to see how she will continue to unlock the full potential of the Bronx. Not only has she been a teacher, principal, superintendent, executive superintendent, and school’s chancellor, but more importantly she knows and loves the children and families of the Bronx intimately. I look forward to supporting her in any way that I can as she continues to manifest her vision of transformative change.”

“Chancellor Meisha Ross Porter is a good friend, a lifelong educator dedicated to our public schools and an incredible champion for all of our students," said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. "Chancellor Porter worked her way up in the Department of Education and has brought energy, passion, care and enthusiasm into educating our students during one of the hardest periods of time our city has faced. While I am sad to see her leaving this role, I am thrilled that she will not be going far. Chancellor Meisha Ross Porter is a daughter of The Bronx in every sense of the word and I know she will continue to make our borough proud through her work with Bronx Community Foundation."

“During her tenure as NYC Public School Chancellor, Meisha Ross Porter has illustrated her lifelong dedication to our students,” said New York State Speaker Carl E. Heastie. “Her work, especially during these unprecedented times has been extremely important, allowing many of our children the opportunity to return to some sort of normalcy as we recover from the first waves of COVID-19. As Chancellor Porter transitions to working with the Bronx Community Foundation, I know that we will still have an ally standing beside us as we fight for the futures of not only Bronx Students, but students across NYC.”

“Chancellor Porter took the helm of the Department of Education at a time of unprecedented hardship due to the COVID-19 crisis. I thank her for her years of service in the NYC DOE, and wish her all the best in her future endeavors,” said Senator John Liu.

"Meisha Porter’s commitment to faculty, students, and families alike prove her dedication to the largest school system in the nation. By working to provide high quality education and mental health supports to all New York City’s students, she has prioritized the many evolving needs of children post pandemic. I am honored to stand by a fellow Bronxite and look forward to continuing to work together for a better and fairer education system for all New Yorkers,” said Senator Luis Sepulveda.

“Chancellor Porter has never wavered in her commitment to the young people and families of this city. Her decisive leadership during the critical moments of our city’s recovery has helped move forward our education system and lay the foundation for historic investments in our future. Throughout her inspiring career in public service, she never strayed from her roots in the Bronx and her mission of a more equitable educational system that lifts up the most vulnerable communities. The determination, grace, and dedication that she brought to this role has elevated our students in the Bronx and across the city to new heights. Her commitment to the progress of our borough is unparalleled, and we are grateful to have her leadership as she takes on her new role,” said Senator Jamaal Bailey.

“It was an honor to serve during her tenure. Her leadership at the DOE will surely be missed; she always held the achievement of our children at the forefront. I wish her well in her future endeavors, and have confidence that she will be successful in them,” said Assembly Member Michael Benedetto. 

“Porter has given a life time of service to the children of NYC public schools. I truly thank her for never giving up on our families year after year. I wish her the ultimate success in this new endeavor,” said Assembly Member Alicia Hyndman.

"In her time as Chancellor, Meisha Porter has done tremendous work to help with the challenges our students and educators faced," said Assembly Member Nathalia Fernandez. "We are sad to see her move on, but know that she has and will continue to make The Bronx proud. Thank you, Chancellor Porter, for your years of service to our schools, and congratulations on your new role with the Bronx Community Foundation." 

"During her tenure, Meisha Porter faced the challenging task of ensuring the safety of students and teachers as they returned to school in the time of COVID. She succeeded in this role and we should all be grateful for her service as Chancellor. I thank Chancellor Porter for her tireless commitment to our students. I wish her the best of luck in her new position as President & CEO of the Bronx Community Foundation, in which she will continue her great leadership,” said Assembly Member Kenny Burgos.

“Chancellor Porter showered schools the city of New York with all the love and support we in the Bronx have received from her for years. Our schools will miss her frequent visits, policy changes that put children’s education and safety first and her dedication to finding solutions to complex situations. On behalf of all the schools in 79th Assembly District, I say thank you and we know you will continue to serve the people no matter where you are or what title you wear,” said Assembly Member Chantel Jackson.

“Chancellor Meisha Porter was the first African American women to lead our Department of Education system amid a pandemic. During her tenure, Chancellor Porter has primarily focused on equity, inclusion, and diversity within in our NYC schools and has done so successfully. She has made it her mission to put in place  restorative practices that contribute to the increase in opportunities for our young leaders. I thank her for her work and I’m sure she will continue to make a positive difference in her new position as CEO of The Bronx Community Foundation,” said Assembly Member Maritza Davila.

“Chancellor Meisha Porter’s entire career has been dedicated to New York City’s children and families,” said Council Member Mark Treyger, Chair of the Committee on Education. “Stepping into the role of Chancellor in a time of unprecedented crisis is a testament to her lifelong commitment to the public school system. I have particularly appreciated her partnership on additional mental health supports, including hundreds of new social workers, new community schools, and a pilot mental health continuum program, to support children with the most advanced needs.”

“I am incredibly grateful for all of Chancellor Porter’s incredible work since her appointment” said Council Member Brad Lander “During an unprecedented time in our City’s history she has worked tirelessly for our kids and their families. She has lead with clarity and compassion, saw the gifts in all our kids, and had the hard and necessary conversations calling out segregation in our schools.  I thank her for her extraordinary service to New York City, and I know she will continue to work hard at BxCF, serving communities in the Bronx"

“Chancellor Porter made HerStory as the first Black woman to serve as Schools Chancellor for the City of New York and led the Department of Education during a tumultuous time in our city’s history. She led with conviction, passion, and purpose to ensure our youth received a high-quality education with the return of in-person instruction, addressed a long practice of penalizing schools on decreased enrollment and worked to ensure our schools were safe and welcoming spaces for students, educators, and administrators amid a global pandemic. As she begins her new chapter as the inaugural Chief Executive Officer of The Bronx Community Foundation, I want to wish my sister and friend well wishes and blessings on her new journey. From our work in School District 9 on Equity and Excellence, to the many ribbon cuttings at new schools, countless events, forums, town halls and partnerships we have embarked on, brighter and better days lie ahead. We are grateful for the service of Chancellor Meisha Porter and look forward to our continued work together in future endeavors,” said Council Member Vanessa L. Gibson. 

“Chancellor Meisha Porter has not only played a major role in recovering our New York City education system through the pandemic, but she has also prioritized improving infrastructure that supports higher quality education for our students. Thank you Chancellor Porter for your dedication and the work you have done to protect students, families, teachers, and staff. I support and look forward to your future endeavors in continuing to impact our communities,” said Council Member Kevin Riley.

“I extend gratitude to Chancellor Meisha Porter for her time spent serving NYC’s school communities as Chancellor and throughout her decades-long career in education. Chancellor Porter stepped up to the plate and delivered during the COVID-19 pandemic — one of the most challenging times for our students, parents, teachers, and school administrators. Thank you, Chancellor Porter, and I look forward to your continued service to our city!” said Council Member Antonio Reynoso.

"As chancellor, Meisha Porter was critical in getting our schools, families and, most importantly, our students through the pandemic. Leading us through a safe reopening, she prioritized high quality education, wifi, tech access, and mental health support to all New York City’s students. Meisha was a former educator that led from the voice of our schools, a true community partner, and it showed in her work. I look forward to working with her to continue to fight for the families, students, and communities of the Bronx,” said Council Member-Elect Amanda Farias.

“Chancellor Porter’s experience as an educator, school leader and parent made her a uniquely dynamic leader at a critical moment for our schools,” said State Education Commissioner Betty A. Rosa. “Her empathetic and caring approach to leadership guided DOE through a daunting time that included reimagining summer school, safely opening schools and working to foster equity for all New York City’s students. I will forever value her partnership in this role and I look forward to working with her in her next endeavor with the Bronx Community Foundation.”

“Meisha Porter’s unwavering commitment to ensuring that each and every student in New York City has equitable access to a high-quality education was integral during this unprecedented time,” said Board of Regents Chancellor Lester W. Young, Jr. “The Board of Regents and I thank Chancellor Porter for her service to the families of New York City and wish her nothing but the best in her future endeavors.” 

“Meisha Porter took on the role as chancellor during the most difficult time imaginable and it was a pleasure working with her,” said United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew. “Her focus on rebuilding under-resourced school communities, such as the Bronx Plan, made a difference in the lives of students, families and educators. We wish her all the best.”

“As Chancellor, Meisha Porter has led our system with honesty, transparency and integrity,” said Council of School Supervisors and Administrators President Mark Cannizzaro. “Her only agenda is to improve the lives of our city’s children, and she has consistently supported school leaders so that they can better support the families they serve. We thank her for her committed partnership and outstanding service, and we wish her well in her future endeavors.”