New York City offers top schools job to Miami-Dade superintendent Carvalho

Longtime educator has led county school system since 2008

MIAMI – New York City has offered Miami-Dade County Public Schools superintendent Alberto Carvalho its top schools job, chancellor of the New York City Department of Education.

Carvalho confirmed the offer Wednesday, but he said he has not accepted the position.

At an event to honor AFSCME employees Wednesday night, Carvalho told Local 10 News he wasn't ready to comment on his plans. 

"I absolutely love this community. New York is a great city. I appreciate -- absolutely appreciate -- the conversations I've had with the mayor. And beyond that, we'll reserve it for tomorrow morning," he said. 

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio's office confirmed the offer on Wednesday. Carvalho would go from leading the nation's fourth-largest school district to its biggest.

"Alberto Carvalho is a world-class educator with an unmatched track record of success," De Blasio said in a 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 into the future.”

School board chairwoman Perla Tabares Hartman said she called emergency meeting of board Thursday to discuss the future of the district's leadership. She said she hopes Carvalho will stay. 

Carvalho has a contract with the county until 2020. A school board member told Local 10 News on Wednesday that the board was reviewing Carvalho's contact and that he needs to give the county 90 days notice before leaving.

"Say it ain't so! South Florida will miss your leadership but can't wait to see the miracles you will perform in NYC. Godspeed and good luck, mi amigo!" said U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Miami Republican.

Rep. Carlos Curbelo, also a Miami Republican, called Carvalho "one of the greatest public servants in the history of South Florida."

"He will be missed every day by our community, but I know everyone wishes him well," Curbelo said.

Born in Portugal, Carvalho started his career as a physics, chemistry and calculus teacher at Miami Jackson Senior High School. He rose up the ranks of the school system, eventually becoming superintendent in 2008.

Media friendly and politically savvy, Carvalho has been nationally well-regarded. During his tenure, the county graduation rate has risen to 80 percent and he won the National Superintendent of the Year award in 2014.