Richard A. Carranza has served as superintendent of the Houston Independent School District since August 2016. Before coming to Houston, Carranza served as superintendent of the San Francisco Unified School District for four years.
Upon joining HISD, Carranza embarked on a districtwide Listen & Learn tour to solicit input from stakeholders about the district’s future and learn about key issues important to communities across HISD, findings that he shared with the Board of Education.
On Feb. 15, 2017, Carranza delivered his first State of the Schools address in which he urged business and state leaders to view public education as an investment, not an expense, to ensure the success of every child at HISD. He also called on state lawmakers to fix the state’s outdated and broken school finance system, which led HISD into Recapture. The district is considered “property-wealthy,” despite having 76% economically disadvantaged students, and is required to send $77.5 million to the state of Texas. Carranza affirmed the district’s commitment to diversity and equity, a focus on educating the whole child, and creating a world-class school district that graduates students who possess skills outlined in HISD’s Global Graduate profile.
He has also joined with Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner to pledge equal access to a high-quality public education for all children – regardless of immigration status.
Carranza is a fluent Spanish-speaker, lifelong educator, and accomplished mariachi musician. He has served as a bilingual classroom teacher, a campus principal, and a senior-level administrator in Las Vegas and Tucson. Education Week profiled Carranza as a national 2015 Leader to Learn From. He was San Francisco USD’s deputy superintendent of Instruction, Innovation, and Social Justice for three years before being named superintendent. Before moving to San Francisco, Carranza served as Northwest Region superintendent for the Clark County School District in Las Vegas, where he oversaw 66 schools with more than 66,000 students. He was a high school principal in Tucson, Ariz., and Las Vegas. Carranza also has worked as an assistant principal and teacher of bilingual social studies and music.
Carranza served as the immediate past chairman of the Board of Directors for the Council of the Great City Schools, serving as a national spokesperson on significant issues facing urban school districts. Carranza has also served on the Board of Directors of the Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents, the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future, the American Association of School Administrators Executive Committee, and the K to College Advisory Board.Carranza earned a bachelor of arts in Secondary Education from the University of Arizona and a master of education with distinction in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University. He has completed his doctoral coursework through Northern Arizona University and is currently pursuing a doctorate of education through Nova Southeastern University in Educational Leadership.