New NYC schools chancellor focused on what's ahead

The new chancellor of NYC schools says she hopes her leadership is an example of the role women can, should and will play moving forward.

Video Transcript

- This final day of Women's History Month we are celebrating the woman now in charge of the New York City public schools. Meisha Ross Porter took over as chancellor earlier this month. She is the first Black woman to hold that title, but she is also the first chancellor to be hired from within the system in recent history. Which is surprising, since 77% of teachers are female. Here's Lauren Glassberg.

MEISHA ROSS PORTER: Good morning.

LAUREN GLASSBERG: While Meisha Ross Porter may not have been gunning for the city's highest education post, taking the job wasn't out of character.

MEISHA ROSS PORTER: Who but a woman takes on such a task in such a moment, right? That's what we do. We jump up when we are most needed. We step in when we are most needed.

LAUREN GLASSBERG: Stepping into the role of chancellor when her predecessor suddenly stepped out. And instead of a nationwide search, the mayor chose quickly and chose from within.

BILL DE BLASIO: She became a renowned principal in the Bronx.

LAUREN GLASSBERG: Making Porter the city's first Black female schools chancellor A chancellor who rose through the system and even attended its schools.

MEISHA ROSS PORTER: I was an average student. I think it speaks to really seeing the potential in all of our students.

LAUREN GLASSBERG: She graduated from high school with a focus on plumbing. Here's the photo to prove it.

MEISHA ROSS PORTER: I think I've been a woman, my whole life, who has put myself in roles and positions that people didn't expect me to be in.

LAUREN GLASSBERG: But this newest position entrusts her with the education of 1.1 million students, the majority of whom are still schooling from home. She knows that this job comes with profound challenges. But it also provides a platform.

MEISHA ROSS PORTER: And I hope my leadership and my chancellorship is an example of the role that women can, should, and will play moving forward in this system.

LAUREN GLASSBERG: With a teenager who currently attends a Manhattan public high school, she sees through the lens of both parent and educator.

MEISHA ROSS PORTER: What's important to me is opening high schools-- which we did-- opening amazing summer enrichment opportunities, and opening in the fall. And the rest will be-- I'm focused on what is ahead of me.

LAUREN GLASSBERG: And while she knows a new mayor could choose a different chancellor come next January, Porter has already made history.