Mayor-elect Eric Adams announced Thursday that David Banks, the founder of a network of all-boys public schools, will lead New York City’s million-pupil public school system when Adams assumes office next month.
Appearing with Banks at the Brooklyn elementary school that the 59-year-old Banks attended, Adams lauded his chosen schools chancellor as “a visionary, leader, innovator, who has spent his career fighting on behalf of students.”
Banks is a former teacher and principal who founded the Eagle Academy network of schools in 2004 to educate young Black and Latino boys who he believed were often poorly served by the educational system.
Banks currently runs the foundation that raises funds for the six Eagle Academy schools, one in each New York City borough and one in Newark, New Jersey.
Banks has been a friend and adviser to Adams, a Democrat who was elected mayor in November, and the choice of Banks’ selection was expected.
Banks will take over a school system that is reeling from the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic and riven by disputes over issues including whether to phase out the academically selective schools and programs that have been blamed for worsening the system’s persistent segregation. Banks said he was “deeply humbled, but I am also ready.”