New York City was stunned Thursday when the person who Mayor Bill de Blasio picked to lead the city's school system turned down the job on live television.
De Blasio's office announced to reporters on Wednesday that Miami-Dade Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho had accepted the open position of schools chancellor.
"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."
But in an emergency Miami-Dade school board meeting the following day televised by the New York press, Carvalho seemed to telegraph that he was having second thoughts.
"I know everyone expects a decision now, and I am confident in telling you I have made a decision," Carvalho said. "However, I'm a man of honor and I believe the decision I made needs to be communicated to the person who made me an offer."
Carvalho called de Blasio's offer one "that just hours ago I thought was the best offer for me" and said honor dictates he should speak to the mayor about his decision before announcing it publicly.
Carvalho then asked for a recess, left the room, and returned to the meeting about 20 minutes later.
"This is probably the second most difficult thing I've done in my life. The very first was to leave my country," said Carvalho, who was born in Portugal.
Carvalho sung de Blasio's praises, but eventually announced to loud cheers: "I am breaking an agreement between adults to honor an agreement and pact I have with the children of Miami."
"I shall remain in Miami-Dade as your superintendent," he announced.