Tag Archive: Chris Cerf

State Run Kids – Catalina’s Story

This is Part Three of an ongoing storytelling series by NJ Communities United featuring parents, students and families in Newark & Camden. Look for them Monday mornings. The school districts in these cities have been stripped of local democratic control, making it possible…
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Who represents the people at the NJ BOE?

Promoted by Rosi. Hat/tip to Marie Corfield for pointing us to this. Susan Cauldwell is the Executive Director of Save Our Schools NJ Community Organizing, a 501(c)(3) set up to support the work of SOS NJ, which is a grassroots, all volunteer, non-partisan pro public education organization.

How much power should one elected official have? It’s common knowledge that the Office of New Jersey’s Governor is highly coveted as it gives the officeholder vast power and abilities. Is that good or bad for the people of the state?

Here’s how Article 5, Section 4 of the NJ Constitution describes the powers bestowed upon the Governor:

One Parent Investigates #OneNewark

Want to know what’s up? Follow the Newark Parent Power Movement on Facebook and Twitter @ParentPowerMov. Follow the Newark Students Union on Facebook and Twitter @NewarkStudents. Please also join the convo at @BlueJersey and @mariecorfield. Cross-posted with Marie Corfield and promoted by Rosi.


This is what parents in the state controlled Newark Public School District must resort to now that their children’s democratic right to a “thorough and efficient education” has been denied.

Since its inception, embattled former Newark Superintendent Cami Anderson’s ill-conceived One Newark plan that was supposed to provide more school choice and ‘fix’ ‘failing schools’, has been an unmitigated disaster.

From increased segregation, to siblings being bussed to different schools all over the city, to punishing schools that serve a higher population of special needs students, to actually denying parents the right to send their children to the school of their choice, this bureaucratic nightmare has been roundly rejected by parents and students. And despite an Empirical Critique of One Newark by Rutgers University’s Dr. Bruce Baker and doctoral candidate Mark Weber (aka. Jersey Jazzman) highlighting the deep flaws and inequities of the program, it has been ‘damn the torpedos and full speed ahead’ at 2 Cedar Street.  

But Newark’s families never let up. Their vociferous protests were the driving force behind Anderson’s departure. And with her, they assumed would go One Newark. But such is not the case. As a new school year looms and a new superintendent (former NJ Education Commissioner Chris Cerf) takes the helm, school registrations began yesterday.  

Chris Cerf, no fresh face, will be Newark’s next School Superintendent

6-4 Chris Cerf appointed Superintendent of Newark Schools

Voting Yes: Mark Biedron, Claire Chamberlain, Jack Farnaro, Pete Simon, Andrew Mulvihill

Voting No: Edithe Fulton, Dorothy Strickland, Arcelio Aponte, Ron Butcher

“Former NJ Commissioner of Education Chris Cerf has a history of underfunding, dismantling, and making money off of the very institution he now wants to now lead.”

              – From Jonathan Alston’s blog, Newark Teacher

chris cerfThe effort of the people of Newark to shuck off state control of the city’s schools, and the privatizing schemes and efforts to turn its children into commodities that go with it, is and has been extraordinary. Despite efforts to diminish, frustrate or wait out the protest, it persists. Multiple layers of Newarkers support the effort – parents, students, community groups, Board of Ed members, clergy, teachers, and the city’s educator-mayor Ras Baraka, who made local control his signature election issue. Resistance has made national news, and is social media-savvy. Other American cities are watching – particularly minority majority cities, whose kids are prime targets for edu-tycoons. Inside New Jersey, there’s tracking of the Newark resistance, too. At a rally yesterday against appointing Cerf to succeed the much-scorned Cami Anderson as superintendent, both Camden and Paterson advocates showed up, two cities whose schools are also under state control. Residents of Montclair, where Cerf lives, also showed up. Resistance is growing, statewide.

Cerf’s Up in Newark, and That Means More of the Same For Its Schools

Cross-posted from Jersey Jazzman.

Remember haters: Bob Braun broke the story first:

Gov. Chris Christie and state Education Commissioner David Hespe have announced the resignation of Cami Anderson as state-appointed superintendent of the Newark schools. She will be replaced by Christopher Cerf, the former state education commissioner.

Here’s the official announcement:

Trenton, NJ – Commissioner of Education David Hespe today announced that Cami Anderson will be stepping down as State Superintendent of the Newark Public School District.

“Superintendent Anderson has worked tirelessly over the last four years to implement a bold educational vision for the students and parents of Newark,” said Commissioner Hespe.  “Under Cami’s leadership, the Newark school district signed a landmark teacher’s contract, implemented One Newark, and increased flexibility and support in virtually every school in Newark.  We know that these positive educational reforms will continue to benefit the students and parents of Newark for years to come.”

Superintendent Anderson will depart the district by July 8, 2015.  By July 8, 2015, Commissioner Hespe will recommend to the State Board of Education the appointment of Chris Cerf to the position of State Superintendent for the Newark Public Schools.  Mr. Cerf will be recommended for a three-year contract consistent with initial contracts in other state-operated districts including most recently Camden. [emphasis mine]

Yes, that’s right: Chris Cerf, the former Acting Commissioner of Education for the entire state, won’t just be an interim superintendent for the state-run district; he’s going to be the permanent replacement.  

Cami out, Cerf in

For last three years the Newark Students Union has been fighting against the defunding and privatization of our education. Cami Anderson’s resignation does not put an end to our fight. We must continue to fight for democratic local control in our city. We don’t want former commissioner Cerf as the superintendent of NPS, we want the right to choose who will lead our schools. This is ‪#‎OurNewark‬

                         – Newark Students Union

I don’t know who’s going to say it better than that.

Education Commissioner David Hespe confirmed today the rumors that Cami Anderson will step down by July 8. Following her in will be former Commissioner Chris Cerf, assuming approval by the state Board of Education, and yes you can assume that.

Hespe said pretty things about Anderson, but the reality is that she has been a disorganized disaster who lacks the guts to even to deal with questions and failed even to be professional enough to attend school board meetings – for a year! – because she might hear something she didn’t like. She leaves with a wad of your money and was allowed to leave with her “reputation” intact at least as far as the reformy circles she travels in. She’ll pop up in another city, and begin dismantling public education there. And if you’re a minority-majority city, watch your back, you’re most at risk.