Tag Archive: Sen. Ron Rice

Educator and Prevaricator Chris Cerf Meets His Comeuppance

         Acting Commissioner Cerf prevaricates. He may be here now, but he can’t stay forever, and he will not be permanent at this point. The governor will have to find someone else.” – Sen. Ron Rice (D- 28)

Sen. Rice, whose district includes Newark, has for some time questioned the truth about Chris Cerf’s statements regarding his involvement in the controversial, secretive plan for school education in Newark. Initially Rice used the senatorial prerogative of blocking Cerf’s appearance before a Judiciary Committee meeting that would vote on whether or not to recommend the appointment to the full senate. Rice now says he is invoking his senatorial privilege no matter what Cerf does because Cerf misled him. Rice’s action makes sense for Newark and for New Jersey as a whole.  Governor Christie should seek a new nominee for Commissioner of Education.

In a late February Acting Education Commissioner Chris Cerf gave a revised account of his ties with Global Education Advisors (GEA), which prepared the secretive school education report for Newark. Cerf acknowledged he had been more involved than he first indicated. In fact GEA’s lead employee, Rajeev Bajaj, is also President of Sangari Global Education, for which Chris Cerf previously served as Chief Operating Officer. Cerf had used his home address to incorporate GEA, and he had contributed to the Booker campaign.

Furthermore GEA’s Newark consultancy gig was funded by the Broad Foundation with a grant of $500,000 to Newark. Cerf had not mentioned publicly his close ties with this foundation. While Cerf was Deputy Chancellor of NY City Schools the Broad Foundation awarded $2.5 million in grants to  expand charter schools in the city. Cerf’s then boss Chancellor Joel Klein serves as Chair of the Board of Directors of the Broad Center, an educational arm of the foundation.  In effect, secretively and behind the scene, Chris Cerf played a role in obtaining a grant for Newark to fund GEA, and he placed a colleague of his as the head of GEA. Not surprisingly such actions resulted in the type of report he might then approve later as Commissioner of Education – actions which raise questions of forthrightness, judgment and conflict of interest.

Such actions are not what one should accept from a person nominated to be a commissioner. Cerf’s approach did not benefit Newark and would not benefit the State of New Jersey. Congratulations to Ron Rice for his principled stand. More sadly our governor’s mismanagement of New Jersey education continues unabated.  

Sweeney Shows Leadership on Property tax cap

This diary produced a lot of comments – 24 so far – and those comments include a referendum on Steve Sweeney, Cory Booker, Sen. Ron Rice, caps hard and soft, North v. South, marriage equality advocates, and anonymous posters like firstamend07. Where do you come down on all this, Blue Jersey? Anything here you want to agree with? Tear your hair out over? Excoriate? – promoted by Rosi Efthim

Governor Corzine had a good idea when he set up a cap on Property taxes. Something had to be done.

Christie took that idea and by once again being a demagogue has tried to set up an unrealistic,unworkable hard cap of 2.5% that will only cause chaos and hardship.

Enter Senate President Sweeney. Once again ,bring the voice of moderation and realism , he looked at Corzine’s Cap idea and looked at Christies Cap idea and came up with a realistic ,workable Cap plan that is rooted in real world problems.


Is his plan perfect ?  Of course not. But leadership is about reviewing problems ,listening to people, and coming up with a workable plan.

This is how Sweeney works. That Is why this State has a high minimum wage.That is why this State has a Paid Family Leave Act. That is why this State enacted fair and responsible Pension Reform .

Like the guy or not he is a leader and he gets things done.