Superintendent Chris Cerf on returning Newark Public Schools to local control

Elena Knopp, via a kind reader:

For the last 22 years, Newark’s Board of Education has served in an advisory capacity, with it’s power to make decisions severely diminished by a state-appointed superintendent.

But earlier this month, the state’s Board of Education voted unanimously to hand back control to Newark’s elected Board of Education, a decision that has served to usher in a new era of pride, determination and autonomy.

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Newark Public Schools will now work in close partnership with the state, with a full transition plan expected within the next few months.

Newark Public Schools Superintendent Christopher Cerf — likely the last state-appointed superintendent of Newark — took the helm of the district in 2015 after what many call a disastrous run with former school superintendent Cami Anderson, an appointee of Governor Chris Christie who ultimately resigned eight months before her contract expired.

Appointed in 2011, Anderson alienated many parents with the implementation of universal enrollment reorganization plan One Newark, which resulted in school closings, mass firings and months of contentious public board meetings.