New Jersey Schools Chief Cerf Resigns to Join Education Company

New Jersey Education Commissioner Christopher Cerf resigned to head a New York City-based education technology company that’s a unit of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. (NWSA)

Cerf, nominated by Governor Chris Christie in 2010, spearheaded such changes as a new teacher-tenure law. More than 30 charter schools opened and 10 low-performing ones were closed under his oversight, according to a statement from Cerf.

“I am grateful to Governor Christie for his support and unwavering commitment to helping our most vulnerable students,” Cerf said in the statement. “I have been equally inspired by our teachers and school leaders.”

Cerf, who will join Brooklyn-based Amplify Insight, said he will leave the Department of Education on Feb. 28.

Cerf replaced Bret Schundler, whom Christie fired over the loss of $400 million in federal school aid because of an application error. Cerf headed a public school system that Christie said was too costly and failing too many of its 1.4 million students.

Cerf previously served as deputy chancellor of the New York City school system.

Cerf is “a bright, innovative person” who emphasized students in economically distressed school districts, said Lawrence Feinsod, executive director of the New Jersey School Boards Association.

“We might not have agreed with all of his initiatives. However, one cannot dispute the sincerity of his beliefs,” Feinsod said in a prepared statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Chris Christoff in Lansing at cchristoff@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Merelman at smerelman@bloomberg.net

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