Five steps Cerf can take today to prove he supports local control and public education

Just keep walking, Chris, all the way back to Montclair (without your driver)--and do Newark a favor
Just keep walking, Chris, all the way back to Montclair (without your driver)–and do Newark a favor

The Newark school board has scheduled its regular business meeting at 5:30 pm today. It will be the first meeting the newly-imposed state superintendent of Newark schools, Christopher Cerf, will likely attend. He can take five steps tonight to prove he really is in favor of returning the district to local control and supporting neighborhood public schools. Here are the five steps:

1) Formally recommend to state Education Commissioner David Hespe that the school board receive a score of 80 on the QSAC accountability score, thereby returning the governance prerogative to the local board.

2) Put an immediate end to the “One Newark” enrollment plan and allow children to attend their neighborhood schools.

3) Immediately stop the wholesale transfer of teachers required by the “turnaround” plan.

4) Announce an immediate moratorium on the opening or expansion of privately operated, publicly funded charter schools AND return the $25 million in public funds diverted to charter schools from the neighborhood public school budget.

5) Give six months’ notice of his intention to resign his position as state-imposed school superintendent and to surrender his position to a superintendent chosen by the elected school board.

If he doesn’t take these steps, I at least hope he will not insult the people of the city with false talk about his support for local control. Act–don’t talk.

A reader added a sixth and it is essential: All teachers designated as EWPs–educators without placement–should be hired to jobs for which they are licensed. No new teachers should be hired before the EWPs list is exhausted.  The public schools need the $35 million wasted on “rubber rooms” every year.


  1. May I add one more step? All EWPS should be placed in positions. No new teachers should be hired until the pool has been disbanded.

    Bob Braun: Thank you. Absolutely essential.

    1. Urban Ed, Let’s stipulate that NPS EWPs should be placed in teaching positions for which they are certified (and I’d like to add “to which they agree” but I’m too idealistic). I’m thinking of Bob’s column re elementary teacher w SpEd cert assigned to teach HS chemistry. Some at Central Office think it’s OK to assign teacher outside of field then give low evaluation.
      And no 2nd year TFA corps members placed before EWPs.

  2. Did Cerf lose his license? Do my taxes pay for his chauffeur? If the answer to the 2nd question is yes, this needs to stop immediately. Who does he think he is?

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