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Agenda: State Board Takes Up Newark Superintendent and Common Core Changes

Abrupt changes in state-run district and the NJ’s participation in controversial achievement standards top agenda for the month

state seal

Date: Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Time: 10 a.m.

Where: New Jersey Department of Education, 1st-floor conference room, 100 River View Plaza, Trenton

What they are doing: It’s a mid-summer meeting, but the board hears about two consequential items this month: the replacement of state-appointed Newark schools superintendent Cami Anderson, and Gov. Chris Christie’s about-face on New Jersey’s participation in the Common Core State Standards.

Anderson replaced by Cerf: The big item on the docket is the board’s vote on whether to replace Anderson with former state commissioner Chris Cerf to lead the state-controlled Newark schools.

Not a done deal: In public at least, the board has hardly decided whether to approve Cerf as a replacement for Anderson. “The members continue to do their due diligence,” said Mark Biedron, the board’s president.

In Cerf’s favor: A majority of the board was appointed by Christie, including Biedron.

Not in his favor: Cerf’s choice to replace the unpopular Anderson has hardly drawn widespread praise. A protest is planned for this afternoon in Newark against Cerf’s appointment.

Common Core drama: If that wasn’t enough, the board is to hear from the Christie administration on the governor’s recent reversal on the state’s participation in the Common Core State Standards. Assistant Education Commissioner Kimberly Harrington is to testify about what happens next.

Board support for Common Core: The state Board last year reiterated its support for the standards.

Lots of questions: “We have a lot of questions, that’s for sure,” Biedron said yesterday.

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