Statement from Chris Cerf on His Resignation as Education Commissioner

For Immediate Release Contact: Mike Yaple
Rich Vespucci
Date: February 11, 2014 609-292-1126


"It is with a sense of both great pride and some sadness that I have advised the Governor of my decision to step down as Commissioner of Education.  I have been honored to serve the children of New Jersey over the past three years and to advance the goal that every child, regardless of birth circumstance, has the opportunity to attend a public school that will put him or her on track for success in college and career.  I am grateful to Governor Christie for his support and unwavering commitment to helping our most vulnerable students.  I have been inspired by the Governor's unrelenting drive to close the achievement gap and put all of our children on a path to success.  I have been equally inspired by our teachers and school leaders who are responsible for the great success we have achieved as a state.  I will never forget the hard work they do with our children every day, and I honor them for their commitment and skill.

"Over the past three years, we have taken a number of significant steps forward as a state: a new tenure law that, for the first time, ties the acquisition and loss of tenure with educator effectiveness; the development of a new statewide accountability system that gives flexibility to our high-performing districts while focusing interventions on the lowest-performing 15% of schools in the state; real progress in Newark, including a nation-leading teacher's contract, and the first steps to providing better options to students in Camden; opening more than 30 new charter schools to expand options for our highest-need students while bringing true accountability for performance by closing 10 low-performing charters; and executing a comprehensive Common Core implementation plan, including the development of a new website (njcore.org), to help teachers adapt to the shifts required in the new standards.

"While these are important steps, the work is not done.  The senior leadership of the DOE and the entire team are, in my view, the best in the country.  I have no doubt that they will be able to continue the work to great success under new leadership. 

"As for me, I have accepted a position as CEO of Amplify Insight.  I have long believed that the next frontier of education is endowing educators, students and parents alike with enhanced potential for personalized learning and differentiated instruction.  I am excited by the work that is under way in this field and look forward to being a part of this nation-leading organization.  I have notified the Governor that I will transition out of the Department on February 28.  I remain committed to the work we have begun in New Jersey, and stand ready to help the Governor and Department of Education in any way I can."