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Newark schools Superintendent Anderson is leaving, state announces

Cami Anderson, state superintendent of Newark Public School District.-(NJBIZ FILE PHOTO)

Controversial Superintendent Cami Anderson is departing the Newark Public School District, state Commissioner of Education David Hespe announced Monday.Hespe said in a news release that he will recommended former Commissioner of Education Chris Cerf as her replacement.

Anderson, who was named state superintendent for the district on May 4, 2011, will leave the post by July 8 of this year, the release said.

“Superintendent Anderson has worked tirelessly over the last four years to implement a bold educational vision for the students and parents of Newark,” Hespe said in a prepared statement. “Under Cami’s leadership, the Newark school district signed a landmark teachers contract, implemented One Newark and increased flexibility and support in virtually every school in Newark. We know that these positive educational reforms will continue to benefit the students and parents of Newark for years to come.”

Anderson’s contract had been renewed earlier this year; no reason was given in the release for her departure.

Her tenure was marked by polarizing support and opposition for her One Newark educational plan, which she installed in the face of opposition from community leaders.

The state has run the Newark Public School District for nearly 20 years, originally citing corruption, facilities issues and poor performance for the takeover.

Hespe said he will recommend Cerf — most recently the chief executive of Brooklyn-based educational services firm Amplify Insight — to the state board of education by July 8, Anderson’s scheduled departure date. He also said he would recommend Cerf receive a three-year contract, consistent with initial contracts in other state-operated school districts, such as Camden.

The news release indicated that Gov. Chris Christie and Newark Mayor Ras Baraka would issue a statement on the transition “in the coming days.”

Anderson was ranked No. 96 on the NJBIZ 2014 Power 100 list of the state’s most powerful people in the business community.

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Eric Strauss

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