(Trenton) — With the announcement today that New Jersey Education Commissioner Chris Cerf is stepping down to rejoin the private sector, New Jersey Democrats are hoping Governor Chris Christie will recognize it as a teachable moment.
Cerf, a man the New Jersey Education Association criticized for “rushing headlong into catastrophe” with a chaotic rollout of new teacher evaluation guidelines, is now fleeing the Christie administration while he can still find room on an available life raft. Cerf’s announcement, which comes just weeks after Governor Christie made controversial educational reform the centerpiece of his State of the State address, calls into question Christie's current priorities.
“This is clearly another warning sign, and an indication of Governor Christie’s failed leadership. Commissioner Cerf is no dummy. He can read the writing on the wall,” said New Jersey Democratic State Committee Chair John Currie. “As Chris Christie’s scandals steer our ship of state toward a Bermuda Triangle of intrigue it was just a matter of time before the governor’s misguided priorities and questionable navigational abilities caused people to jump overboard. Out of curiosity, given the fact that Christie is wooing Republican donors in Illinois later, was Commissioner Cerf afforded an exit interview? Or, is the state's educational system really not that much of a priority?”