Superintendent, Newark Public Schools
Newark, New Jersey
Chris Cerf is superintendent of Newark Public Schools. Prior to becoming superintendent, he was appointed by Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey to serve as the state’s Commissioner of Education, beginning January 2011. As Acting Commissioner, he oversees 2,500 public schools, 1.4 million students, and 110,000 teachers in over 600 school districts.
A former CEO of Sangari Global Education, an educational technology company, and COO of Edison Schools, a private manager of public schools, Cerf is committed to data-driven education reform. Under New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Cerf worked as Chief Advisor on [Educational] Transformation, overseeing the radical restructuring of one of the largest city school systems in the country.
Cerf continues this work in New Jersey, overseeing the creation and implementation of systems that will allow the state to track student data at the level of the classroom, and help teachers and administrators to make educational decisions based on precise information about what students have and have not learned. He is also a champion of teacher quality reform, pushing for merit-based pay and tenure law revisions statewide.