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Date: 2018-02-11

In Newark, Chris Cerf’s diplomacy protects solid classroom gains

Imagine that it's 1995, you live in Newark, and you can't afford to send your kids to private school.

In more than half of the public elementary schools, not a single 8th grader passed the state test on academic competence. Putrid bathrooms lacked even toilet paper. The superintendent had 10 relatives on the payroll. Board members flew to Hawaii for conferences, and bought lavish meals at home, with house accounts at 32 area restaurants.

But it's 1995 in Newark, and you have no choice: You must send your kids into that system.

"I wish everyone would read that report from 1995," says Chris Cerf, who just stepped down as the city's superintendent of schools.


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