Cerf Confirmed as NJ Education Head

Christie nomination wins unanimous Senate approval, ending 18 month hold out

Monday, Jul 30, 2012  |  Updated 5:01 PM EDT
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Cerf Confirmed as NJ Education Head

Office of the Governor

Christopher Cerf was unanimously confirmed as NJ Commissioner of Education Monday. He was nominated by Gov. Chris Christie (R) for the position in Dec. 2010. and has served as acting commissioner since then. (Governor's Office/Tim Larsen)

The leader of New Jersey's Education Department has been confirmed 18 months after he was nominated for the job by Gov. Chris Christie.

The state Senate confirmed Christopher Cerf by a 28-0 vote Monday.

Cerf began serving as acting commissioner in December 2010.

Cerf's confirmation was held up for 18 months because of a process called senatorial courtesy, which allows the senator from the nominee's home county to block a gubernatorial appointment.

Cerf, who lives in Montclair, rented an apartment in Republican-friendly Montgomery to get around the rule after Sen. Ron Rice, an Essex County Democrat, refused to sign off on his nomination.

Cerf has reorganized the Education Department and had a hand in changing evaluation and tenure systems for teachers.

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