By Jeanette Rundquist/The Star-Ledger

NEWARK — Gov. Chris Christie plans to reappoint Newark School Superintendent Cami Anderson to another term.

And if some in the city don’t like it, too bad.

During a public appearance Wednesday at a school in Beach Haven, Christie was asked whether he and Education Commissioner Christopher Cerf plan to renew Anderson’s contract, given the level of criticism from the Newark community, about the job she’s doing.

“Yes we do, and we’re going to renew it because she’s done a great job, and I don’t care about the community criticism,” Christie said. “We run the school district in Newark, not them.”

Anderson was appointed superintendent in 2011, and has made big changes since then. She has closed schools, replaced principals and brokered a landmark teachers contract that offers bonuses to top teachers for the first time.

She has weathered hostile crowds at public meetings, and “no-confidence” votes from the city’s school board and municipal council, but also has received support from some city clergy, and from parents and teachers who said schools have improved.

Anderson has repeatedly said she believes it is critical to engage and work with the community, regardless of who is in charge.

Some community activists in Newark, including three candidates running for the mayor’s office next year, wasted no time in reacting to Christie’s statement.

South Ward Councilman Ras Baraka, a mayoral candidate who is also Central High School’s principal, said Christie “told the truth at least.”

“He does run the school district, not us. That’s why we need to get rid of him,” Baraka said Wednesday. “To say that he doesn’t care about what Newark residents think shows that he doesn’t represent Newarkers.”


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