By David Cruz, Correspondent

When he hired her five years ago, Gov. Chris Christie wanted everyone to know that Cami Anderson had his unbridled support.

“She’s got a blocking back in Trenton that will either lead the way when I need to clear the hole or come up from behind to make sure that nobody’s taking cheap shots,” he said then.

This week the governor — preparing perhaps for a whole different ballgame — announced that his hand-picked superintendent, the one he just re-signed to a three-year deal in February, was out. Her replacement, former Education Department Commissioner and Cami Anderson ally, Chris Cerf.

“Of course, we are very happy to see her go, but it’s not about the person, it’s about the policies,” said Advisory Board member Antoinette Baskerville-Richardson, “so if it comes to fruition that Chris Cerf is appointed the next superintendent, it’s very problematic for us.”

Board members and teachers union officials say they expect a return to local control, a full stop on the “One Newark” reform plan and a return to what they call “community schools,” ending the so-called “open enrollment,” which had some kids getting bused to schools across town. To them Cerf is a non-starter.

“The problem with appointing Christopher Cerf to fill her shoes is that he was her mentor,” noted Newark Teachers Union Vice President John Abeigon. “He was her mentor and is even a truer believer in the types of policies that she was pushing down the throats of Newarkers.”


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