Newark Schools Superintendent Cami Anderson to step down

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Newark Public Schools Superintendent Cami Anderson will be stepping down from her position, according to New Jersey Commissioner of Education David Hespe.

Anderson will be leaving the district by July 8. By that time, Commissioner Hespe will recommend the appointment of Chris Cerf to the position. Cerf previously served as New Jersey's commissioner of education from 2011 until 2014.

"I have worked for four years to usher in critical improvements to the school system that have leveled the playing field for Newark students and paved the way for academic and social success," Anderson said in a statement.

The statement went on to say, "I hope my work in Newark will serve as an important roadmap for school districts across the country that are working to provide excellent schools for all students."

Commissioner Hespe praised Anderson's commitment to Newark.

"Superintendent Anderson has worked tirelessly over the last four years to implement a bold educational vision for the students and parents of Newark," he said in a statement.

Anderson was appointed Newark superintendent in 2011 by Gov. Chris Christie. Her tenure as superintendent has often been criticized by Newark officials, particularly Mayor Ras Baraka, who opposed her "One Newark" education plan. 

Over the past few months, dozens of students held protests against the "One Newark" plan and even staged sit-ins at Anderson's office to get their voices heard.

Anderson's opponents were happy with the news that she was stepping down.

"This has been a giant win for Newark students particularly because [Anderson] has been a target for the education fight," says Thais Marquez, a student organizer with NJ Communities United. "[Anderson] has been unwilling to listen to the community and unwilling to really do what's best for the community."

Gov. Christie and Mayor Baraka are expected to release more information on Newark's education vision over the next few days.

Anderson's contract had been renewed in February 2015.

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