The Newark Superintendent Search: A Chronology of Events
The following is a chronology of events in the search process for superintendent of Newark Public Schools. It is intended to be a factual accounting of the search process as witnessed by Ross Danis, the executive director of the Newark Education Trust and a member of the Newark Public Education Task Force, the search committee. It is not an official document of the Task Force nor is it intended to represent the views of the members of the Task Force.
- Newark Public Schools Superintendent Clifford Janey was told on August 31 that his contract, which was scheduled to expire July 1, 2011, would not be renewed.
- Acting Commissioner of Education Christopher Cerf began making initial outreach to possible candidates in December 2010, around the time of his appointment by Governor Chris Christie.
The Newark Superintendent Search
- The search firm, Spencer Stuart provided pro-bono search services beginning at an unknown date.
- Dr. Janey tendered his resignation effective February 1, 2011.
- On Tuesday, April 19th, 2011 at the request of its chair, Dr. Clement Price, the Newark Public Education Task Force, the 20 plus member committee of community stakeholders, non-profit leaders, academics, and business executives, was formally charged with weighing in on a final pool of candidates and met with the search firm of Spencer Stewart, to hear details of the search process.
- According to Spencer Stewart the process began with the identification of close to 200 potential candidates.
- Criteria included but was not limited to:
- Looking for “proof not promise” meaning that the search firm looked for candidates who either had a track record of successful experience as an urban superintendent, or someone who was second in charge in an urban district.
- Looking for someone who was in the middle stages of their career.
- Of the pool of 200 candidates, and given the multiple searches open in cities across the country, candidates began to self-select out of the Newark search, choosing to remain in searches for other positions that matched their needs.
- Based on those who indicated interest in the Newark role, the search firm then began the process of researching, contacting, checking, and cross-matching recommendations until the list was narrowed down to approximately 65 candidates.
- From there, the firm worked to engage in a vetting process that narrowed the field down to approximately 12.
- Of the 12 candidates who were interviewed, four candidates were then presented to the Task Force.
- A final meeting of the Newark Education Task Force was held at 8am on Wednesday, May 4, 2011, at the offices of the Newark Education Trust. The purpose of this meeting was to formally bring the proceedings to a close, and acknowledge the selection of a new superintendent of the Newark Public Schools by Governor Christie, and Commissioner Cerf.
- At 10:30am, on May 4th a press conference was held at Newark’s Science High, officially announcing Ms. Cami Anderson as Superintendent of the Newark Public Schools.