New Jersey Education Commissioner Resigns

By Daarel Burnette II — September 02, 2016 1 min read
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David Hespe, New Jersey’s education commissioner, announced his resignation Friday after a little over two years on the job, according to a statement from his office.

Kimberley Harrington, the state’s assistant commissioner and chief academic officer, will take over the department in the interim, Republican Gov. Chris Christie said in a statement. New Jersey has had five education commissioners in seven years.

Hespe led the state through its rewriting of its common core standards, new teacher and principal evaluations, and returning some measures of decision-making to state-run urban districts. He also expanded the state’s charter sector and oversaw the implementation of online PARCC testing.

The commissioner before Hespe, Chris Cerf, resigned in 2014 to take a chief executive job at Amplify, a digital learning company then headed by former New York City schools chancellor Joel Klein. Cerf returned to the New Jersey education scene a little over a year later as the state-appointed superintendent in charge of Newark public schools.

Hespe doesn’t appear to have a new job lined up yet, according to

The average tenure of state superintendents has dramatically dropped in recent years after several faced backlash over new state standards, school accountability, and teacher evaluations.

A version of this news article first appeared in the State EdWatch blog.