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Amplify Hires N.J. Ed Chief to Head Assessment Division

Chris Cerf is stepping down as New Jersey commissioner of education in order to join digital-learning company Amplify.

Beginning March 3, Cerf will be the chief executive of New York City-based Amplify's Insight Division, which oversees the company's assessment products and services.

Cerf joins Amplify at a pivotal moment; the company is preparing to roll out new digital curricula and assessment offerings while also trying to gain traction in the crowded digital education device market. But a high-profile washout of the company's largest 1-to-1 tablet rollout, in Guilford County, N.C., has garnered most of the recent headlines. That district is waiting til next school year to re-start its 1-to-1 computing initative after reporting major hardware problems with Amplify tablets this year. 

With the move, Cerf will rejoin Joel Klein, Amplify's CEO and the New Jersey education commissioner's former boss in the New York City schools.

"I couldn't be more excited about Chris coming on board," Klein said in a statement. "Chris really gets what it takes—at every level— to help prepare students for success."

According the statement, Amplify Insight focuses on helping teachers "accelerate personalized learning by harnessing the power of data." In addition to digital assessment products, the division offers consulting services to districts related to effective data use. 

"I have long believed that the next frontier of education is endowing educators, students, and parents alike with enhanced potential for personalized learning and differentiated instruction," Cerf said in the statement. 

Cerf, a former deputy chancellor in New York City and president and chief operating officer of for-profit Edison Schools (now known as EdisonLearning Inc.), has served as New Jersey's commissioner of education since 2011. 

Check in with our friends over at State Ed Watch for more on the New Jersey implications of Cerf's departure.

(Larry Berger, the president of Amplify Learning, the company's curriculum division, is a trustee of Editorial Projects in Education, the publisher of Education Week.)

Follow @BenjaminBHerold and @EdWeekEdTech for the latest news on ed-tech policies, practices, and trends. 

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