Chris Cerf, of course, is one of a stable of school privatization experts hired by Bloomberg and Klein last year. Now Chris Cerf, whose expertise is supposed to include media affairs, finds himself in up to his ears in a conflict of interest "media affair," due to some questioning by a parent group that insisted on knowing more about the Bloomberg/Klein plan for school privatization. Bloomberg must be regretting his decision to keep the Parent Advisory Group, instead of ditching them like he did elected school board members. Here is bit of the chronology on Mr. Cerf:
April 16, 2001: Chris Cerf, Chief Operating Officer of Edison, announces $7 million in summer contracts (Edison Extra) with 8 midwest school districts.
October 28, 2002: Along with right-wing preacher, Floyd Flake, Cerf is named once more to Class A Board member of Edison:
The persons named in the enclosed proxy will vote to elect, as Class A Directors, John B. Balousek, Christopher D. Cerf, Joan Ganz Cooney, ReverendFloyd H. Flake, Ronald F. Fortune, Paul A. Lincoln and Benno C. Schmidt, Jr. andwill vote to elect, as Class B Directors, Charles J. Delaney, Lowell W.Robinson, Timothy P. Shriver and H. Christopher Whittle, unless authority tovote for any or all of the nominees is withheld by marking the proxy to that effect.January 19, 2006: Cerf named by Klein as leader of Public-Private Strategy Group
2005-2006 School Year: Newton Learning, a subsidiary of Edison, Inc., pockets at least $9.6 million by New York City for NCLB-mandated tutoring.
April 21, 2006: Cerf tells New York Times: "This is entire system reform," Mr. Cerf said over a cheeseburger lunch at a downtown bistro. "This is the most important and urgent thing going on in American public education today. If it can be done well and right here, it will be a national pace car for change."
October 2006: Cerf resigns from Edison's Board of Directors.
December 21, 2006: Cerf named Deputy Chancellor by Klein, in charge of "all areas related to human capital."
The Times reports that "before being named deputy chancellor, Mr. Cerf had sought a waiver from the city’s Conflicts of Interest Board allowing him to keep the shares [of Edison stock], but changed his mind this week.
Wednesday, February 7: Cerf dumps all of Edison stock purportedly worth $1-6.5 million.
Thursday, February 8: Cerf tells Parent Advisory Group, "I have no financial interest in Edison of any kind. Zero.”
Saturday, February 10: Cerf in deep do-do.