The leader of New Jersey's Education Department has been confirmed 18 months after he was nominated for the job by Gov. Chris Christie.

The state Senate confirmed Christopher Cerf by a 28-0 vote Monday. Cerf began serving as acting commissioner in December 2010.

Cerf's confirmation was held up for 18 months because of a process called senatorial courtesy, which allows the senator from the nominee's home county to block a gubernatorial appointment. Cerf, who lives in Montclair, rented an apartment in Republican-friendly Montgomery to get around the rule after Sen. Ron Rice, an Essex County Democrat, refused to sign off on his nomination.

Cerf has reorganized the Education Department and had a hand in changing evaluation and tenure systems for teachers.




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