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Chris Cerf returns to the education private sector — but in Brazil

Since helping Mayor Michael Bloomberg win his third term last fall, former deputy schools chancellor Chris Cerf has almost completely disappeared from the New York City education landscape.

Perhaps he wanted warmer weather — Cerf is now the head of the new American arm of a Brazilian science curriculum company.

The company, Sangari Brasil, currently sells an elementary and middle school science program to school districts in Brazil and Argentina. It’s part of a larger international group that promotes science education, and recently donated $1 million to help the National Science Teacher Association build a science education center in Northern Virginia.

The position is in some ways a return to Cerf’s roots. Before his stint masterminding the politics of the mayor’s sweeping and frequently controversial education reforms, Cerf headed Edison Schools, Inc. (now called EdisonLearning), one of the United State’s largest for-profit school management companies.

I’ve emailed Cerf to learn more about his new gig and will update when I hear back from him.

In a video interview posted to the company’s website and to YouTube, Cerf explains that one of his initial tasks at Sangari USA is to help refine its curriculum program, particularly in the areas of assessment and evaluation — areas, he notes, that he has “had some experience in.”

The eventual goal, Cerf says in the video, is to adapt Sangari’s science program for eventual sale in the United States.

“Each country has different standards and the work of taking a program that is geared towards one country’s standards is very substantial,” Cerf says. “So we will be spending this year thinking about ways to adapt and adjust the program for potential use in the United States and elsewhere.”

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