State DOE Stalls Smarick Nomination

NJ Spotlight has a scoop on the power struggles between the State Board of Education and Gov. Christie. While the Transition team last year recommended that the Board be shrunk in stature to an advisory role, Board members are beefing up by derailing the immediate appointment of Andy Smarick as the new Commissioner of Education. From the article:
This month [the NJ State Board of Education] quietly stepped into the fray of the Schundler fracas, preventing the former commissioner’s deputy from succeeding him, at least in the short-term. In the first meeting after Schundler’s ouster, the board would not formally approve Andrew Smarick as deputy commissioner. Smarick, selected by Schundler, is best known as a senior fellow and commentator for two conservative think-tanks in Washington, D.C. The action came in closed session and no reason was given. But without speaking specifically about Smarick, some board members said they reserved their right to approve people they felt most qualified for the positions selected.