Tag Archives: Robert Archie

Arlene Ackerman’s Million Dollar Lynching

by Christopher Paslay

Activist Novella Williams complains Arlene Ackerman was ‘lynched’ by Mayor Nutter and other local leaders.   

At yesterday’s School Reform Commission meeting, activist Novella Williams complained that former Philadelphia school’s chief Arlene Ackerman was lynched by the SRC and local African American politicians, including SRC Chairman Robert Archie, Mayor Nutter, state Rep. Dwight Evans, and Acting Superintendent Leroy Nunery.

“She deserved not to be lynched by three of four black men,” Williams said.  “I didn’t think my men was going to destroy her.”

William’s comments were similar to those Jesse Jackson made about Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert in June of 2010, when Gilbert personally attacked LeBron James and said that he “cowardly betrayed” the city of Cleveland by taking $120 million to play in Miami. 

“[Gilbert] speaks as an owner of LeBron and not the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers,” Jackson said in a public statement.  “His feelings of betrayal personify a slave master mentality. He sees LeBron as a runaway slave.” 

A runaway slave that makes $120 million, that is. 

Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan also used the slavery analogy, calling the NBA a “big plantation” on which LeBron James was a “sharecropper.”       

Though Ackerman is no NBA superstar, her base salary of nearly $350,000 for the past three years was close to the NBA league minimum for a rookie, which in 2010-11 was $490,180; Ackerman was also given a car, two chauffeurs salaried at $44,000 each, a BlackBerry, a cellphone and usage, a laptop, and a printer. 

And now Ackerman is being paid, all told, over a million dollars to walk away. 

As one person wrote on Philly.com’s comment board, “If getting a million dollars for not working is considered a lynching, sign me up. That’s like hitting the lottery.”

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under Dr. Ackerman's Strategic Plan

Arlene Ackerman Voted America’s Top Urban Superintendent, Ten Months Ago Today

by Christopher Paslay

Last fall, before the PSSA test cheating scandal, before the Philadelphia School District faced a $630 million budget deficit, before the IRS audit into District financial practices and the no-bid security contract debacle with IBS Communications and the “Accountability Agreement” with the city—before politicians began proposing laws to limit her power and writing letters to the governor requesting her immediate termination—Dr. Ackerman was the best urban superintendent in the country. 

On October 21st, 2010, Dr. Ackerman received the Richard R. Green Award, the nation’s top prize for urban education leadership awarded by the Council of the Great City Schools

“Arlene Ackerman is one of the best big-city school superintendents in the country and is most worthy of the nation’s highest individual award in urban education,” said Council Executive Director Michael Casserly in a press release dated 10/21/10. “She is smart, dedicated, innovative, effective, and completely committed to our urban schoolchildren. Our sincere congratulations.”

In a testimonial video presented at the award ceremony (which took place while the federal government was conducting a civil-rights inquiry into racial violence against Asian students at South Philadelphia High School), the City and School District also spoke Dr. Ackerman’s praises. 

“The city of Philadelphia has benefited greatly from Dr. Arlene Ackerman’s courageous leadership,” Mayor Michael Nutter said.  “She has shown remarkable dedication to our city’s students and families and has given renewed hope to all of us by showing us just how truly great we can be.”       

School Reform Commission Chairman Robert Archie said, “Congratulations, Dr. Ackerman, on being the recipient of this award.  Through your leadership qualities, the School District of Philadelphia has been transformed into one of the best in the United States.”

“Dr. Ackerman is a strong woman of faith,” said Dr. Kevin R. Johnson, Senior Pastor, Bright Hope Baptist Church.  “And like Esther in the Bible, I believe that God has sent her to Philadelphia for such a time as this.”    

These words, and this award, ten months ago today.

2 Comments

Filed under Dr. Ackerman's Strategic Plan

Questions go beyond schools CEO

“The Philadelphia School District is experiencing a leadership crisis. Amid all the controversy surrounding Superintendent Arlene Ackerman, however, it’s easy to forget to ask whether the School Reform Commission is serving the interests of the city’s public schools.

Some education advocates have wondered if it’s time to get rid of the SRC, the appointed body charged with overseeing the Philadelphia School District for the past decade. In a series of articles for the Philadelphia Public School Notebook, the activist and retired Philadelphia schoolteacher Ron Whitehorne highlighted some of the major criticisms of the SRC, including that it provides no real oversight of the superintendent, simply rubber-stamping whatever comes across its desk. Whitehorne also noted that the SRC’s decisions are too often made behind closed doors, and that its meetings are not very accessible to parents and concerned citizens. . . .”

This is an excerpt from my commentary in today’s Philadelphia Inquirer, “Questions go beyond schools CEO.”  Please click here to read the entire article.  You can respond or provide feedback by clicking on the comment button below.

Thanks for reading.

–Christopher Paslay

2 Comments

Filed under Inquirer Articles