Tool of the Month- Superintendent Arlene AckermanDecember 11, 2009
When Arlene Ackerman was hired as superintendent of the Philadelphia school district my friend from DC warned me that we were in for it. Apparently the woman jumps from city to city, accomplishing nothing but wreaking havoc and collecting a larger paycheck than the mayors of each city in which she works.
In light of recent attacks on Asian students by black students in South Philly High she performed at par in her usual style: she dragged her feet, then when finally meeting with parents of the beaten kids, she got defensive and wouldn’t even offer an apology.
Her bahavior was so inexcusable that it even offended frequent race-baiting Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Annette John-Hall:
It’s bad enough that you waited four days to publicly respond to a gang attack at one of your schools. But it was even worse on Wednesday, watching you sit there dispassionately, as though you were listening to your voice mails, when students asked for an apology.
You know, a simple but powerful gesture that says, ” ‘I’m sorry that this happened to you, I’m sorry for the slow response time, I’m sorry that we have not stood with you earlier,’ ” said Ellen Somekawa of Asian Americans United.
Which is the human thing to do.
But how did you, the chief executive officer of the Philadelphia School District, respond?
With silence. Defensive, deafening silence.
And then, you didn’t take questions afterward.
Read John-Hall’s column here
More on the attacks here