Ackerman gets one year contract extension

More than two years before her contract was to expire, Philadelphia Schools Superintendent Arlene Ackerman has received a one year extension that will keep her at the district through June of 2014.The School Reform Commission awarded Ackerman the one year extension by default.   Her contract says commissioners are required to give written notice by March 1 of this year if they won’t be extending her tenure.School District Spokeswoman Shana Kemp says Ackerman has achieved enough to remain in her post.  State test scores are up and violent acts are down in schools.”We’ve had a 29 percent drop in violent incidents over the past two years, and you know she’s made some remarkable changes for our students, and it’s something that the SRC has recognized,” Kemp said.

But some state lawmakers don’t like the move.  State Representative Angel Cruz represents parts of North Philadelphia, Kensington, and the Lower Northeast.  He says the improvements are marginal, and he’s concerned about the school’s $450 million budget deficit.

“I’m not impressed,” said Cruz.  “I don’t think she has done anything out of the ordinary to win and to stay there and to extend her contract.  I don’t see that happening, and I don’t feel comfortable with that.”Cruz has asked Governor Corbett and Mayor Nutter to block the extension.  A spokesman for Mayor Nutter says Ackerman has done “a good job.”

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