When prominent people want to get their point of view out on a public controversy, smart ones will often grant an interview to someone they don’t expect to know the details of the scrap they’re trying to spin.
So what a surprise that departed Philadelphia schools chief Arlene Ackerman gave an interview not to the Public School Notebook, which with Newsworks has done great enterprise reporting on the district, or with any of the education team at the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Ackerman went to Education Week to weave her spin.
I love this nugget from the $905,000 buyout queen:
“There are people who wanted me to stay. Politicians and ministers said, ‘I want you to stay,’ ” Ackerman said. “But if your boss does not want to work with you, and they’re willing to pay you a million to step aside—that’s how much they don’t want to work with you—then what can you do?”
Well, she could decide to take a month’s pay and leave the rest for the kids. But Ackerman says she’s not the one who wanted to end her contract, and believes she deserves compensation for leaving a happy life in San Francisco to come and deal with this place.
She says things started going south for her in March, when she resisted overruling parents’ choice of the charter school manager they wanted to run Martin Luther King High.
She says she was told by unnamed powers that she was making “a career choice” in not going along with the program. You can read one of several pieces by Newsworks and Public School Notebook’s Bill Hangley on this controversy here.
And Ackerman seems told Education Week that it was Mayor Nutter’s idea to put all-day kindergarten on the chopping block this spring to try and get more money from the state and City Council. It will be interesting to see what Nutter has to say about that.