In another shake-up for the School District of Philadelphia, Robert Archie has decided to resign from his roles as chairman and member of the School Reform Commission.
Citing successful school openings and an adopted budget, Archie’s letter says it’s time for him to step back from the SRC. The news comes after The Public School Notebook and NewsWorks broke the story of Arlene Ackerman saying she was threatened around the Martin Luther King High School charter deal, which put Archie in the spotlight earlier this year when he, State Rep. Dwight Evans and others were found to have held closed-door meetings about the school’s charter takeover.
In his letter, which you can read in full below, Archie wishes luck to acting Superintendent Leroy Nunery, the SRC and Mayor Michael Nutter. His resignation is effective immediately.
Update, Sept. 20, 8 a.m. Acting Superintendent Leroy Nunery has released his own statement on th resignations of Archie and Irizarry, expressing his gratitude:
“Together they supported the District’s strategic plan, Imagine 2014, and encouraged the solid implementation of an aggressive school reform agenda. Under their leadership, academic growth and gains continued to rise for the ninth consecutive year. Both were charged by the Mayor to create and chair the Task Force on the African-American and Latino Male Dropout which was successfully published last year and is now being implemented. We are grateful for this and for all their contributions to school reform.Although they will now leave the SRC, we will continue to benefit from their counsel and know we can count on their support in the years to come. Once again, I thank and wish them well.”
Update, 3:30 p.m. Mayor Michael Nutter has accepted Archie’s resignation, as well as the resignation of board member Johnny Irizarry.
“I very much appreciate the service of Bob Archie and Johnny Irizarry through very difficult and challenging times,” Nutter’s statement reads. “During their watch, students continued to show improved test scores and the graduation rate has improved.”
Nutter is expected to appoint new members “very shortly.”
Letter from Robert Archie
Over the last several months, I have had multiple conversations with Mayor Michael Nutter and members of his Administration on issues related to the School District of Philadelphia. Indeed, during my entire tenure, I have tried to work closely and collaboratively with the Mayor and his staff in achieving the best educational program for the children of the Philadelphia Public Schools.The Mayor and I have also had recent conversations involving the future management structure of the public school system.Upon being chosen to serve on the School Reform Commission, my goal was to work for the children and families of Philadelphia for two years. I have served as Commissioner and Chairman for almost two and one half years. Now that schools have opened successfully, a budget has been adopted for the fiscal year and an acting superintendent has been appointed, I have determined that I should conclude my service on the School Reform Commission. The Mayor should have the opportunity to carry out his educational programs and objectives with a new group of appointees to the Commission. Accordingly, I am resigning as Chairman and as a member of the School Reform Commission, a very distinguished and hard working-body of volunteers, effective immediately.When I was appointed to this position, I took the oath with my family and friends standing beside me. As a lifetime resident of Philadelphia and a graduate of the Philadelphia public school system, I have been committed to Philadelphia and its schools since the early fifties, first as an honor roll student, then as a substitute teacher and periodically as the school district’s co-bond counsel.When asked by the Mayor and Governor Rendell to serve, I happily volunteered my service to the School Reform Commission hoping that my service would promote educational opportunities for all the children in the School District of Philadelphia. I am glad that I was able to do so. There have been many obstacles, not the least of which involves the budgetary issues facing the School District this fiscal year and next. During my tenure, my fellow Commissioners and I have provided, to the best of our ability, certain solutions to the many challenges facing the School District. I am also extremely proud of our many achievements, including the creation of the Imagine 2014 strategic plan, the integration of traditional public schools with charter programs, the progressive teacher contracts, and the revised expulsion process. I am satisfied that I have given the best service of which I am capable to the citizens of Philadelphia. At all times, I have acted in their sole interest and it has been a privilege and an honor to do so.I wish Mayor Nutter, Acting Superintendent Nunery, the public school system staff and the School Reform Commission every success as they continue to serve the children of the district.