Arlene Ackerman named top urban school leader

    Philadelphia School District Superintendent Arlene Ackerman named top urban school leader, despite controversies over salary and handling of school racial tensions.

    Philadelphia Schools Superintendent Arlene Ackerman has been awarded the Richard R. Green award. Her  efforts in raising student achievement and her school reform plan Imagine 2014 helped her come out on top, says executive director of The Council of Great City Schools Michael Casserly.

    Ackerman has taken heat both for a bonus she earned on top of her salary, and for the way she has handled school racial tensions. But Casserly says controversy and criticism come with the job.

    “I don’t think any big city school Superintendent at any place in the country is free of questions and controversies and opinions and skepticism about what it is they do,” he said. “It is a very very difficult job, but we are confident in what Arlene Ackerman is doing in Philadelphia.”

    Ackerman’s award comes with a $10,000 college scholarship she will give to a student of her choosing.

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