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    The departure of Philadelphia school superintendent Arlene Ackerman

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    Former Philadelphia schools Superintendent Arlene Ackerman (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

    Hour 2

    After a three-year tenure filled with controversy,  superintendent Arlene Ackerman is leaving the School District of Philadelphia. Her departure, which was considered imminent, was made official yesterday in a joint press release from Mayor Nutter, the School Reform Commission and the School District.  The announcement cited successes including three years of gains in test scores, a 29% decline in violence, a 7% gains in the graduation rates, and the implementation of Parent University, where more than 40,000 parents took courses in the past three years.  Among the issues that led to her departure were accusations of a $600 million budget shortfall, mishandling of school violence, and a general unwillingness to compromise.  Joining us to talk about Ackerman’s departure and the challenges facing the school district as classes open in just a few weeks are the Philadelphia Inquirer’s KRISTEN GRAHAM and BENJAMIN HEROLD, who writes about schools for The Public School Notebook and WHYY’s online site Newsworks.org. We’ll also hear from Philadelphia school parent HELEN GYM, a critic of Ackerman, and State Rep. RONALD WATERS, a supporter of her work in Philadelphia.

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    [audio: 082311_110630.mp3]

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