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The Post  
Caucus Backs Ackerman
  by: Rebel - Havertown, PA
started: 08/18/11 7:05 am | updated: 08/18/11 7:05 am
Members of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus yesterday officially joined the campaign to protect Superintendent Arlene Ackerman's job and vowed to get to the bottom of rumors that political forces are moving to have her booted.

Ackerman, who skipped her annual Superintendent's Leadership Conference, says that she is not going anywhere until she has to and is not negotiating a buyout package, which sources have priced at $1.5 million.

Caucus members plan to draft letters to SRC Chairman Robert Archie and Mayor Nutter requesting sit-downs.
"I'm not going anywhere until I absolutely have to, she said, a day after not attending her annual Superintendent's Leadership Conference.

Activist Sacaree Rhodes burned a copy of the Inquirer, criticizing the paper for what she described as racist coverage of the schools chief.

"The overwhelming response to our coverage has been largely supportive, but not everyone is going to agree," said Inquirer editor-in-chief Stan Wischnowski. "I strongly stand by our coverage."

State Rep. Ronald Waters described the political leaders' meeting with Ackerman as a "very real" discussion, while state Sen. Shirley Kitchen called for the resignation of SRC Chairman Robert Archie.

State Sen. Anthony Williams questioned the SRC, which oversees the district, and its role in the district's $629 million budget gap.

"They signed off on something and then pointed their fingers in another direction," he said.
Caucus members plan to draft letters to SRC Chairman Robert Archie and Mayor Nutter requesting sit-downs.

"We want to hear it from him [Archie] about the vision he has for [Ackerman],"Waters said.

Williams charged that a decision to slash the number of Promise Academies, one of Ackerman's key plans to overhaul troubled schools, was made without her consent.

Mayoral spokesman Mark McDonald said Nutter supports the district and its mission to provide quality education. As for Ackerman, he added, "she's supervised by the SRC and [the mayor] will leave to the SRC those personnel issues."

Archie said through a district spokeswoman that the SRC would continue to work with Ackerman to "make sure that we have a successful school year."
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