Ackerman's staying, though. What's interesting is how she's responding to those rumors of her departure:
Schools chief Arlene C. Ackerman on Monday shot down rumors she is in talks to leave the Philadelphia School District, and suggested that those who want her gone are uncomfortable with the thought of all public-school children succeeding.Oh, sure, Dr. Ackerman. You're under fire because your critics hate kids. That's it.
Many initiatives in Ackerman's three-year superintendency have been focused on funneling resources to struggling schools, and, she said, "that is maybe threatening to some people, but I came here to do a job, and I'm going to do that job. All the rest of this is just noise."
We're faced here with a couple of options. Either Ackerman believes what she's saying, in which case her head is filled with paranoid delusions. Or she's intentionally trying to delegitimize her critics by ascribing evil motives to them. Which might be a savvy survival technique, but sucks in terms of serving the students in her district.
From where I sit, it appears that Ackerman is the figure who is motivated by politics and turf defense. Her critics probably have some of that going on, too, but they can also make a substantive case that Ackerman's leadership is bad for the district—and thus for the kids. It would be nice to see Ackerman focused on leading the district instead of tearing down her opponents.