Backers of Ackerman show their support
PHILADELPHIA - August 16, 2011 (WPVI) -- Dozens of people praised Philadelphia School District Superintendent Dr. Arlene Ackerman without hesitation and without reservation.
Last week, Ackerman was notably absent from the School Reform Commission meeting, leading to speculation on her future with the district.
On Tuesday night, at a meeting organized by her supporters and community activists, it was announced that Ackerman has signed no agreement on her exit, has no plans to resign, and will be returning to work Wednesday morning.
"She has not signed any agreement for any amount of money with the SRC," Ackerman supporter Pamela Williams said.
Although she did not attend Tuesday's meeting, the crowd of Ackerman supporters gathered together amidst reports that some in the city and School Reform Commission are working behind the scenes on a deal that would secure that Ackerman leaves her post quietly.
"She does not intend to leave the Philadelphia School District unless she is put out," Williams said.
Ackerman has come under fire in some circles as the District has tried to weather tough economic times, which led to layoffs and school program cuts. But her supporters say she is being railroaded.
"She has not committed any crime, all she's done is tried to level the playing field for black children," Ackerman supporter Sacaree Rhodes said.
State Representative Ron Waters is one of a number of state legislators who is coming out in support of Ackerman and condemning those who've tried to demonize her.
"I don't think it's right and we shouldn't stand for it and I say that we should stand up for her because if we stand up for her, we stand up for our children," Waters said.
Waters says he and other members of the Pennsylvania Black Caucus and Black Clergy will meet with Ackerman tomorrow to discuss her employment status and let her know that they are standing behind her in what some are referring to as a war.
A Philadelphia School District spokesperson tells Action News, as far as the School Reform Commission is concerned, Dr. Ackerman still is and continues to be the superintendant and they will continue to work with her.
philadelphia, pennsylvania, philadelphia school district, arlene ackerman, local/state, dann cuellar
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