Arlene Ackerman Profile: Queen Arlene

Philadelphia schools head Arlene Ackerman arrived a year and a half ago with a strong résumé on education but an unwillingness to play politics. So just how long do you think she’ll last in this town?

In the wake of his nasty public spat with Ackerman, Green signaled his intention to become the new gadfly in her life, publicly announcing that he would be releasing an education plan listing goals and initiatives for the district. Ackerman called the idea that he would present such a plan “crazy.”

The risk, of course, is that in dismissing Green’s ideas before she’s even heard them, she could be seen as dismissing City Council. And if even a small faction of Council members thinks she’s looking down on them, they could get crazy all right — all over Arlene Ackerman’s head. It was the latest sign that her current job will end like those in her past. And in fact, her old friend and foil from D.C., Kevin Chavous, reacts to this latest story with an utter lack of surprise and a gentle grace note of regret: “So,” he says, “here we go. It’s already happening.”           


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