Former Philly superintendent Arlene Ackerman passed away on Saturday from pancreatic cancer. She was 66 years old.
After receiving a $905,000 buyout to relinquish her position as superintendent (and then filing for unemployment), Ackerman became the most notorious local super-villain since Larry Mendte, as many critics felt that her buyout package could have been better used for educating actual, human children.
Ackerman later moved to New Mexico and formed The Ackerman Education Strategies Group, an educational consulting organization.
Despite her controversial exit, Mayor praised her previous work for the Philadelphia school system, stating that she was “a truly committed educator who demonstrated a profound passion for students and in particular the most disadvantaged students in our city. Through her leadership, Philadelphia took on the difficult, long-neglected task of turning around low-performing schools. Today, thousands of Philadelphia students are getting a better education thanks to her vision and advocacy. Her educational legacy will live on for many years through the initiatives that she championed.”
RIP, Arlene. For what it’s worth, we’re kind of sorry for making fun of your tassel jacket.