August 24, 2011, - 4:28 pm

Get Rich Quick Publick Skoolz Scheme: They Paid the Superintendent WHAT?! to Quit?

By Debbie Schlussel

Whether the economy is good or bad, $900,000 is a pretty nice chunk of change for the average American .  .  . especially as a golden parachute for quitting a job running a public school district after conflicts with employees and others.  But that’s what happened with Philadelphia Public Schools Superintendent Arlene Ackerman.  Nice work, er pay for quitting work . . . if you can get it.

Philly Schools Supe Arlene Ackerman Cashes In to Resign

Wow, I would love to get paid $900K not to work.  Wouldn’t you?  Your tax dollars at work:

PHILADELPHIA – The city’s embattled schools superintendent abruptly left the district yesterday with $900,000 promised in severance, capping a tumultuous tenure that saw increased test scores and graduation rates but also clashes with community members, the teachers union, and elected leaders.

Arlene Ackerman is being bought out of her multiyear contract with a combination of public and private funds and will be replaced in the interim by her deputy superintendent, according to a district statement.

“This decision, as difficult as it was for Dr. Ackerman, is consistent with her history, as well as recognition that for the district to best move forward, it must do so with new leadership,’’ said Robert Archie Jr., chairman of the city-state commission that oversees the schools.

“Difficult” decision? Huh? What the heck is difficult about accepting a cool near-million to go on vacation? Sign me up for these “difficulties.” Her response and that of Philly Mayor Michael Nutter is that she was owed $1.5 million pursuant to her contract. Um, yeah, if she worked for two or so more years. Getting this large golden parachute on the public dime is simply absurd.

Sounds like this woman tried to do the right thing in restoring the Philly schools.  But, still, paying out that much money for running a public school system . . . and then quitting?  Ridiculous.

And I’d love to see how much those test scores improved and whether or not it was as a result of cheating, as has been the case in many locations, including during Michelle Rhee’s touted tenure heading the DC school district.

In any event, there is just one word suitable here:  cha-ching.

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23 Responses

This is another example of the elite government class leeching off the country’s productive class.

Full disclosure: I’m an ex-Federal employee with a ridiculously generous pension but nowhere near the obscenity we’re seeing with Ackerman’s golden parachute. But what does the Philadelphia government care. It’s not *their* money. And therein lies the problem…

Raymond in DC on August 24, 2011 at 4:59 pm

Yes, the “community leaders”. Adjusting for circumstances, they could easily be the community leaders of the Egyptian “Spring”.

Little Al on August 24, 2011 at 5:03 pm

They decided it was cheaper to push a talented woman out of her job because she did too good a job!

I’m not sure that’s worth $900,000 but nothing is too absurd in this country. We can’t have better schools in Philadelphia!

What’s “difficult” is Philadelphia didn’t have the guts to defend her and her work. But you know, they just wanted to make that all go away rather than take a principled stand.

Its soo hard to retain qualified people in government these days!

NormanF on August 24, 2011 at 5:38 pm

Normanf, if you spent a little time researching the history of this “educator” you might find that she was vilified in other cities before landing in Phila.
She has been a lightning rod for corruption, incompetence, and racism during her tenure and the bankrupt city with an incumbent black Mayor, who’s claim to fame is that 80% of the Public Schools are black and six hundred million dollars in deficit, and the bruthas and sistas run the city.
So desperate to be reelected in November,Mayor Nutter, rapper and confidant to the Anointed One, the Great B.O., had to defuse a powder keg where Flash Mobs of rioting black school kids create havoc in the Downtown for their vacation activity, left Martha’s Vineyard,while lapping it up with his Comcast handlers,to execute her removal.
These are the slight reminders of her lasting achievements.

One term is enough on August 24, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    Its says more about Philadelphia not taking their kids future seriously than it does about her. Maybe they don’t want academic excellence. And challenging the status quo there is not a good career move.

    Which they paid in the end, $900,000 worth of taxpayers’ money to preserve. Ka-ching, indeed!

    NormanF on August 24, 2011 at 8:00 pm

OTIE, you need to learn how to think logically. The fact that she was villified in other cities does not necessarily discredit her, as there are the same loony teachers and community activists all over.

However, she has gotten huge severance packages in other cities as well as Philly. So to me, a plague on both your houses.

Little Al on August 24, 2011 at 8:02 pm

Little Al, kishmer en touches; Phila. released their Public Housing Director under similar circumstances several months ago.Only he had billions to spend to keep Public Housing looking like luxury condos until the Drug Cartels turn them into no-man’s land as was the aftermath of LBJ’s Great Society.
When Governments are run like entitlement sperm banks and the usurpers of power can manipulate and enrich themselves with Other Peoples Money we get bankrupt systems where only the criminals benefit.
That is why the Demonrats can travel in limousine motorcades and party in Marthas Vineyard while normal people watch the storm of impending doom and try to avoid the inevitable.
Managing disasters brought us brutal and corrupt dictators like the Ghadaffi’s and Obama’s, they are true bruthas.

One term is enough on August 24, 2011 at 8:21 pm

OTIE, you have not addressed anything I said. You have made rambling comments that do nothing except repeat cliches about wasteful government that we are all already aware of.

Little Al on August 24, 2011 at 9:44 pm

Little Al, are you and NormanF conjoined from the front or the rear.
Two a**wipes that belong on Philly’s Board of Education.

Hymie Town on August 24, 2011 at 10:11 pm

I guess OTIE decided to use a different name for his HT comment, to try to dissociate himself from his inanities. This person is finally showing for all to see that his level of comments is no better than those of the Muslims who can do nothing except utter obscenities in the place of rational discussion.

Little Al on August 24, 2011 at 10:39 pm

And of course, like most critics of Debbie, the muted antisemitism in the earlier comments has broken out in the HT comment.

It is debasing to even try to deal with substance in gutter comments like this, but it is worth noting that this person is evidently confusing the Board of Education with the Superintendent. Probably a teacher in Philly. This level of stupidity and vitriol is what we have come to expect from teachers, especially after Madison.

Little Al on August 24, 2011 at 10:43 pm

Where is the outrage and indignation that I hear from the liberals when the salary and perks of a company CEO is on display on television? This is funny that the when government employees are shown to be getting than better salaries and very 18K golden parachutes, the liberals then use the very old mantra, “the high pay and perks are required to higher the best”. I just hate when both incompetant private and public sectors managers are paid to be incompetant. Until this BS of “you get what you paid for” in employee payments is under more public scrutiny, we will continue to have these toadies getting paid at everyones expense. What ever happen you get rewarded for a job well done and not before that?

Mario on August 24, 2011 at 11:00 pm

As other posters have pointed out, this lady has a bad record in many school districts, especially SanFran.

I cannot believe she has any defenders – I used to have respect for NormanF.

Nir Leiu on August 25, 2011 at 2:50 am

    People are afraid to criticize an incompetent black woman because they don’t want to be called “racist.” Of course she ascended to her post to begin with because of affirmative action and of course she’s a horrible, vengeful and almost criminally unqualified “administrator.”

    We treat blacks like children, gushing over them and praising them like we would a toddler who displays his “masterpiece” of macaroni art. It only adds to the mass-psychosis and hostility and builds resentment on both sides, as well as undermining the actual achievements of actually talented blacks.

    As realists, though, we have no choice because of how far our culture has degraded into the quagmire of race-baiting and the death-knell of being labeled as a “racist” for simply pointing out the painfully obvious.

    DS_ROCKS! on August 25, 2011 at 3:59 pm

Raymond in DC:

I’m a retired Federal Employee with a ridiculously paltry pension compared to this twit, along with Congress and other big-time CEO’s who collect obscene pensions and parachutes for little or no work.

IceNoMore on August 25, 2011 at 10:07 am

For whatever it’s worth, Arlene Ackerman used to be the Superintendent of the DC Public Schools back in the 90s or thereabouts.

Linky Drake on August 25, 2011 at 11:39 am

Old adage of the job market: “It’s not what you’re worth, but what people are willing to pay you.”

Once you hit a certain career track (CEO, Superintendent etc..) you can hop around jobs, get exhorbitant compensation, and even recieve even better severance packages. That why people strive for these kinds of positions.

Don’t hate the player, hate the game. The bad part about this one is that it involves taxpayer money and the education of youth.

Justin on August 25, 2011 at 12:33 pm

Well, it’s not just the circumstances of the job, it’s the person too. No one is forcing her to accept these huge payouts.

Little Al on August 25, 2011 at 12:50 pm

I am an MD. After working 20 years in my State Public Mental Hospital system, admitting and discharging 300 patients yearly (with the help of my nurse practitioner, who I am responsible for) I will be paid a $120K a year retirement pension, or 1/3 of what my top 5 years average will be. I will have worked for the State from age 46 to age 67 (I’m now 49).

900 K severance for 2 or 3 years of work seems extreme.

Occam's Tool on August 25, 2011 at 3:41 pm

People are afraid to criticize an incompetent black woman because they don’t want to be called “racist.” Of course she ascended to her post to begin with because of affirmative action and of course she’s a horrible, vengeful and almost criminally unqualified “administrator.”

We treat blacks like children, gushing over them and praising them like we would a toddler who displays his “masterpiece” of macaroni art. It only adds to the mass-psychosis and hostility and builds resentment on both sides, as well as undermining the actual achievements of actually talented blacks.

As realists, though, we have no choice because of how far our culture has degraded into the quagmire of race-baiting and the death-knell of being labeled as a “racist” for simply pointing out the painfully obvious.

DS_ROCKS! on August 26, 2011 at 12:37 am

There are no good guys in the big city publik skool administration complex.

Pauley D on August 26, 2011 at 10:21 am

Think of this as a variation of hitting the jackpot in the ghetto lottery. Hey, Arlene, don’t spend it all in one place.

Seek on August 26, 2011 at 2:41 pm

While it’s certainly debatable whether the person in question should have gotten the job in the first place this isn’t about “severance pay” or even a “golden parachute”.

This is about a person who had a signed contract. The people who signed the contract changed their minds and wanted to undo the contract. As such, agreeing to 900K when the person had 1,500K coming over the duration of the contract is pretty reasonable.

Of course, if the people who signed the contract had legal reason to fire the person they signed the contract with they would have done so. That would have gotten them of the hook as far as the contract goes. The fact that they didn’t is quite telling IMHO.

The person getting the 900K isn’t the issue here. They are only doing what’s right by them. Everyone of us would do the same in similar circumstances. The issue here is the ineptness of the people who signed the contract and then changed their mind.

Eliezer on August 29, 2011 at 12:38 pm

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