Rumblings: Who’s Afraid of Arlene Ackerman?

>>> Not Phil Goldsmith. The Daily News’ “It’s Our Money” columnist blows up School Superintendent Ackerman’s spot (in the most commendable way possible), calling her and her cronies “tone-deaf” to Philly taxpayers’ economic situations. Apparently, Ackerman is making bank ($338,000 a year, to be exact). She almost makes more than Nutter and Rendell combined. And while our mayor, our governor and their staffs were taking pay cuts, Ackerman was happily accepting a raise. Well, whatever, she deserves it, right? If this isn’t enough, check out this graph that ranks school district officials’ pay with that of other major cities. All we’ll say is: It ain’t pretty. [DN]

>>> Meanwhile, the district continues their streak of canning invaluable employees. Germantown High‘s Samenia Mayer was fired when she reported that teachers were stealing federally funded student lunches. One teacher denied it, responding: “Do you see what the students are fed? Why would I want to eat that?” Bad shit all around. But at least someone is listening: The U.S. Department of Labor is now looking into the whole debacle. [DN]

>>> And more victims of the race-fueled violence at South Philly High emerge. This time, it’s a Vietnamese mother who said she was at the school to pick up her kid when she was attacked by at least two students. It’s taken her more than a year to speak up (the assault was in Jan. 2009), perhaps a testament to the theory that the attacks were not only race-fueled, but language-fueled. Now she’s suing the school district and principal LaGreta Brown for her injuries. [Inky]

>>> Now (finally), rest the furrows in your eyebrows, we’ve got something good to report: Pennsylvania advanced from the second round of the U.S. Department of Education‘s Race to the Top competition. It’s down to 19 finalists and the District of Columbia. The prize? A piece of the $3.4 billion pot from the Department of Education to go towards education reforms. Fingers crossed. (We’ll worry about the district squandering it after we win.) [The Notebook]