Arlene Ackerman, the controversial former leader of the School District of Philadelphia passed away this weekend after a battle with pancreatic cancer. During her three years as the district’s superintendent (and in her buyout-led departure), Ackerman was no stranger to controversy and strong opinions (both her own and ones she inspired). A simple search of her name on this very site can attest to that.
Of her passing, Mayor Nutter said:
Arlene Ackerman 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. Our prayers are with her family and friends.”
And while said legacy can be seen a few different ways (to put it lightly), she undoubtedly left one behind. You can read the blog her friends and family had been keeping during her struggle with cancer here. Arlene Ackerman was 66 years old.