Ackerman Pens Fake Editorial on School Change

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Arlene AckermanJust when you thought you’d not hear from Arlene Ackerman again, she has an editorial show up on But I think it’s a fake.

Having worked in the school reform camp for a bit, I’ve seen this editorial before, I think. A reform group asks a leader to pen a short editorial that quietly extols their virtues without ever saying their name. In this case, my bet is that Michelle Rhee and Students First are behind this op-ed.

But here’s what Ackerman has to say on their behalf:

Before my tenure as superintendent of the Philadelphia School District, I had always believed the best way to improve access to quality education for low-income families was to implement needed reforms from within the education system. Recently, I’ve come to a sad realization. Real reform will never come from within the system because too many powers that be (the teachers’ union, politicians, consultants, vendors, etc.) have a vested interested in maintaining the status quo that is failing our children.

Meaningful education reform must be forced upon the system from outside by giving parents of all income levels real choices about where their children go to school. That requires giving parents comprehensive school choice that includes an expanded charter-school system and a voucher program for low-income parents with children trapped in a failing school.

About Greg

I founded Keystone Politics in 2004. Now I make stuff on the Internet for a living.
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4 Responses to Ackerman Pens Fake Editorial on School Change

  1. Are rural kids are ALL trapped in poorly funded schools and always have been. We have NO access to private schools. So how are vouchers supposed to improve OUR access to better education. We're waiting.

  2. educrat says:

    Instead it was probably the status quo groups that are cited that were behind this ed. They know Ms. Ackerman has lost favor; how much better to stir resentment? Ms. Ackerman is highly representative of the groups which the ed supposedly criticizes – she is very much "within the system". Of course vouchers are a hidden way to make public dollars go to special interests. For the previous commenter, I think we need to take a hard look at what makes a good/effective education. I found that homeschooling, till financial circumstances interfered, worked far better than any institutional method, private included (I'm judging by the insular thinking of privately schooled neighborhood kids.) Ms. Ackerman did make motions towards the right things, that is increasing the educational level of caregivers, smaller class size, better caregiver involvement; but her understanding of how best to make these things happen was lacking, and her ego did not allow her to accept any constructive criticism.

  3. JCT says:

    Ackerman didn't have anything to do with smaller class size. That is an initiative of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers.

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