If you had taken as many hits as Superintendent Arlene Ackerman has in recent weeks, you'd probably want to leave the troubles of the School District of Philadelphia behind.
But that's not the case with her, a district spokeswoman said in response to questions about comments Ackerman made before yesterday's School Reform Commission meeting.
Unbeknown to Ackerman, a Fox 29 microphone and camera fixed on her and SRC members were recording as she said, "I just want my job for life back." She was looking in the direction of Commissioner Joseph Dworetzky and, laughingly added: "I want it back. Oh, Lord!"
The "job for life" is a reference to the endowment chair she held at Columbia University before coming to Philadelphia.
Spokeswoman Jamilah Fraser said that Ackerman's comments were meant as a joke and that she has "absolutely no intentions of leaving."
Earlier yesterday, her Columbia job "was a topic of discussion outside the MSNBC set, and in the conversation with the commissioner . . . she mentioned jokingly her time at Columbia," Fraser said, referring to Ackerman's appearance on MSNBC's "Andrea Mitchell Reports."
Ackerman has come under fire for her widespread proposed cuts and for not advising Mayor Nutter that she had found a way to fund full-day kindergarten after he proposed raising taxes to help the district out of its budget crunch.
But during her live interview with Mitchell, Ackerman tried to redirect the conversation by focusing on the district's plans to restore essential services.