ARLENE Ackerman will not go away. In Act Two of her Marie Antoinette act, Ackerman was not satisfied with the nearly $1 million golden-parachute buyout that she extracted from the Philadelphia School District. As a final insult, she has attempted to shake down the taxpayers for pin money: $573 in weekly unemployment compensation.

This shameless, chintzy move does not surprise me, nor does the fact that the School Reform Commission won't oppose it, or even that defenders of the great educator, like Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell, will try to stifle debate on this.

Of course, I have history with the Ackerman immune system. Earlier this year, in a previous column, I advanced the notion that Ackerman was a mediocre, transitory figure and that we should jump at the chance to get Michelle Rhee, the former Washington, D.C., public-schools head, who was then recently deposed. This set off Kenny Gamble and A. Bruce Crawley to hammer me in a column, reminding me that Ackerman was the holder of the Council of the Great City Schools Richard R. Green Award as the nation's leader in urban education. They told me that she was committed to Philadelphia until the "job is complete."

I guess that not only the buyout and unemployment checks should go to her, but that we should erect a float in the Mummers New Year's Day parade with a giant sign saying, "Mission Accomplished." By the way, I should be immune from any criticism for this column because I'm the proud winner of the "Golden Tonsils Award for Bloviating Talk Hosts."

Of course, this money grab by Ackerman is not accomplished yet. On my radio show immediately after the news broke, State Rep. Michael McGeehan told me that he had called to stop this under Section 402 of the unemployment code. He maintained that, according to all accounts, Ackerman was not fired but voluntarily left her position. I intend to continue to press this position with Gov. Corbett during my show with him later this month.

I've received a written response from the secretary of labor's office telling me that the Legislature already has crafted a law that will prevent the double-dipping that we are seeing with Ackerman. The law takes effect on Jan 1 and is not retroactive to this case.

However, I maintain that since this nickel-and-dime squeeze on the taxpayers will be prevented in the future, it demands that the Labor Department open this case up and ask all parties on the record how this deal was structured and whether or not the former superintendent was fired.

Besides the technical aspects of this affair, it reminds me of the public amnesia that Ackerman's defenders exhibited when there was a battle with Corbett over cutbacks in state funding. The local NAACP and other leaders rallied students to talk about misplaced priorities in spending, and yet allowed the excessively paid Ackerman to be one of the speakers decrying the attacks on Philadelphia public-school kids through the budget-slashing.

This Ackerman as "defender of the kids" positioning was curious given her failure to protect Asian students from multiple attacks at South Philadelphia High School. Not only were Asian students beaten en masse, but the media coverage exposed adults who were at best callous to the needs of ensuring the safety of the students. All this has resulted in a major federal lawsuit on behalf of the Asian students. It will be costing us far more than the $573 in weekly unemployment compensation that Ackerman wants to go along with her golden parachute.

In the meantime, I think that the Ackerman reign is a cautionary tale for the selection of the next person to head the Philadelphia public schools. Are we going to hear that the next leader must be paid on the Ackerman Line? In baseball, we have the Mendoza Line, which was named after a weak-hitting baseball player who couldn't bat higher than .200. The Ackerman Line is so named for school leaders who get mediocre results, get paid well (far exceeding any other public officials) and rule in an imperious manner.

Maybe the people who awarded Ackerman the urban-educator-of- the-year award are like the national media that take shots at Philadelphians because we are so critical of Eagles coach Andy Reid. They love to point out this part of the toxic brew in Philadelphia. Well, this season we have seen Reid every day and we painfully recognize his shortcomings. The same thing is true for Ackerman.

So, Ackerman defenders, the time is yours!

Teacher-turned-talk show host Dom Giordano is heard on WPHT (1210 AM) Radio. Contact Dom at