Paul Davies' unfavorable opinion piece on Superintendent Arlene Ackerman represents the latest uninformed attack on Ackerman and her performance by The Inquirer ("Does Ackerman deserve a bonus?" Sunday).
Davies states that he must be watching a different Ackerman than the Ackerman the SRC is watching. I agree. Davies has not talked with Ackerman. He has not visited South Philly High School or spoken with any of its students.
Rather than taking the time to learn about the positive impact Ackerman is having on children in the school district, he focuses on the Dec. 3, 2009, attacks at South Philadelphia High School, contending that what "should have been a two- or three-day media event" was allowed to smolder because of Ackerman's "slow and halfhearted response."
The facts tell a different story. With the SRC's approval, Ackerman has implemented 23 specific initiatives at the school since December, including security cameras demanded by the community and programs such as the 50-50 Club, which bring Asian and African American students together to learn about each other's cultures.
Every public official makes statements or takes actions she later wishes she could take back. I'm sure Ackerman is no exception. That should not diminish her accomplishments. The SRC will continue to judge her based on results. To date, that has meant higher test scores, reduced violence, and greater parent involvement. Any objective reporter or editor would come to the same conclusion.
Robert L. Archie Jr.
Chairman, School Reform Commission