You have to hand it to Arlene Ackerman. She sure knows how to make a deal. No, the superintendent of the School District of Philadelphia was not responsible for the earthquake that rattled the East Coast one day after she was ousted from her cushy job, but she certainly did shake loose a whole lot of bucks for her departure.
Though student test scores improved under her three-year reign, Dr. Ackerman’s arrogant, brazen, dictatorial style rubbed too many people the wrong way — so much so that they’re paying her $905,000 to go away three years before her contract expires. Now she has 905,000 ways to thumb her nose at the suckers on the School “Reform” Commission responsible for her ridiculously generous contract.
Be that as it may, her severance package might inspire underachievers everywhere to get in on the “pay me to NOT do my job” action. For instance:
• Republican mayoral candidate Karen Brown: $1,000 from Friends of Nutter to NOT run against Michael Nutter in the fall.
• DROP queen Marian Tasco: $500,000 from the government-watchdog group Committee of Seventy to NOT try to become City Council president.
• City Commissioner Marge Tartaglione: $5,000 from the Democratic City Committee to NOT remain in Philadelphia when she leaves office in January.
• Presidential candidate and Elvis Presley expert Michele Bachmann: $10 million from the Barack Obama campaign to NOT withdraw from the race.
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