Ackerman: 'I'm in perfect peace'

In Arlene Ackerman's first interview since taking a $905,000 buyout Monday to step aside, the departed superintendent tells Education Week that it was politics, not policy, that did her in.

"There are people who wanted me to stay," Ackerman told reporter Christina Samuels. "Politicians and ministers said, 'I want you to stay,'  "But if your boss does not want to work with you, and they're willing to pay you a million to step aside—that's how much they don't want to work with you—then what can you do?"

Ackerman acknowledged that her missteps with awarding school contracts and running afoul of Mayor Michael Nutter helped lead to her demise. But she said it was when she sided with parents, rather than state representative Dwight Evans, over their choice of a charter provider for Martin Luther King High School, that her days became numbered.

"I was told then I was making a 'career decision,' " Ackerman said.

Because she believes her policies were never in question, "I'm in perfect peace," Ackerman said.

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