Claiming to let her results speak for her, embattled Philly schools chief Arlene Ackerman dared politicians to fire her, receiving a standing ovation for a speech given yesterday at Lincoln High School.
“Once I understood that being guilty of standing up for children was a good thing, I stood just a little taller, held my head a little higher, and I felt liberated, liberated knowing that whatever happens to me, I have touched the future of thousands of young people in Philadelphia, and for the better,” Ackerman said in a strong, clear voice that she maintained for her speech of about 10 minutes.
That revelation made her do a “happy dance,” she said, and then she led one – swaying, clapping, encouraging her audience to sing along with her to Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes’ “Wake Up Everybody.”
The audience gave Ackerman a standing ovation. She wiped away tears.