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Former Philly schools chief Ackerman dies at 66
Saturday - 2/2/2013, 12:09pm EST
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Former Philadelphia schools superintendent Arlene Ackerman, who left abruptly a year and a half ago after clashing with local officials, has died, according to her son. She was 66.
Anthony Antognoli says his mother died at about 5 a.m. Saturday of pancreatic cancer in Albuquerque, N.M., where she lived. He says she hadn't been ill long and "it was too short a battle."
Superintendent William Hite Jr. says Ackerman "devoted her life to children and public education" and encouraged countless others to do so.
Ackerman took over the nation's eighth-largest school district in 2008 and was credited with continuing a rise in test scores and shrinking class sizes in primary grades. But critics derided her $348,000 salary, called her "Queen Arlene" and said her style was polarizing and autocratic.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)