This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.
In another statement released through her spokeswoman Saturday morning, Superintendent Arlene Ackerman said has she never gotten details of the closed-door meeting to discuss the future of Martin Luther King High School from her deputy, Leroy Nunery.
She also said she had shared her "deep concern" about the outcome of the meeting — Mosaica’s withdrawal as King’s preferred charter operator — to the members of the School Reform Commission. The March 16 meeting included SRC chair Robert Archie, State Rep. Dwight Evans, and Mosaica official John Porter.
Text of Ackerman’s statement follows:
As stated numerous times, Dr. Ackerman was unaware a meeting had taken place until after the meeting had occurred. The information she was provided by Deputy Superintendent Dr. Leroy Nunery, the night of the meeting, was that a meeting had occurred between John Porter, Chairman Archie and Representative Dwight Evans and that Dr. Nunery was directed by the Chairman to invite Evans and Porter to attend. Dr. Nunery did not share the explicit details about this meeting, that night or to this day, only that he was concerned.
The same night, in an off the record conversation, a confused and deeply troubled John Porter reached out to Dr. Ackerman to express his hesitation about moving forward. As reported by John Porter on several accounts, Dr. Ackerman reassured him that the District, the SAC and the SRC were in full support of the match; this was apparent in the vote that had taken place that same night. The next day she received an official withdrawal letter from Mosaica.
Chairman Archie was appointed by Mayor Michael Nutter to govern the SRC board. Dr. Ackerman is supervised by Chairman Archie and the Commissioners. She has expressed her deep concern, on multiple occasions, about this matter to Chairman Archie and the Commissioners. It is not within Dr. Ackerman’s purview to hold any Commissioner accountable for their public responsibilities, only to express concern and offer her best recommendations. To this day she maintains the position that she felt it was "tragic" that the SAC did not receive their first choice.