Last updated: February 20. 2013 4:40AM - 1157 Views

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(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.


Associated Press
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