SRC chairman Robert Archie Jr. resigns

PHILADELPHIA - September 19, 2011

The embattled SRC chairman has been a member of the commission for two and a half years. Most recently, Archie was one of the driving forces behind the removal of controversial school superintendent Arlene Ackerman through a $900,000 buyout of her contract.

The city is also investigating a closed-door meeting involving Archie and others that led a charter school operator to withdraw from a contract it had won.

He said in his letter of resignation that he recently had conversations with Mayor Nutter involving the future management structure of the public school system. And that after schools opened successfully this year, he thought it was time to step down.

Archie's resignation leaves three people on the five-member commission. A fourth is awaiting state Senate confirmation.

The commission includes two mayoral and three gubernatorial appointees. Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter will appoint Archie's replacement.

You can read Archie's resignation letter in its entirety below:

Statement of Robert L. Archie Jr. On Resignation from School Reform Commission

Over the last several months, I have had multiple conversations with Mayor Michael Nutter and members of his Administration on issues related to the School District of Philadelphia. Indeed, during my entire tenure, I have tried to work closely and collaboratively with the Mayor and his staff in achieving the best educational program for the children of the Philadelphia Public Schools.

The Mayor and I have also had recent conversations involving the future management structure of the public school system.

Upon being chosen to serve on the School Reform Commission, my goal was to work for the children and families of Philadelphia for two years. I have served as Commissioner and Chairman for almost two and one half years. Now that schools have opened successfully, a budget has been adopted for the fiscal year and an acting superintendent has been appointed, I have determined that I should conclude my service on the School Reform Commission. The Mayor should have the opportunity to carry out his educational programs and objectives with a new group of appointees to the Commission. Accordingly, I am resigning as Chairman and as a member of the School Reform Commission, a very distinguished and hard working-body of volunteers, effective immediately.

When I was appointed to this position, I took the oath with my family and friends standing beside me. As a lifetime resident of Philadelphia and a graduate of the Philadelphia public school system, I have been committed to Philadelphia and its schools since the early fifties, first as an honor roll student, then as a substitute teacher and periodically as the school district's co-bond counsel.

When asked by the Mayor and Governor Rendell to serve, I happily volunteered my service to the School Reform Commission hoping that my service would promote educational opportunities for all the children in the School District of Philadelphia. I am glad that I was able to do so. There have been many obstacles, not the least of which involves the budgetary issues facing the School District this fiscal year and next. During my tenure, my fellow Commissioners and I have provided, to the best of our ability, certain solutions to the many challenges facing the School District. I am also extremely proud of our many achievements, including the creation of the Imagine 2014 strategic plan, the integration of traditional public schools with charter programs, the progressive teacher contracts, and the revised expulsion process. I am satisfied that I have given the best service of which I am capable to the citizens of Philadelphia. At all times, I have acted in their sole interest and it has been a privilege and an honor to do so.

I wish Mayor Nutter, Acting Superintendent Nunery, the public school system staff and the School Reform Commission every success as they continue to serve the children of the district.

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Information from The Associated Press was used in this article.

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