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In one of her final missives before heading west to San Francisco, departing D.C. Public Schools Superintendent Arlene Ackerman urged parents to get kids to school on time. “The simple fact is that children cannot learn if they are not in school,” she wrote in a July 10 letter. Ackerman’s tenure, though, wasn’t famous for its punctuality. Under her watch, thousands of special education students were routinely stranded on doorsteps waiting for transportation. Teachers and bus drivers also spent hours waiting in lines to get long-overdue paychecks. The letter, though, contained no mea culpa. “Together we can raise attendance rates this year and ensure a brighter future for our children,” Ackerman concluded.

—Laura Lang