The Education Mayor:Improving America's Schools

The Education Mayor:Improving America's Schools
A major recent development in education reform is the full or partial takeover of urban school districts by mayors. While the Progressive movement of the last century created independent school boards to provide professional oversight and protection from political exploitation by unscrupulous mayors, a current trend is for mayors to take back control of schools to centralize accountability for public education in an increasingly complex political context. Yet relatively little is known about what actually happens to school systems and students when mayors assume responsibility. Does mayoral takeover work--do test scores improve, do schools get more resources? What factors can facilitate its success or failure? This book analyzes data on the 100 largest school districts in forty states and looks at the results as well as the broader context of school governance, including financial and organizational operations, use of human capital (especially teachers and and leadership), and public opinion. The authors conclude that mayors are most successful when they integrate school governance into that of the city, focus on student outcomes, and are mindful of timing, critical partnerships, and the need for flexibility.
Publication Date: 
October 31, 2007