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ERIC Number: ED514362
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Apr
Pages: 10
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Mayoral School Leadership and Integrated Governance
Center for the Study of Education Policy
The past two decades have seen an emerging trend in urban school governance: mayors taking the reins of school district leadership. The impetus for putting the mayor in charge of a city's schools usually stems from at least one of the following being documented or generally perceived about an urban school district: (1) Lack of accountability; (2) Poor fiscal status; and (3) Low student academic performance. When these factors are present singly or (more often) in combination, the urban school district's reputation suffers, students and parents are shortchanged, and blame is assigned from many quarters. Within the district, ripple effects may include dropping home prices, declining student populations as families move to other districts; and escalating state and federal sanctions. These effects are intertwined with economic and cultural effects throughout cities and states, such as lower earnings and higher crime rates. Under these conditions, the mayor may be perceived as a single locus of accountability for academic and fiscal performance of the school district as well as economic and service management for the city. This report summarizes the recent research and policy literature regarding mayoral control of urban schools, outlining potential benefits and limitations of this governance approach. The report outlines the basic elements of a mayoral reform plan and sample performance indicators for success. Finally, the report references the special case of mid-size cities, which face similar challenges to large metropolitan centers, but often with fewer resources. It is at this level that a future wave of mayoral school governance may be expected. (Contains 12 footnotes.)
Center for the Study of Education Policy. Department of Educational Administration and Foundations, College of Education, Illinois State University, 320 DeGarmo Hall, Campus Box 5900, Normal, IL 61790-5900. Tel: 309-438-2399; Fax: 309-438-8683; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Illinois State University, Center for the Study of Education Policy