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ERIC Number: ED561083
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Mar
Pages: 68
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Mayoral Governance and Student Achievement: How Mayor-Led Districts Are Improving School and Student Performance
Wong, Kenneth K.; Shen, Francis X.
Center for American Progress
Mayoral control and accountability is one of very few major education reforms that aim at governance coherence in this nation's highly fragmented urban school systems. A primary feature of mayoral governance is that it holds the office of the mayor accountable for school performance. As an institutional redesign, mayoral governance integrates school-district accountability and the electoral process at the system-wide level. The so-called education mayor is ultimately held accountable for the school system's performance on an academic, fiscal, operational, and managerial level. While school board members are elected by fewer than 10 percent of the eligible voters, mayoral races are often decided by more than half of the electorate. Under mayoral control, public education gets on the citywide agenda. This report examines the effects of mayoral governance on two specific areas--resource management and student achievement. In analyzing multiple, longitudinal databases on student achievement and financial management, this report found that mayoral governance has improved urban school districts. The findings will be useful to current and future mayors who may consider taking a greater role in public education. The following are among the report's key findings: (1) Mayoral-led districts are engaged in strategic allocation of resources; (2) Over the past decade, mayoral-control school districts have generally improved district-wide performance relative to average school district performance statewide; (3) There were 11 districts that were governed by some degree of mayoral leadership toward the end period of the authors' database on state assessment results. Among these 11 districts, five made substantial improvement in narrowing the student achievement gap within their states. These districts include New York; New Haven, Connecticut; Chicago; Philadelphia; and Baltimore; (4) Mayoral control in New York City appears to have had significant positive effects on both fourth- and eighth-grade student achievement; and (5) In Boston and Chicago, achievement improvement was strong during the initial period of mayoral governance, but there has been a relative tapering of performance in recent years. An appendix contains: Methodology on statistical analysis.
Center for American Progress. 1333 H Street NW 10th Floor, Washington, DC 20005. Tel: 202-682-1611; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Smith Richardson Foundation; Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation
Authoring Institution: Center for American Progress
Identifiers - Location: Connecticut; District of Columbia; Illinois; Maryland; Massachusetts; New York; Ohio; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: National Assessment of Educational Progress