The Education Mayor

Improving America's Schools

by Kenneth K. Wong, Francis X. Shen, Dorothea Anagnostopoulos,

Series: American Governance and Public Policy series

In 2002 the No Child Left Behind Act rocked America's schools with new initiatives for results-based accountability. But years before NCLB was signed, a new movement was already under way by mayors to take control of city schools from school boards and integrate the management of public education with the overall governing of the city. The Education Mayor is a critical look at mayoral control of urban school districts, beginning with Boston's schools in 1992 and examining more than 100 school districts in 40 states.

The authors seek to answer four central questions: • What does school governance look like under mayoral leadership? • How does mayoral control affect school and student performance? • What are the key factors for success or failure of integrated governance? • How does mayoral control effect practical changes in schools and classrooms?

The results of their examination indicate that, although mayoral control of schools may not be appropriate for every district, it can successfully emphasize accountability across the education system, providing more leverage for each school district to strengthen its educational infrastructure and improve student performance. Based on extensive quantitative data as well as case studies, this analytical study provides a balanced look at America's education reform.

As the first multidistrict empirical examination and most comprehensive overall evaluation of mayoral school reform, The Education Mayor is a must-read for academics, policymakers, educational administrators, and civic and political leaders concerned about public education.

About The Author

Kenneth K. Wong is Walter and Leonore Annenberg Professor in Education Policy and director of the Urban Education Policy Program at Brown University. He is the author of Funding Public Schools: Politics and Policy and coauthor of Successful Schools and Educational Accountability.

Francis X. Shen is a licensed attorney and a doctoral fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Dorothea Anagnostopoulos is an assistant professor of teacher education at Michigan State University.

Stacey A. Rutledge is an assistant professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Florida State University.