Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Education Secretary Leads Chorus Calling for Big City-Hall Role

This is an important issue to be following.


Interest in bringing school districts under the municipal umbrella continues to grow.
By Lesli A. Maxwell
October 12, 2009

The troubles that plague many local school boards prompt some observers to throw up their hands. But when it comes to big-city districts, there’s a popular remedy that continues to gain momentum: mayoral control.

This governance arrangement sidelines school boards, for the most part, in favor of a strong chief executive handpicked by the mayor.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, who for seven years ran Chicago’s public schools under Mayor Richard M. Daley, is using his bully pulpit to aggressively promote the approach as a necessity for reversing decades of abysmal academic performance in some cities. In a speech to mayors and school superintendents last spring, in fact, Duncan said he would consider his time as education secretary a “failure” if more mayors didn’t take over city school systems by the end of his tenure.

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