L.A. Mayor Steps Up Bid to Control Schools
With 27 Municipalities, Sprawling District Seen as Difficult to Govern
By proposing to run the Los Angeles schools, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is facing what experts say could be the most difficult takeover of schools yet to be tried by a mayor. In fact, his bid is raising the political and educational stakes enough to spark concern among many in the sprawling district.
The mayor, who has been in office six months, wants the legal authority to do what’s necessary to improve learning in the nation’s second-largest school system. He hasn’t yet detailed how he would do so, because he is still seeking advice from many people active on the issue. But he sees a powerful role for the mayor as crucial to better results.
“We need one person who can ensure greater accountability at the Los Angeles Unified School District, one person who has the wherewithal to change the culture there and bring in a group of change agents who are going to go beyond small incremental changes to fundamental reform,” he told Education Week in a phone interview last month. “I’m determined to move...
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