U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said last week that mayors should take control of big-city school districts where academic performance is suffering. Mayoral control provides the strong leadership and stability needed to overhaul urban schools, he argued.
Mayors run the schools in fewer than a dozen big cities; only seven have full control over management and operations. That includes Chicago, where Mr. Duncan headed the school system until joining the Obama administration.
Speaking at a forum with mayors and superintendents, Mr. Duncan promised to help more mayors take over. “At the end of my tenure, if only seven mayors are in control, I think I will have failed,” he said.
A version of this article appeared in the April 08, 2009 edition of Education Week