From guest blogger Dakarai I. Aarons:
The National School Boards Association and Council of Urban Boards of Education minced no words in responding to Education Secretary Arne Duncan‘s evangelism for mayoral control of big city school districts, stating their clear opposition in a statement:
NSBA is firmly opposed to mayoral takeovers of public schools ...What we need for our complex school districts is long-term sustainable reform. We need a system that allows for community oversight and input. Oversight and input which, too often, mayorally controlled districts do not have. For the mayors who truly put children first, a collaboration between the mayor and school board can and will work.
Duncan raised the dander of more than a few folks when he said last week he will have “failed as secretary” if more city school districts aren’t under mayoral control at the end of his term. He softened that message when addressing the National School Board Association’s conference last weekend, saying collaboration is needed between mayors and school boards. “It’s a false choice to me to say you need a strong mayor or a strong board,” he said Saturday. “A piece of the answer is strong leadership at the top.”
NSBA says it plans to hold him to that.
“The thousands of school board members and school leaders ... listened carefully to what the Secretary had to say... NSBA will work with Secretary Duncan to promote effective collaboration between mayors and school boards.”