Why Not Mayoral Achievement School Districts?

A few states have now passed Achievement School Districts, which usually involve the state being able to takeover the bottom 5% of schools in the state (or something like that).

On one hand, states action provides certain benefits: states are often buffered from local politics and they can act as a central authorizer for statewide charter expansion.

On the other hand, state actions violate desires for local democracy. This has surely been an issue for state action in New Orleans, Memphis, Detroit, Philadelphia, and Newark.

So why not allow mayors to operate Achievement School Districts?

A state could pass a law that allows the mayor to charter any school (and facility) that is located in the city and performing in the bottom 5% of the state or city.

This to me seems far better than regular mayoral control, which presumes that the mayor will be able to operate a large urban educational system (I’m skeptical).

In Los Angeles, Rhode Island, and Indianapolis mayors have some variations on this policy; but, to my knowledge, none act as pure Achievement School Districts.

Why is no one trying to do this? Is it a bad idea? What am I missing?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s