Start with personal introduction, and Ken says Hi to everyone and is sorry he can’t be here In 2007 we published a book called The Education Mayor, and as you can tell from the title, this is the next stage of that research In the book, we tended to look backward, to assess how mayoral control was working, looking at the period of 1999-2003; we are updating that database, but today’s paper does something a bit different: it looks ahead with an eye toward the political dynamics that are shaping, and are likely to shape, the future of mayoral control – and the policy implications suggested by those politics Motivation is that lots of people are talking about mayoral control: Mayor Adrian Fenty in DC, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa in Los Angeles; Mayor Larry Morrissey in Rockford IL, Mayor Martin Chavez in Albuquerque, New Mexico; Mayors in Missouri: St. Louis and Kansas City, and elsewhere … it remains an important governance shift. But public interest is still uncertain, and that’s something I’m going to pick up on a bit later. Nationally, Gallup Poll: In 2006, only 29% were in favor, but in 2007 that number had jumped to 39%, with 42% of parents in favor.
Professor Ken Wong on mayoral accountability
MAYORAL ACCOUNTABILITY AS A STRATEGYTO RAISE PERFORMANCE IN URBANDISTRICTS Dr. Kenneth W ong Annenberg Professor and Chair of the Education Department Brown University Presentation in Bridgeport, CT, March 13, 2012
Mayoral appointment of school board is gainingnational prominence Currently, almost two-thirds of the states have passed legislation authorizing either the city or the state to govern and manage school districts that are underperforming. An appointed school board now runs the district in Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Baltimore, Cleveland, and Providence, among others.
UNIQUE CHALLENGES FORBIG CITY SCHOOL BOARDSSCALE: 26.6% of the nation’s K-12 students are served by the largest 129 districts, and nearly 41% are taught in the 375 largestFRAGMENTATION: Local politics and decentralization make system-wide reform and accountability more difficultCOMPETITION: Pressure to keep middle-class tax base, retain jobs, and stabilize city population
Design Rationale Enables the mayor to rely on system-wide standards to hold schools and student accountable for their performance. Failing schools and students are subject to sanctions while being given additional support. Designs to reduce institutional fragmentation that often impedes strategic improvement. A single office is ultimately accountable. Integrate electoral accountability and school performance at the system wide level.
Three Enabling Processes State legislation that authorizes the mayor to replace an elected board with an appointed board (such as Chicago and New York) State legislation that calls for a citywide referendum on whether to grant the mayor the authority to appoint the school board (such as Boston and Cleveland). Voter approval of changes in a charter that allow the mayor to appoint school board members (such as Oakland in 2000).
VARIATIONS OF MAYORAL ACCOUNTABILITY District New / Mayor appoints Mayor appoints Mayor has full Old Style majority of board? all of board? appt. power? Boston New Yes Yes No ^^ Chicago New Yes Yes Yes New Haven New Yes Yes Yes Baltimore New No: Joint appt. with governor Providence New Yes Yes No ^ Detroit a New Yes No * Yes Cleveland New Yes Yes No ^^ Wash. DC New Full Governance Authority Oakland New No No Yes Philadelphia New No: Joint appt. with governor New York New Yes No Yes Hartford New Yes Yes Yes NOTES: a) In 2004, Detroit reverted to an elected school board. ^^ Nominating committee pre-screens candidates and then gives a slate to the mayor. ^^^ Council confirmation was required when this policy was in place (2000-2004). * State places 1 of 7 on board for first five years.
Chicago as an Example As a result of the 1995 State Reform Act, the Mayor of Chicago appoints all members of the school board The mayor also appoints the Chief Executive Officer, who in turns oversees the Chief Education Officer and other top administrative chiefs The district has improved capital funding, balanced the budget, and secured labor stability through a four-year contract with the teachers’ union Media and public confidence remains strong
Does Mayoral Accountability Raise StudentPerformance?Consider Findings in The Ed uc a tio n M y o r: a Mayoral Accountability has a statistically significant, positive effect on student achievement in reading and math at both elementary and high school grades. When socio-economic factors and other governance conditions are taken into full consideration, mayoral control shows positive student improvement in reading and math at elementary grades. Two years after the introduction of a mayor appointed school board, we expect to see student achievement improves 0.15 to 0.19 standard deviation in reading and math at elementary grades. The lowest performing schools show persistent improvement in student achievement in districts that are under mayoral control. Academic progress is also correlated to institutional checks and balances in the mayoral control system.
Grade 4 Math Achievement, NYC & NY State, 1999-2008 Mayoral Control
Does Mayoral Control Improve Management?Consider Findings in The Ed uc a tio n M y o r: a “The Education Mayor” is strategic in prioritizing resource allocation and management. Mayoral accountability lowers spending on general administration, while targeting resources on instructional purposes. Mayoral accountability improves the district’s fiscal discipline and management performance.
Strategic Management Within the first couple of years, mayoral appointed boards seem able to show financial solvency, often turning a deficit into a balanced budget. Mayoral control systems are also able to raise the bond rating, maintain labor peace, improve client satisfaction, and improve efficiency at the central office. In Chicago the Standard & Poor’s raised the district’s bond rating from BBB- to A- during the first two reform years. In Philadelphia, the board identified $44 million of waste and launched a $1.5 billion capital plan to build new schools and modernize facilities.
Management Reform Mayoral control systems tend to reprioritize the role of the central office New York example on decentralizing support services Mayoral selected CEOs often broaden the pool of expertise in operation, finance, and management. Chicago example New efforts to broaden the teacher pool Need incentive structure on performance-based accountability Philadelphia and other districts move toward diverse providers
Public Opinion Matters – ElectoralDemocracy Works In 2004, Detroit voters chose to end the mayoral appointed school board after poor district performance under mayor’s leadership In 2002, Cleveland voters chose to continue mayoral control after strong performance More recently, D.C. Mayor was voted out of office for not sufficiently engaging the public on reform School improvement contributed to re-election of mayors in Boston, Chicago, and New York Lesson: voters can discern school performance,
Voters asked: Do you think MayorBloombergs take-over of the public schoolshas been a success or failure? Percent whosaid it was a success …
Factors for Success Establish clear and attainable strategic goals Mayor’s willingness to put financial and political resources to leveling up failing schools Work together with the existing administration for a smooth transition Recruit managers who bring diverse expertise Take a portfolio approach in school management Diverse human capital pipeline Focus on performance-based accountability
Options for governance change in UrbanDistricts:Option One: Complete Mayoral Accountability Mayor appoints majority or all board members Mayor has full appointive power of the CEO or Superintendent Examples: Boston, Chicago, New York, Washington DCOption Two: Shared Governance between Mayor and Governor Jointly appoints board members Examples: Baltimore, Philadelphia
Issues on Governance Change: Is timing appropriate for governance reform? What design features work for the District? Is public opinion supportive of governance reform? Who will oppose the reform? Who will support the reform? Is the Mayor ready to lead the district? What is the opportunity cost in not implementing the reform? How to sustain support for the reform?
Benefits of MayoralAccountability Internal accountability: Clear standards of accountability at different levels of the policy system Strategic deployment of resources Institutional checks and balances Portfolio approach to school improvement External accountability: Institutional checks and balances Including a nominating process for school board appointment Budgetary approval by the City Council External and independent evaluation
EDUCATION MAYOR : SIM R P OVING AM R E ICA’SS OOL CH SFor More InformationPlease Contact:Dr. Kenneth K. WongBrown UniversityKenneth_Wong@brown.edu