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Mayors in the Middle:
Politics, Race, and Mayoral Control of Urban Schools
Edited by Jeffrey R. Henig & Wilbur C. Rich

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"'Mayors in the Middle' asks and answers the crucial questions education leaders and policymakers need to know about the role and impact of mayors in big cities. Using recent historical cases presented in detail, it demonstrates the very different political and educational trends in each city. Mayors can do some important things to improve education in big cities, but their impact will probably be limited and ephemeral."--Michael W. Kirst, Stanford University

"In an era when political leaders are looking for structural panaceas to solve complex urban school problems, this important and timely analysis judiciously examines the trade-offs inherent in the recent movement toward 'mayor-centric' governance structures. The authors warn that mayoral takeovers are a tool and not a cure-all for long-standing school problems that are inextricably interwoven with issues like race and poverty. Their caveat that the policy outcomes of structural change are invariably less dramatic than reformers expect is particularly significant, as is their judgment that the success of mayor-centric strategies is contingent upon local contexts."--Michael D. Usdan, Senior Fellow, Institute for Educational Leadership

"This superb book refocuses urban politics research on the role of mayors in dealing with two of the most important urban issues: race and education. Students of urban politics, race, and inner-city education will benefit from reading it."--John F. Witte, University of Wisconsin-Madison

"This is a timely work, given the growing interest in reforming the governance of urban education. Addressing a topic of pressing interest to policymakers and community members, Mayors in the Middle can teach us a great deal about urban education and municipal governance. The editors are respected scholars in the areas of education and urban affairs with well-deserved reputations for balance and thoughtfulness. In this volume, Henig and Rich have assembled a solid set of case studies and have coupled those with broader pieces that frame the issue and put the empirical work in useful perspective."--Frederick Hess, American Enterprise Institute

"This book provides a very useful addition to the literature on educational reform, focusing on large cities with mayor-centric educational systems. Its thesis is worthy of consideration by educational scholars and policymakers."--Robert M. Stein, Rice University

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File created: 4/17/2014

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