When states take over local school districts – like they’ve done or are trying to do in Kentucky, Georgia and Mississippi – school improvement is typically the stated objective.
Although the research on the effects of state takeovers on academic outcomes is mixed, takeovers often have devastating political and economic implications for black communities. As states increasingly attempt to take over school districts in major Southern cities, it’s worth exploring whether school improvement is the real purpose, or whether political motives are at play.
I raise this issue as the author of the first systematic study of state takeovers of local school districts. I am also a researcher who focuses racial and ethnic politics, urban politics, education politics and public policy…..