Last month I wrote about state takeovers of school districts. I think they centralize power at the state level thereby diminishing local control in education. I also don’t think they work.
Dr. Domingo Morel, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Rutgers University, ascribed a rather nefarious purpose behind them.
At The Conversation he wrote:
Why does there appear to be a sudden interest in state takeovers of local school districts in the South? Have Southern governors figured out the blueprint for improving education in urban communities, predominantly occupied by people of color? Hardly. I would argue that these governors have discovered a blueprint for the economic and political disempowerment of their urban centers.
Much like the state takeovers in northern cities in the 1990s and early 2000s, these state interventions are being led by Republican governors and majority-Republican state legislatures.
The school districts that are targeted for takeovers are in majority-Democratic cities with mostly black student populations and black political leadership. Once the states assume leadership of the school districts, the locally elected school board – which has historically served as the foundation for local political empowerment – is stripped of its power. Decision-making and control of the school budget is removed from the local community.
So in the Northern states, while ineffective, school takeovers done by Democratic and Republican governors alike were not racist. Now, in the South, schools are taken over because of racist political power grab?
Really? Or, could it be, that these are just the school districts that have a pattern of poor performance?
Dr. Morel must be able to read minds to ascertain the real motivation to take over schools.
Dr. Morel could have built a stronger consensus that school takeovers are, for the most part, ineffective and are an anathema to local control. Instead, he scored cheap political points. He certainly riled up the Democrat cheering section, but this does not provide an answer to the problem of failing schools.