Diane Ravitch on Mayoral Control
Matt Miller of the Center for American Progress . . . argued that local control and local school boards are the basic cause of poor student performance. . . . In an ideal world, he wrote, we would scrap local boards and replace them with mayoral control, especially in urban districts. This one act of removing all democratic governance, he claimed, would lead to better education. . . . There is not a shred of evidence in Miller’s article or in the research literature that schools improve when democratic governance ends.Once again, Ravitch misrepresents the literature. For example, there's Kenneth Wong's study of mayoral control, which found that "mayoral control has a statistically significant, positive effect on student achievement." Granted, Wong's study may be imperfect and it may be difficult to properly measure something as nebulous and potentially endogenous as mayoral control. But trying to refute Wong would be more defensible than claiming definitively that studies like his don't even exist.
P.S. If you're going to discuss scholarly literature with which you're not familiar, the wiser approach is to say, "I've never seen convincing evidence that such-and-such," which leaves you two easy outs: if anyone points out a study, all you have to do is note that you hadn't personally seen it, and/or that you don't find it convincing.
P.P.S. The Wong article above appeared in a book to which Ravitch herself contributed an article. So Ravitch had to know that her "not a shred of evidence" comment was false.