Peter McPherson, a former parent of students in the District of Columbia public schools, describes the failure of Mayor Bowser’s leadership of the city’s schools. He lists her many poor decisions, her authoritarian style, and her refusal to take responsibility for scandals on her watch. She seems determined to keep the Rhee agenda intact. About half the children are enrolled in charter schools, with more on the way. This is an admission of failure on the part of the mayor and her chancellor. For the record, D.C. has the largest achievement gaps of any urban district in the nation.

In Chicago, as he notes, the new mayor Lori Lightfoot, is committed to restoring a locally elected board. In New York City, Mayor Bill DeBlasio is determined to hold onto autocratic rule of the schools.

I was reminded as I read his article about having been invited to meet with the D.C. City Council education committee before it endorsed local control on 2007. I warned them not to do it and told them that the story about the “New York City Miracle” was fantasy. Obviously I was not persuasive.

I think the Mayor should appoint a significant number of board members but the board should choose the leader, not the Mayor.

There is no ideal way to govern schools but the worst way is to vest control solely in the hands of one person.