Takeover: Race, education, and American democracy

Research output: Book/ReportBook


State takeovers of local school districts emerged in the late 1980s. Although many major U.S. cities have experienced state takeovers of their local school districts, we know little about the political causes and consequences of state takeovers. Relying on historical analysis, case studies, and quantitative analysis, the book offers the first systematic study of state takeovers of local school districts. It shows that although the justifications for state takeovers have generally been based on concerns with poor academic performance, questions of race and political power played a critical role in the emergence of state takeovers of local school districts. Contrary to conventional wisdom, the book demonstrates that under certain conditions, state takeovers can help marginalized populations in their efforts to gain political empowerment. However, in most cases, state takeovers have negative political consequences for communities of color, particularly black communities. A central claim of the book is that efforts to strengthen state governments in the 1970s were a response to the rise of black political empowerment in American cities. As states gained greater powers, urban localities became increasingly subjected to state intervention. The emergence of state takeovers of local school districts in the 1980s was a consequence of the increasing authority of state governments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages186
ISBN (Electronic)9780190678975
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018


  • Black
  • Centralization
  • Decentralization
  • Education
  • Latino
  • Political empowerment
  • Race
  • School board
  • State takeover
  • Urban regime

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'Takeover: Race, education, and American democracy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this