As the Peabody Journal of Education celebrates its 80th anniversary, educational policymakers and practitioners are keenly aware of the many changes in the way public schools have been governed in large urban districts over the last 80 years. Among the most significant changes is the role of the mayor. Although the 1920s saw partisan politics in retreat because of the reform efforts of the Progressive movement, mayors (and governors) have felt the political pressure to mediate intense interest-group competition since the 1960s. By the 1990s, mayors in several big cities, with gubernatorial support, decided to lead the public school system. Clearly, the relationship between the mayors and the schools has been reconfigured in the last 80 years. This article aims to analyze mayoral takeover as a reform strategy.