According to proponents, state takeovers:
- Are a necessary extension of a state's constitutional responsibilities.
- Provide a good opportunity for state and local decision-makers to combine resources and knowledge to improve children's learning.
- Allow a competent executive staff to guide an uninterrupted and effective implementation of school improvement efforts.
- Are a catalyst for creating the right environment for the community to address a school district's problems.
- Allow for more radical, and necessary, changes in low-performing school districts.
- Place school boards on notice that personal agendas, nepotism and public bickering have severe consequences.
- Use achievement data collected from school districts and schools to bolster accountability efforts.
According to opponents, state takeovers:
- Represent a thinly veiled attempt to reduce local control over schools and increase state authority over school districts.
- Imply that the community has the problems and the state has the answers, and thus falsely assume that states have the ability to effectively run school districts.
- Place poorly prepared state-selected officials in charge, with little possibility of any meaningful change occurring in the classroom.
- Use narrow learning measures (i.e., standardized test scores) as the primary criterion for takeover decisions.
- Usually focus on cleaning up petty corruption and incompetent administration and do not go to the root of the social problems facing disadvantaged students in urban school districts.
- Foster negative connotations and impressions that hinder the self-esteem of school board members, administrators, teachers, students and parents.
- Produce showdowns between state and local officials that slow the overhaul of management practices, drain resources from educational reforms and reinforce community resentments.