This study is based on the earlier work of Iannaccone and Lutz, Kirkendall and Le Doux and Burlingame and uses socio‐economic data obtained from 77 school districts in Massachusetts through the period 1963–1972. The study examines a series of hypotheses related to the “gap” that may develop between community demand and school board response. Some of the findings are (i) the Iannaccone‐Lutz model of school board member incumbent defeat is valid and the “gap” between community demands and the school board's response is an important factor in the operational model; (ii) the school board's response to community's demands (tax rate) is an important variable in determining the “gap” resulting in incumbent defeat and in predicting the variance in this political phenomenon in school districts; (iii) socio‐economic‐political indicators of school district change selected by Kirkendall are related to school board member incumbent defeat.
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