Patrick McAlister, 260-409-7225
INDIANAPOLIS, IN – Today, Teach Plus-Indianapolis, in partnership with the Institute for Innovation in Public School Choice (IIPSC), released A Current State Assessment of Public School Enrollment in Indianapolis, a white paper that makes the case for improvements to the school enrollment process throughout Indianapolis to better serve local students and families.
Teach Plus-Indianapolis worked with IIPSC to engage an advisory committee – which included representatives from Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS), charter schools, community organizations, business partners and advocacy organizations – to shed light on the current state of enrollment in Indianapolis.
The findings indicate that while school choice is prevalent in Indianapolis, the system would be improved by providing better information for parents and families, creating more transparency in the enrollment process, centralizing data into one application process and looking for other opportunities to collaborate across district and charter lines. “I am excited to work with our community to ensure families and students have access to information about their school options,” said IPS Superintendent Dr. Lewis D. Ferebee of the report. “Clearly, there are many details to discuss to enable us to reach a solution that is user-friendly for families. This is a great starting point for an important dialogue.”
In 2013, Teach Plus-Indianapolis published Musical Chairs: Teacher churn and its impact on Indianapolis Public Schools. The brief, which focused on the high mobility rate of early career teachers, recommended exploring unified enrollment between the IPS district and charter schools in order to improve the accuracy of enrollment projections. Teachers have argued this would lead to fewer teacher transfers in the summer or after the start of the school year.
“This started because as teachers, we’d all experienced mobility early in our careers at a time when we were most vulnerable,” said Christina Lear, a former IPS teacher and current guidance counselor at Indianapolis Metropolitan High School. “We wanted to get to the root cause of why teachers were moved around, and more often than not, it was related to unreliable enrollment projections.” Lear is a Teach Plus Teaching Policy alum and was a lead author on Musical Chairs.
There are currently two scheduled opportunities to learn more about the report and to offer feedback to the advisory committee (details will be available at on the Teach Plus website in the coming week):
The City-County Council’s Community Affairs and Education Committee will discuss the report at its June 10 meeting (5:30 p.m., City-County Building, 200 E. Washington St., Rm. 118).
A town hall event will be held on June 24 (5-8 p.m., WFYI Building, 1630 N. Meridian St.).
“We look forward to continuing a conversation about how to empower families in Indianapolis with more information about schools and school choice,” Deputy Mayor Jason Kloth said of the report and recommendations. “There is a clear opportunity to improve the current system, and we want to be a part of finding solutions that help all families.”
About Teach Plus. Teach Plus aims to improve outcomes for urban children by ensuring that a greater proportion of students have access to effective, experienced teachers. Teach Plus runs three programs designed to place teacher leaders at the center of improvements in policy and practice: Teaching Policy Fellowship, C2 Initiative, and T3 (Turnaround Teacher Teams) Initiative. The programs focus on demonstrably effective teachers who want to continue classroom teaching while also expanding their impact as leaders in their schools and in district, state, and national policy. Since its inception in August 2009, Teach Plus has grown to a network of more than 20,000 solutions-oriented teachers across the country.
About IIPSC. IIPSC is a small team of experienced specialists in the design and implementation of enrollment and school choice systems. We are uniquely qualified to bring the latest market design research and state of the art technology to solve school choice problems. We are a politically neutral organization. IIPSC does not seek to promote or detract from any particular type of school or any administrative body. The founding IIPSC principals began our partnership in 2003 while designing the technology and operations for public school choice systems at the New York City Department of Education. After a few years of working together, we realized that we could be of great service to school districts, families, and communities throughout the country. IIPSC was then formed as a federally approved 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. We have since worked in Cleveland, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Indianapolis, New Orleans, Newark, Philadelphia, Washington DC, and elsewhere.