By Andrew Pillow
During a Washington DC gathering of school district leaders, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos was very complimentary of Indianapolis Public Schools. Specifically, DeVos praised IPS’s “out-of-the-box” approach to school management.
According to the transcript provided by Ed.gov, DeVos highlighted Elizabeth Gore and the Innovation Schools:
"One of the most important things we can do is highlight and celebrate out-of-the-box approaches.
One such example is the "innovation schools" program in the Indianapolis Public Schools district, represented today by Elizabeth Gore. These schools are under the governance of the Indianapolis Public Schools district, but they are freed up to operate independently and thus better attune themselves to the unique needs of their students.
I want to bring School 15 to your attention as an example of new thinking. School 15 has struggled for years with low-test scores, and the state gave it an "F" in 2016. But in recent months, parents and teachers in Indianapolis have come together to propose School 15 become a "neighborhood-run" school under the "innovation schools" program.
This isn't a school run by an outside, third-party operator—this is a school where parents are in direct control. The community takes ownership of developing the school's structure, staffing and performance.
This type of proposal gives everyone in the community a greater say—and greater responsibility—in the education of their children. It's this kind of local control that we want to empower, because when parents are in charge, students benefit."
Read the full transcript here. (via ed.gov)
Read more about Indianapolis’s Innovation Schools here. (via myips.org)