A bright future for all Indianapolis students
Indy/Ed is born from a simple idea: There are numerous changes swirling around our schools that it's hard to receive a straight answer. We thought Indy parents, students, neighbors, and educators could start their own dialogue and come up with their own answers to improving public education for students in Indianapolis and across the state of Indiana. Together we can ensure our children have the well-resourced, safe, and effective schools they deserve.
Indy is unique because it serves a diverse population of students across eleven school districts (Indianapolis Public Schools, Beech Grove Schools, Speedway Schools and nine township districts), a growing charter network and private schools. Although Indy has one of the most robust systems of school choice in the country, like many urban school districts nationwide, we have wrestled with troubling issues of inequity - achievement gaps, school segregation, financial shortfalls, and disproportionate discipline of students of color.
We know we need to do much better by our children, but how do we make sense of all the debate about our schools? How do we engage as good citizens to support every child in Indianapolis?
If you would like to lend your voice to this conversation, or this blog, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or inbox our twitter account @indykidswinning.
About our bloggers
Mrs. Kirk is a married mother of three children, 16-year-old twins and a 9 year-old son, who all currently attend private school on a voucher. She is a Gary, Indiana native but has lived in Indianapolis for many years. While trying to provide a quality education for her children she met many obstacles and became determined to access the best education for her children. Cheryl is a licensed practical nurse and has worked in home care, hospice, long-term care, and is currently the clinical director for an assisted living facility. You can follow her on twitter @kirk_kirk15.
Mr. McGuire is an administrator with Tindley Accelerated Schools, a Teach Plus Policy Fellow alum, and a current doctoral candidate at Indiana State University. Driven by the lack of having an African American male teachers in his classrooms growing up, David helped launch the Educate ME Foundation, which is geared towards increasing the number of African American male teachers in the classroom. A born and raised Hoosier, he is dedicated to improving educational outcomes for all students in Indianapolis. He describes his educational beliefs as a reformer grounded in the best practices of traditional public schools, where strong leaders mentored him. David graduated from Central State University with a degree in English and also holds advanced degrees from Indiana Wesleyan University and Marian University. You can follow him on twitter @MrMcGuire_Teach.
Andrew is a technology teacher at KIPP Indy College Prep. He is graduate of the University of Kentucky and a Teach for America Alum. Andrew just recently finished his commitment as a Teach Plus Policy fellow, and he is looking forward to putting the skills he's learned to good use. Andrew has written for several publications in the past on a wide variety of topics but will be sticking to education for his role on Indy/Ed. You can follow him on twitter @AndrewPillow.
Shawnta S. Barnes
Shawnta S. Barnes is a married mother of identical twin boys. As an Indiana native, she attended school in two Indianapolis school districts; she attended Indianapolis Public Schools for two years and completed her education in Lawrence Township Schools. Her sons entered kindergarten during the 2016-2017 school year, so she not only navigates Indianapolis schools from the educator perspective, but also the parent perspective. She just completed her 12th year as an educator. Although she has worked in the urban traditional public school setting for the majority of her career, she student taught in rural Indiana, worked in the suburbs, and in a charter school. Currently, she is an elementary Library/Media Specialist for the Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township and an adjunct professor for Marian University. Previously, she has served as an elementary and high school literacy coach, a middle and high school English/Language Arts teacher, and K-5 English as a New Language teacher. In her spare time, she is an urban gardener and writes about her harvest to table journey at www.gardenershicole.com and she also writes for The Educator Room. Her Indy/Ed blog posts can be viewed here. To learn more about Shawnta, visit www.educatorbarnes.com or follow her on Twitter @educatorbarnes.
Barato Britt has an accomplished record in journalism, education management, marketing, public relations and non-profit management, Mr. Barato Britt has committed much of his professional career to community empowerment. He currently serves as the Executive Director of the Leadership and Legacy Academy. Based in Indianapolis, IN, the Center is a 75 year-old institution that provides wrap around services for over 3,000 low income families in urban Indianapolis. Mr. Britt is a current member of the Board of Directors for KIPP Indy Schools.