Through this report (prepared by Public Impact),
The Mind Trust proposes a dramatic transformation of public education in
Indianapolis, akin to the structural changes that have taken place in New
Orleans and New York City. It observes that great schools across the country
share a set of core conditions that enable them to help all students achieve.
Among these core conditions are the freedom to build and manage their own
teams, refocus resources to meet actual student needs, hold schools accountable
for their results(and close those that don’t perform), and create a system of
school choice that empowers parents to find schools that they want their
children to attend. To create success in the public schools of Indianapolis
(IPS), the Mind Trust proposes these bold moves: shift funding from the central
office to schools; give high-performing schools autonomy over staffing,
budgets, and curriculum; provide parents with more good choices; unite all
public schools under a new banner of quality called Opportunity Schools; and
allow the mayor and the City-County Council to appoint the IPS school board,. We
at Fordham are cheering for the Mind Trust and its reform-minded allies. Not
only will their success or failure resonate in Indiana but also across the
Midwest and probably beyond.
This piece originally
appeared (in a slightly different form) on Fordham’s Flypaper blog. To subscribe to Flypaper, click here.
Public Impact, Creating Opportunity Schools: A Bold Plan to Transform
Indianapolis Public Schools (Indianapolis, IN: The Mind Trust, December