IPS, Mind Trust launch school-turnaround fellowship

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

In an unprecedented partnership announced Tuesday night, locally based education reform group The Mind Trust, the mayor’s office and Indianapolis Public Schools are teaming up to try to improve the district's poorest performing schools.

The Mind Trust will pay selected educators $100,000 and benefits each to spend a year developing plans and forming teams to improve a struggling school identified by IPS, and then IPS would give the educators the funding and support resources they need to put their plans into action.

The $1.2 million initiative, called the Innovation School Fellowship, was presented Tuesday night to the IPS school board by Superintendent Lewis Ferebee. It will hand out nine fellowships in total over the next three school years.

“This is as good a strategy that I know of anywhere in the country,” said David Harris, CEO of The Mind Trust, whose organization has used a similar fellowship model over the past seven years to launch innovative educational programs in Indianapolis.

The cooperation is a major shift from just two years ago, when The Mind Trust called for Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard to be given control of IPS, an idea Ballard rejected and which sparked a sharp rebuke from then-IPS Superintendent Eugene White.

The new cooperation is an outgrowth of a massive change in the makeup of the IPS board, which dismissed White and hired Ferebee. Ferebee worked this year with Ballard’s deputy mayor of education, Jason Kloth, to push House Bill 1321 through the state legislature. The law gives IPS greater freedom to reconstitute schools and even contract with charter schools to operate schools under the IPS umbrella.

The fellowship is one way in which Ferebee is implemented the new freedoms given to him by the new law.

“It is critical that we improve the student outcomes in our neighborhood schools,” Ferebee said during a briefing with reporters Tuesday afternoon.

Ferebee’s presentation to the IPS board noted that fellows can work to turn around 14 IPS schools that have received a D or F grade from the state education department for three straight years. Ferebee has put specialty priority on 11 schools, including John Marshall and Northwest middle schools, as well as eight elementary schools.

The Mind Trust said all applicants for the fellowship must file a statement of intent by May 15 and a full application by June 1. It will select two or three fellows by the end of June.

Harris, the Mind Trust CEO, said his organization will need to raise additional funds to pay for the fellowships in the second and third years of the program.

Each fellow will receive a $100,000 salary, health insurance and other benefits valued at $29,000, office space, coaching from local and national school experts, and opportunities to travel to observe high-quality schools nationwide.


Post a comment to this story

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. I think the poster was being sarcastic and only posting or making fun of what is usually posted on here about anything being built in BR or d'town for that matter.

  2. Great news IRL fans: TURBO the IMS sanctioned movie about slugs running the Indy 500 has caught the Securities and Exchange Commission because Dreamworks had to take a $132MILLION write down...because the movie was such a flop. See, the Indy/IMS magic soiled another pair of drawers. Bwahahahahahaha! How's CARTOWN doing? HAHAHAHA...Indy is for losers.

  3. So disappointed in WIBC. This is the last straw to lose a good local morning program. I used to be able to rely on WIBC to give me good local information, news, weather and traffic on my 45 minute commute.Two incidents when I needed local, accurate information regarding severe weather were the first signs I could not now rely on WIBC. I work weekend 12 hour nights for a downtown hospital. This past winter when we had the worst snowfall in my 50 years of life, I came home on a Sunday morning, went to sleep (because I was to go back in Sunday night for another 12 hour shift), and woke up around 1 p.m. to a house with no electricity. I keep an old battery powered radio around and turned on WIBC to see what was going on with the winter storm and the roads and the power outage. Sigh. Only policital stuff. Not even a break in to update on the winter storm warning. The second weather incident occurred when I was driving home during a severe thunderstorm a few months ago. I had already gotten a call from my husband that a tornado warning was just southwest of where I had been. I turned to WIBC to find out what direction the storm was headed so I could figure out a route home, only to find Rush on the air, and again, no breaking away from this stupidity to give me information. Thank God for my phone, which gave me the warning that I was driving in an area where a tornado was seen. Thanks for nothing WIBC. Good luck to you, Steve! We need more of you and not the politics of hatred that WIBC wants to shove at us. Good thing I have Satellite radio.

  4. I read the retail roundup article and tried Burritos and Beers tonight. I'm glad I did, for the food was great. Fresh authentic Mexican food. Great seasoning on the carne asada. A must try!!! Thanks for sharing.

  5. John, unfortunately CTRWD wants to put the tank(s) right next to a nature preserve and at the southern entrance to Carmel off of Keystone. Not exactly the kind of message you want to send to residents and visitors (come see our tanks as you enter our city and we build stuff in nature preserves...