IBJNews

Study: Half of county's students in 'high-quality' schools

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Of all the classroom seats available in K-12 schools in Marion County, just under half were rated “high quality” in a report released Wednesday.

The report was issued by IFF, a Chicago-based lender and consultant for not-for-profits that has conducted similar analyses in six other cities.

The study examined public, charter and private schools in Marion County, which collectively enroll nearly 154,000 students. Of those students, 75,300—or 49 percent—were classified as high-quality.

IFF defined as “high quality” all classroom seats that are located in schools that received a grade of A or B from the Indiana Department of Education.

The study will serve as the basis of a plan by Mayor Greg Ballard’s office and The Mind Trust, an education reform group, to give grants to help successful schools replicate into additional locations. Some community groups also plan to use the report to focus their efforts in areas with the highest concentration of struggling schools.

“Too many neighborhood leaders have outdated or incomplete information about the schools serving their neighborhoods, and this study will help these leaders be more accurate in getting directly involved in improving educational options for neighborhood kids,” wrote Bill Taft, executive director of LISC-Indianapolis, a community group that helped initiate the IFF study, in an e-mail.

The study identified 11 zip codes within Marion County with acute shortages of A and B schools. These so-called “Priority Areas” were spread throughout the county, with only four falling within the Indianapolis Public Schools district that has received the most attention for having struggling schools.

Wayne Township had two zip codes identified as “Priority Areas.” Decatur, Perry, Pike, Warren and Washington townships all had one zip code flagged for an acute shortage of high-quality schools.

“The MSD. of Wayne Township has worked with IFF on this study to ensure that all of our students have the very best opportunities to a quality education,” wrote Jeff Butts, superintendent of the Wayne Township schools, in an e-mail. “We look forward to continued work with IFF to facilitate non-profit partnerships with our schools and district that will provide additional resources and opportunities for our students success."

The A-F grades developed by the Indiana Department of Education have been highly controversial among educators, and the state Legislature is now debating changes to how they are calculated.

Elementary and middle schools were deemed high-quality if 80 percent of their students passed both the math and reading portions of the state standardized test and if students’ scores grew faster than the statewide average. High schools were deemed high-quality if 70 percent of their students passed the state standardized math and English tests and if 25 percent of students demonstrated college- or career-readiness

“While there has been a lot of debate around the effectiveness of the  the State A-F school ranking system the study draws from, its results reflect similar conclusions parents have formed about Indy's schools,” Taft wrote. “Neighborhood leaders, Realtors, and community development leaders have been saying for decades that school quality has been a powerful driver of residential flight from Marion County, and the study graphically illustrates this challenge.”

Taft added, however, that several areas of downtown Indianapolis showed an adequate amount of high-quality classroom seats.

Ballard’s staff have grown concerned about the flight of middle- and upper-income families with school-aged children from Marion County. That concern led them to develop the Neighborhoods of Educational Opportunity plan, which would provide a blueprint to help educational reform groups and school districts launch as many as 70 new schools to create 30,000 new “high-quality” seats.

If the plan comes to fruition, both charter schools and traditional school districts could apply to the Mind Trust's charter school incubator for funding and help to launch new schools. Ballard’s staff has applied for a grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies to flesh out the details of the plan.

"We aspire to ensure that every child in every neighborhood has access to a seat in a high-performing school," wrote Jason Kloth, Ballard's deputy mayor of education, in an e-mail. "We’re eager to work with school districts, charter schools and private schools to ensure this reality for children and families in our community.”
 

ADVERTISEMENT

  • What Marilyn said
    I agree wholeheartedly with Marilyn's comment. Far too much of the time, the real source of the problem is far removed from the schools themselves. And higher-income people are, more often than not, repelled by economically diverse school districts, which characterizes just about all of the districts in Marion County.
  • How much did they spend?
    I hope they didn't spend too much for this study. Anyone with access to the Indiana Dept. of Education database could have compiled that information.Then when you add in the fact that the state's A-F grading system is flawed, you have a study based on bad data. I'll bet you money the areas with a "shortage" of high quality seats totally correlates to economics. It's not that the schools are low quality; the students are more challenging to serve for a variety of reasons and that impacts the grades their current schools received.

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
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
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Good Day I am Mr (Victoria Wright) from United state of America, i stayed in NEW YORK, and i have a broke up business, until i found this company email who help me to gain a loan for business,, and now i want to used this short medium to congratulate the below company for the fast and safe money they loan to me without any form of collateral, i loan 500,000USD from the company to save my business and lots more, i saw their mail on the internet, everyone always give testimony for what they did, so i quickly contacted them and they all did everything for me without stress and my money was sent to my account just 3 days later, i was surprise and i feel so glad, now i have a standard business control agent who help me, now i will advice those who need urgent loan to contact him at the bellow email:zenithfirm12@gmail.com

  2. NOTICE:This is to inform the general public that Vampires are real. My name is James Franklyn.,am an agent of vampire,am here to introduce our new world trend to you,a world of vampire where life get easier,we have made so many persons vampires and have turned them rich,you will be assured long life and prosperity,you shall be made to be very sensitive to mental alertness,stronger and also very fast,you will not be restricted to walking at night only even at the very middle of broad day light you will be made to walk.In case you are wildly oppressed by some unscrupulous persons we can still help you fight them.Your protection is assured immediately you join.Just contact the bellow email if you are interested we are here to attend to you anytime you want us. Contact the bellow email for more details. Email:vampirescreed@hotmail.com Sincerely: James Franklyn.

  3. Bravo! Someone else that is willing to speak the truth! Bravo!_____NBCSN is available in almost 2 MILLION more homes than just a few years ago, but Indycar STILL gets less total viewers than it did just a few years ago when NBC took over Versus. Attendance and ratings cratered with the end of season races (just when the title battle got "interesting" HAH!__________And now...new race in Basilia, where Miles celebrated the "rich history" of Indycar racing there. Rich history? What, 7 events in the 100 years of AOW? Yep, some history. Well, at least its an oval. It's not??? Are you kidding me??? Gosh darn road racin furriners.

  4. PURITY RAY LOAN OFFER........ Have you been denied by your banks,or are you in need of of an urgent loan to pay of your bills we are capable of giving loans @ cheaper rate to interested individuals, student, companies and members of the public in need of finance to settle bills, we do offer considerable loans which you can count on. For more information on our various types of loan,then you will have to contact PURITY RAY LOAN FIRM, to help you achieve your desire LOAN APPLICATION FORM TO BE FILLED BORROWERS INFORMATION * Full name:………………………. * SEX * ……………………………. * Country………………………….. * State:……………………………. * Land:…………………………….. * Occupation:…………………….. * phone number:…………………. * Telephone: ………………………….. * Age:………………………………. * Amount needed as loan:……… * Loan Duration:………………….. * Propose of Loan:……………….. * Annual revenue:………………… * Monthly Income:……………….. * Guarantee:………………………. * Payment: monthly or annually Email.....purityrayloanfirm@gmail.com Thank you and God bless Mr Purity Ray PURITY RAY LOAN FIRM we tend to serve you better

  5. Problem: most of the people responding to this article don't know about this service AT ALL! Why? Lack of awareness. This isn't IndyGo. This is CIRTA: might as well be the mattress company because they are asleep at the wheel - something like 3 directors over the last year? Playing with federal grant money is great! This "region" wants commuter rail service, has spent MILLIONS on Transportation studies yet can't even support a commuter bus line? This is largely for suburban riders to get to downtown - not for "service people to work in our hotels and restaurants" ! Get your head out of your backside!! These are professionals, students etc. that don't want to fight traffic, save some money on parking, gas, stress.... if CIRTA would put their federal money into widely promoting the sevive to Greenwood, Fishers & Carmel instead of finding directors and studies - this would be a successful service. Our family uses(d) it daily for the last several years - but the recent uncertainty & now unreliability due to cuts from Carmel has been a problem. Now, costs us an additional $350/month for gas & parking ( $4200/year) plus vehicle wear, service, environmental impact ... YES - this REGION needs this this type of service in order to keep growing and getting the people it needs to fill skilled positions in downtown Indianapolis. Think outside of your own car !!!

ADVERTISEMENT