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January 3, 2017
Choosing a school in Indianapolis is changing. Here’s what you need to know.
Advocates for the unified enrollment system say it will make things easier by giving parents a single way to apply simultaneously to district and charter schools.
October 12, 2016
With new website, Indianapolis inches toward a single application for charter and district schools
Enroll Indy will launch a website with information on schools in November.
Hold your horses
July 5, 2016
A unified enrollment system for Indianapolis schools? Not so fast, IPS board members say on Facebook
After advocates sent the Star a letter celebrating unified enrollment, board members said they were surprised by the timeline.
January 28, 2016
With a $100,000 Gates grant, IPS moves to strengthen district, charter school collaboration
Five years after taking a pass, IPS will use the money to pay for an "innovation manager."
January 4, 2016
5 bold predictions for the new year for ISTEP, teachers, Pence, Ritz and IPS
Ferebee is in demand, Ritz and Pence have political challenges and ISTEP could die in 2016.
August 25, 2015
Former IPS board president passed over to interview for open seat
The IPS school board will interview three of four candidates for its open school board seat, but the one it eliminated already is a familiar name.
August 25, 2015
IPS board gives blessing to house Global Prep charter school
Superintendent Lewis Ferebee got the go-ahead from the school board to negotiate a deal with charter school developer Mariama Carson to put the school in an IPS building.
August 13, 2015
Hannon's goal: Help parents make choices and give schools useful data
A unified enrollment system is not a unique idea, but Caitlin Hannon hopes this system will go beyond its primary goal of simply helping match up families with schools.
August 10, 2015
Hannon resigns IPS board to take a Mind Trust fellowship
Caitlin Hannon, a former Indianapolis Public Schools teacher who joined the school board in an effort to push for change in the district, has stepped down, but she hopes to return to a key role in education in the city soon.
July 28, 2015
IPS aims to scale back suspensions and expulsions
Teachers will get guidance on how to interpret the new student code of conduct.
June 23, 2015
IPS starts summer with 300 teacher, staff vacancies
Superintendent Lewis Ferebee said he is concerned about the looming challenge of filling the spots before school starts.
March 22, 2015
Casual Sunday IPS board meeting or 'travesty' of public access?
It was supposed to be a different kind of meeting for the Indianapolis Public School Board — a casual Sunday afternoon work session for the board to…
March 19, 2015
Ferebee calls Cosby's concerns 'myths' as board approves plan for 2 high schools
The Indianapolis Public School Board approved a $2.1 million contract to create "transformation zones" to try to improve two struggling high schools.
March 9, 2015
IPS board to Ferebee: Bring us a reform-driven strategic plan
Increasing school choice options, driving decision-making away from the Central Office, and transitioning to student-based budgeting will guide the district.
January 22, 2015
At out-of-town training, IPS board also tries to resolve discord
The Indianapolis Public School Board spent two days together last weekend among the rolling hills of southern Indiana. The stated reason was for training, and board members have been careful not to officially describe the get-together a "retreat," which might suggest a more general meeting that would be required to be open to the public under Indiana's Sunshine Law.
January 12, 2015
Ferebee: Low expectations are a stubborn obstacle for IPS
A surprising number of Ferebee's biggest changes so far have connected to that theme of higher expectations — for the administration, for teachers, for students and even for the wider Indianapolis community. But those expectations work both ways. Halfway through his second year leading IPS, questions remain about how well matched Ferebee's ambitions for IPS are to those of a newly-elected, reform-minded school board. He also knows he has work to do to involve parents and grow grassroots level support for his approach.
January 6, 2015
New IPS school board chooses Diane Arnold as president
The Indianapolis Public School Board unanimously elected longtime board member Diane Arnold tonight as its president. Arnold will reprise a role she played in…
January 6, 2015
IPS mystery: Members mum on next school board president
The uncertainty of who will be the next board president is reminiscent of 2013: Once again three newly-elected board members with big changes in mind are taking office.
December 9, 2014
IPS board takes a pass on fellowship winners' school overhaul plan
IPS board members say they like an idea to turn around a failing school by using an existing Indianapolis charter school operator's ideas. But that didn't stop some board members from voting against the plan tonight over frustrations with education advocacy group The Mind Trust's Innovation School Fellowship program, killing the proposal until next year when a new school board comes into power.
October 29, 2014
IPS dumps Teach Plus contract as board members trade barbs
Emotions were running high Wednesday night as the Indianapolis Public School Board voted at a special meeting to rescind a contract with national organization Teach Plus to provide $6,000 bonuses to teacher leaders in three struggling IPS schools.
October 28, 2014
IPS board president calls special meeting to discuss Teach Plus contract
The Indianapolis Public School Board has called a meeting for Wednesday to reconsider a contract it approved with Teach Plus just a week…
October 22, 2014
IPS approves $6,000 pay bump for 'teacher leaders'
The board narrowly approved the nearly $750,000 three-year contract, which includes $6,000 stipends for 24 teachers, as well as costs for one-on-one coaching and group professional development. The teachers selected for the stipends are a mixture of returning and new district teachers from Schools 14, 44 and 61.
September 24, 2014
New IPS teachers contract pays bonuses based on performance
The deal for a one-year contract was widely hailed Tuesday night by IPS and the teacher's union as innovative and a step in the right direction when it comes to improving pay for the cash-strapped district's 2,000 teachers.
August 28, 2014
Closing John Marshall, absorbing students into Arlington may be IPS' next move
Superintendent Lewis Ferebee and school board members have faced a decision about how to move forward with Arlington ever since its new state-assigned operator, Tindley Schools, shocked state officials and the district this summer when it threatened to pull out of running the school early because of financial troubles.
July 8, 2014
IPS will pay consultant $200,000 to help overhaul teacher pay
IPS board members at a special meeting last week narrowly approved a plan to pay nonprofit Boston-based Education Resource Strategies $200,000 to help the district redesign its teacher compensation plan. The approval of the contract with ERS, which has helped other urban public schools with the same task, comes about a month before the district will enter into contract negotiations with the teachers union.
June 23, 2014
TeachPlus names 30 new fellows to study teaching policy
The Indianapolis chapter of TeachPlus, a national organization that aims to get teachers involved in education policy making, has named 30 new “teaching policy…
June 18, 2014
IPS leaders face pushback on plan to overhaul teacher pay, promotion
A major overhaul of how Indianapolis Public Schools evaluates, pays and promotes teachers hit a snag today when board members and the teachers union expressed concerns about the district's plan to hire consultants to do part of that work.
June 16, 2014
Losing top principals presents a challenge for IPS
Deciding to leave School 90 was tough for Mark Pugh, the principal who for the last seven years led a stunning turnaround that made the it one of the best-scoring high poverty schools in Indiana. But he started looking for another job after receiving an odd reward for the success he's had at the school: a deep pay cut.
May 30, 2014
Changes to teacher pay and promotion on the table for IPS
The Indianapolis Public School Board is considering undertaking a two-year process to overall how it evaluates, pays and promotes teachers. The plan, called Project Elevate, is still being developed but initial estimates suggested it could involve up to three consultants and cost $2.5 million.
April 10, 2014
No IPS-charter compacts next year
Indianapolis Public Schools Superintendent Lewis Ferebee told school board members Wednesday he has no plans to exercise new powers granted to the district last month by the Indiana legislature to make deals with charter school operators to run district schools. Gov. Mike Pence signed House Bill 1321 last month. It gives IPS the authority to hand empty buildings over for charter schools to use, or to hire charter school operators to run an IPS school. Ferebee has said all along he was not exclusively interested in deals with charter schools.
April 8, 2014
Teachers: Indiana's evaluation system needs repair
While state leaders grappled to understand how a new evaluation could have rated just 219 ineffective educators out of nearly 50,000, Marion County teachers say they know some of the reasons why. At a meeting of 17 local teachers hosted Monday night by TeachPlus, they said scores are driven by the realities that the evaluators, mostly principals, face: Inconsistent direction, lack of training and the need to protect their own and their schools interests.
April 7, 2014
New evaluation system gives few Indiana teachers low grades
Nearly all rated educators were classified in the top two categories as effective or highly effective: a whopping 97 percent. That’s not exactly what state had in mind, leaving some leaders scratching their heads.
April 7, 2014
Principals under scrutiny for high teacher ratings
The school officials charged with evaluating educators — principals — are under scrutiny after they gave out very few low scores last year. Across the state, less than one half of 1 percent of educators were rated ineffective last year under a new evaluation system designed to tell teachers apart, while 97 percent received effective or highly effective ratings.
March 20, 2014
IPS teachers tackle tough questions about pay
As part of an exercise at a meeting sponsored by TeachPlus, each group was given a budget for a fictional urban district with 45,000 students, 3,000 teachers and a $190 million budget, or somewhat bigger than IPS, which has about 30,000 students, 2,800 teachers and a $263 million budget. The challenge was to redesign the way teachers were paid and earned raises by redistributing the way the money was spent. Nearly 150 IPS educators who attended quickly found the task wasn’t easy.
March 7, 2014
Sullivan, Bentley considering a run for IPS school board
Two high profile Democrats who support school choice and accountability-based education reforms are strongly considering bids for the Indianapolis Public School Board. Kelly Bentley…
January 10, 2014
IPS board picks Annie Roof as its new president
Annie Roof, mother of three children who attend Indianapolis Public Schools, was named the new president of the school board Thursday. Roof was selected…
January 6, 2014
Roof expected to be next IPS board president
Annie Roof appears poised to become the new president of the Indianapolis Public School Board. Several board members said Roof had majority support and…
November 1, 2013
IPS loses when teachers face constant moves, report says
TeachPlus unveiled its report examining how frequently new teachers are forced to change schools against their will at a meeting on Monday at WFYI. (TeachPlus) When Alyssa Starinsky was called to the principal's two years ago at Shortridge High School, she thought she might be in line for an honor. Two years in a row, in fact, the classes she taught had posted among the highest test score growth of any of their peers in Indianapolis Public Schools; a student group she moderated was a two-time national award winner; and everyone at the school was buzzing about an upcoming Teacher of the Year announcement. But instead of an award, the assistant principal handed a letter telling her she was being fired — not for performance but because the district expected to need fewer teachers the next year. "I read it three times and I was crying uncontrollably," Starinsky said. "You know when you're a teacher, kids come to school for you and you come for them. You are working as hard as you can for them to achieve. I didn't know how to tell my kids, with a month and a half left, that I wasn't coming back." IPS didn't have to lose her. They eventually tried to hire her back, but it was too late. Starinsky did continue teaching. She kept her move quiet until the end of the school year and now she's at Carpe Diem, an Indianapolis charter school. But this sort of forced move — school changes that teachers don't want to make and that are not based on performance — are common and disruptive, both to the teachers and to the learning of their students, a new report states. "I'm a statistic," Starinsky said. "I'm in the majority, not the minority, of teachers who are moved involuntarily. It's heartbreaking."
October 24, 2013
The basics of charter schools in Indiana: A mayor’s big role
Charter schools are expanding quickly in Indiana.
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