Leadership & Management


Giving details, Ferebee says his plan will have vast scope

Superintendent Lewis Ferebee and board President Diane Arnold Superintendent Lewis Ferebee's plan to reorganize Indianapolis Public Schools' leadership will require a "sizeable number" of his central office team to reapply for their jobs as the large-scale effort will both shrink the district's management structure and refine its functions. In an exclusive interview, Ferebee expanded on Friday's short announcement of the reorganization on the district's Web site, which lists a handful of new positions. Ferebee declined to give key specifics, such as how many administrators will be given notice before the end of the year that they will have to reapply, what positions will be redefined, how many jobs will be cut or how much savings might be expected when all the changes are complete. But he called Friday's announcement the first of at least three steps toward overhauling the way the district is managed. There will be another round of of job realignments for the academic team next, followed by a similar process for the central office operations team, Ferebee said. In each case, a top deputy will be selected to oversee and realign employee groups. The academic team is led by Deputy Superintendent Wanda Legrand. The systematic overhaul he described might have been unthinkable a year ago under former Superintendent Eugene White, who rejected the notion that the downtown bureaucracy saddled IPS. But the new superintendent's charge is to make change and a majority of the school board members have publicly stated support for his plan. The move was praised by board members and others who have called for a new direction in IPS' management structure.

Pence's challenge: Paying for education proposals

Gov. Mike Pence talks with high school students at Indiana's old statehouse after speaking about education in Indiana's first capital of Corydon. (Scott Elliott) Gov. Mike Pence knows that some of his 2014 education proposals for the Indiana legislature could be costly. He's hoping for some creative thinking from lawmakers to make them work, but it's unclear how much cooperation he will get. He's also rooting for an improved economy, just one day after ordering the sale of the state plane and higher education cuts to counter a $141 million drop in tax collections. "We are going to continue to see this economy grow," he said Tuesday in an interview with reporters following an afternoon speech. "We're going to have additional resources as a state to focus on our priorities." Speaking at the old statehouse in Corydon, the state's first capital, Pence expanded on his education agenda, noting that Hoosier lawmakers made Indiana the first state to guarantee a free public education when its 1816 constitution was forged there. "I think time has come for us to focus on the supply side of education," Pence said, "promoting new innovation, new learning methods and new technology to improve student outcomes." Pence has proposed a handful of new programs aimed at instituting state aid for preschool, supporting charter schools, boosting vocational education and creating opportunities for teachers to try new approaches. But the potential price tag of his education ideas have raised some eyebrows with the legislature poised to open 2014's "short session," a scaled back lawmaking effort held between biennial budget-making odd years.