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Rise & Shine: Indiana House unanimously passed a school safety bill

When I arrived here three years ago, Indianapolis Public Schools was in the first year of a remarkable new approach known as “innovation schools.” At first, the phrase was just one of the many pieces of jargon I needed to learn to cover the district. But it soon became clear how much the schools, which are run in partnership with outside charter and nonprofit managers, could upend the traditional district. And national focus soon settled on the quiet leader implementing the strategy — then-Superintendent Lewis Ferebee.

In the years since, the schools have proliferated in tandem with Ferebee’s growing cache among charter school advocates. And that reputation is likely one reason Ferebee, who left Indianapolis in January, was chosen to lead the Washington, D.C., school system.

Stephanie Wang and I teamed up to take a deeper look at Ferebee’s ambiguous legacy here in Indianapolis. Read on for the details, or pick up today’s copy of the Indianapolis Star for a print edition.

— Dylan Peers McCoy, reporter


Rise & Shine is Chalkbeat’s morning digest of education news. Subscribe to have it delivered to your inbox.


NEW ERA: Lewis Ferebee left for Washington, D.C., earlier this year. But some of the most telling results of his work in Indianapolis are just beginning to bear out. Chalkbeat

Plus, for readers in D.C., we have some of the takeaways from his time in Indianapolis — and 5 big questions to ask ahead of his confirmation. Chalkbeat

A-F: Indiana Republicans want to give the state education board the power to drop state tests and graduation rates from high school ratings — controversial metrics that some critics have long said don’t tell the full story. Chalkbeat

BREAKUPS: A bill in the Indiana Senate would allow voters to remove their townships from their current school districts and join other school districts. WISH

SCHOOL SAFETY: The Indiana House unanimously passed a bill Tuesday that would let schools apply for grants to install emergency alert systems if they provide local matching funds. Tribune-Star

Plus, Noblesville students visited lawmakers to advocate for stronger gun storage laws, in the wake of a school shooting in the district last year. WISH

ANOTHER SHORTAGE: The Westfield Washington school district is having a bus driver shortage, leading to late buses. Fox59