Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Are You Serious???

Ballard seeks control of 7 failing IPS schools

Mayor Greg Ballard has asked to take charge of efforts to turn around up to seven Indianapolis Public Schools that are facing state takeover.

In a speech to the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee this morning, Ballard cited state law that allows mayors to petition the state board to take control of schools that have been on probation for low test scores for six consecutive years.  Ballard said the schools would be added to a portfolio of charter schools his office oversees and that he would apply "charter like" solutions to them. He pitched his plan as a middle road between mayoral takeover of the entire school district, which has been pushed by some community and business leaders, and state control of local schools.

"I believe our immediate focus should be on the successful turnaround of the schools being taken over by the state," he said. "Once we successfully turn around these schools, then we can tackle the larger issue of IPS as a whole."

State board members and Superintendent for Public Instruction Tony Bennett are holding meetings this month to gather public input at each of the seven Indianapolis schools -- six high schools and a middle school -- that could reach their sixth year of probation when state test scores are released later this summer.


  1. This is amazing. Take a look at how the Mayor has handled IMPD, the sewer problem, or even the pothole epidemic in this city and you can't think this is a good idea. And of course, the plan is to turn them over to charters so it's really just passing the buck.

  2. How the mayor has handled IMPD, you claim? According to a report published by Channel 6 on March 8, 2011, the murder rate in 2010 (96) is the lowest since 1995. The overall violent crime rate (including rape, robbery, and armed assault) has also decreased in Indianapolis year to year. While all crime is unacceptable, such a quanititatively evident decline is a testament to the efficacy of IMPD and its leadership; it is nothing to derail.

  3. At least Ballard has a stance on reforming education--Democratic mayoral candidate Melina Kennedy's press releases speak only of increased mayoral advocacy to push for "solutions," amid paragraphs of empty rhetoric. On the subject of government control, she says only that it "merits further discussion." There is little doubt that Kennedy is waiting to see just what the public does not like about Ballard's plan to formulate "her" policy proposal.