Friday, April 19, 2013

Will Education Reform Strengthen Neighborhoods?

The more diverse voices here, the better!  If you want parent voice, community voice, teacher voice....looks you'll have to bring it from the audience.  We hope you do.


Will Education Reform Strengthen Neighborhoods?

In the past decade, Indianapolis has become a hotbed of reform efforts aimed at radically improving public education. At the same time, our urban neighborhoods often suffer from poor reputations and declining populations due in large part to the public perception of their schools. A recent analysis shows that some of Indy's neighborhoods are well-served by their schools while others are terribly underserved. Reform efforts are attempting to improve existing school districts, start new charter schools, prepare pre-school children for school, and effectively challenge and support many more youth to attain college degrees.
What exactly is the nature of the connection between these reform efforts and neighborhood vitality? Are there opportunities to improve the synergy between education reform and neighborhood development efforts? Please join us to hear and participate as PNC and LISC present a panel of local education leaders to discuss how their work is affecting Indy's neighborhoods.

Education Panel

Diane Arnold
Diane Arnold
Executive Director, the Hawthorne Community Center and President, Indianapolis Public School Board
Sam Cargile
Dr. Samuel Cargile
Vice President, Senior Advisor to CEO, Lumina Foundation
Jason Kloth
Jason Kloth
Deputy Mayor of Education, City of Indianapolis
Jeff Kucer
Jeff Kucer
Senior Vice
President, Director of Client and Community
Relations, Office
of the Regional President, The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.
Marcus Robinson
Marcus Robinson
CEO, EdPower and Chancellor, CEO, Charles A. Tindley Accelerated School
Bill Taft
Bill Taft
Executive Director, Local Initiatives Support Corporation Moderator


  1. Is there a way to register without creating a Yahoo account?

  2. LISC is known for promoting diversity and open debate. The panel arranged for the May 7 does not reflect these LISC values.
    Due to the explanation of the event in the e-mail, “Will Education Reform Strengthen Neighborhoods?” it is clear that this event is a part of the present discussion of the NEO Plan (aka: The Mind Trust Plan Pt. II) which is now being pushed by the mayor’s office. The NEO plan uses the same concerns and issues--used to explain the May 7 event (“better” schools mean improved neighborhood)--to rationalize the need for its proposal. Right now this event looks like an infomercial for a particular economic-political point of view masquerading as a public conversation.
    In fact, for the sake of transparency, LISC needs to let the public know it is a “contributor” to the “shared vision” the NEO plan represents. (See p. 4 of Indy’s submission to the Bloomberg Philanthropies “Mayors Challenge”) Otherwise, the duty for LISC to be a neutral party (the position I assume LISC is taking in presenting/promoting this event) is compromised.
    Consequently, due to the high level of intelligence of LISC staff, one can only conclude that the question used to define the event (“Will Education Reform Strengthen Neighborhoods?”) is rhetorical. Obviously, NEO supporters and LISC, and the panelists share the same answer to it.
    Since not one of the current panelist listed looks like they’ll provide a strong counter-narrative to the question, LISC is obligated to have a wider variety of panelists to have a genuine conversation. I suggest:

    --Nathaniel Williams: grad student at IUPUI
    --Rod Bohannan: NAACP
    --Mike Sage: Education-Community Action Team
    --Alex Sage: Education-Community Action Team
    --John Harris Loflin: Democratic Education Consortium
    --Dr. Robert Helfenbien: School of Ed IUPUI
    --Commissioner Diane Arnold is a poor representative of IPS. The Mind Trust has hired Kelly Bentley to coach Arnold; so, this elected official has a conflict of interest. I suggest if LISC wants a genuine dialogue, LISC will have Commissioner Cosby instead.

    John Harris Loflin
    Democratic Education Consortium (DEC)

    p.s. What’s the study/analysis mentioned in the e-mail about the event? What LISC’s proof that public perception of public schools is a major reason why urban residents are leaving Indy’s neighborhoods?