STRATEGIES IN THE SPOTLIGHTCitywide Education Progress Reports
IMPROVING SCHOOL QUALITY AND FIT
MEETING STUDENT NEEDS
INVOLVING FAMILIES IN SCHOOL SYSTEM DECISIONS
SUPPORTING FAMILIES THROUGH CHOICE PROCESS
TAKING COLLECTIVE ACTION
INDIANAPOLIS: Allowing Schools to Choose from a Menu of District Resources
Indianapolis’ improvement strategy is centered around creating more school-based autonomy and choice. A key piece of this work, and a creative new approach to district-charter partnership, is the expansion of “Innovation Network” schools.
Thanks to a state law passed in 2014, IPS can open new schools, or restart existing district or charter schools as schools governed by nonprofit boards with charter-like autonomies. These schools remain part of the district for enrollment, accountability, and planning purposes and have full control over curriculum, talent, operations, and use of funds allocated through IPS’ student-based allocation system, but have access to district programs and services as they choose.
Many of these schools are the product of a partnership between IPS and The Mind Trust, which provides a school incubator program for promising leaders.
The role of these Innovation Network schools is growing within IPS and currently represents 16 schools—nearly one quarter of district enrollment.