IPS school gets final chance to avoid state takeover

Indianapolis

For the sixth year in a row, John Marshall Community High School has scored an "F" academically on state mandated tests.

Now Indiana State School Superintendent Dr. Tony Bennett is giving IPS one last chance to fix John Marshall before the state takes over.

"Obviously another Indianapolis public school is on the line," said Bennett. "I have no question that this is Marshall's last chance."

IPS Superintendent Dr. Eugene White has already agreed to spend $14 million on consultants to examine and rework the education system at John Marshall and the 14 feeder schools that send older students to class there.

"I do believe this is an effort to say we're not only going to address the deficiencies in the individual schools that are failing but also deficiencies in the district itself," said Bennett.

The state board of education approved White's plan, giving him until next spring to get test scores up or face the loss of yet one more IPS school to state control.

"We're confident," said Dr. Li-Yen Johnson, IPS associate superintendent. "The students will receive homework assistance during their extended day.

"The other pieces we're bringing in…we're calling them IUPUI academic tutors, ten more, and what they will do is they will provide small group instruction in the learning centers for after school and we're going to extend the hours at John Marshall in a more focused way.

"If we have students who do better through online and virtual courses, then that's what we will do."

IPS will focus on credit recover methods to help students get credits they may have failed in the past.

The district also needs to graduate more students and rely less on waivers.

IPS has hired Paul Vallas, a nationally known public school-turnaround consultant who told state board members he's worked in Philadelphia, Chicago and New Orleans.

"The feeder schools have undergone a lot of leadership changes. The superintendent has gone in and made changes and they're looking for a light bulb and a model that will work, so, I think we've got their attention."

Vallas said teachers may be required to come to school on Saturday for training.

"The superintendent has their attention so I think we will get the cooperation that we need from the staff. We've already been in the schools and they are just looking for help."

Vallas said his consultants will meet with IPS officials next week to tell them of their findings and propose solutions to the John Marshall dilemma that could then translate throughout the entire district.

Featured Stories

Advertisement

PLAN AHEAD

Top Trending Videos