Editor’s Note: I hadn’t planned to blog about Indianapolis Public Schools, but its administration is the gift that just keeps on giving.
You would think that if you were an administrator in a school district that has several schools about to be taken over by the state you would be a little less paranoid and a little more proactive. However with Indianapolis Public Schools, that is not the case.
Recently an e-mail went out from the State Department of Education regarding an informational meeting next month with community leaders on how a possible takeover of several IPS schools would work. Here’s what it said…
Dear Community Partners,
I am writing to invite you to a meeting of community members concerning state intervention in Indianapolis’ lowest achieving schools. At this meeting, we will first share the state’s process and timeline for intervention. Then, we will ask for your input in two ways. First, we wish to know how you have been or might plan to be involved in supporting the schools listed below. Please bring the attached form(s) describing your current work in any of the schools and/or possible future work. Also feel free to bring brochures or other descriptive information that you would like us to review. Second, at the meeting we will ask for your assistance in developing processes to inform and communicate with parents in future conversations about state intervention in these schools. We look forward to partnering with you in this effort and I thank Mark Russell with the Urban League for helping me to develop the list of community members to invite to this meeting and for providing the venue.
The schools in IPS are:
Year 5 Probationary Status
- Arlington Community High School
- Broad Ripple Magnet High School
- Emerich Manual High School
- Northwest High School
- Emma Donnan Middle School
- Thomas Carr Howe Community High School
- George Washington Community School
Year 4 Probationary Status
- Harshman Middle School
- John Marshall Community High School
- Arsenal Technical High School
Meeting time: Thursday, February 3, 2011, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Location: Indianapolis Urban League, IUL Multi-purpose Room, 777 Indiana Ave, Indianapolis, IN (317) 693-7603
Please send an RSVP.
Lee Ann Kwiatkowski
Indiana Department of Education
Director of School Turnaround
Seems harmless enough, right. DOE maybe taking over some IPS schools and is reaching out to community leaders. Well here is the e-mail that IPS Associate Superintendent Dr. Li-Yen Johnson sent out Wednesday afternoon in response to the DOE letter…
Ladies and gentlemen:
This is very serious… .We have to take an active stand on this and speak up for ourselves. DOE is trying to keep the African Americans hooked and quiet so they can go ahead and turn IPS into mayoral control and/or IPS schools taken over by charters and take over entities. We should not be silent on this one!
Please be outspoken to all the people you know about this conspiracy! Lies people will tell about us have to stop! We cannot be silent!
Let us stand united and have one voice. Join me in this meeting! Bring your community partners to this meeting and question the motive of this meeting for sure.
The legislations that are going forward regarding Charter schools, vouchers, and Mayoral control will set IPS back for 30 years.
Li -Yen Johnson
IPS Associate Superintendent
120 E. Walnut St. (Room 702-F)
Indpls, IN. 46204
Office 226-3127 / Fax 226-3664
Conspiracy? “The DOE is keeping African-Americans hooked” Really? Has Li-Yen met the President who supports turning around failing schools and holding more people accountable? Does Ms. Johnson really think this is a conspiracy? Did the DOE operate seven schools that have been on probationary status for five years? Is the DOE operating high schools that are graduating failing students? Has she been to IPS lately? Oh, I forgot she works there. That would explain quite a bit.
To engage in this kind of paranoia, while playing the race card (and poorly I might add) is pathetic. If there’s a white man who is doing harm to the district, his first name is Eugene. And if Li-Yen’s attitude is representative of the IPS administration, and it probably is, the DOE can’t take over that educational insane asylum soon enough.
By the way, for those of you who want to defend this “school district” please click this link to the Center for American Progress Study on schools. The study ranks school districts based on “return on investment”, how much learning a district produces based on the amount of money spent per child. Guess which three are at the bottom of the list? Here’s a hint, one of them has the initials IPS.