Three Indiana Charter School USA Takeovers Earn F’s


From the Indianapolis Star:

A year of state intervention hasn’t improved failing grades for Indianapolis’ worst public schools, A-F accountability grades released today show.

Four chronically underperforming Indianapolis Public Schools under state takeover — Arlington High, Emma Donnan Middle, Manual High and Howe High — continued their pattern of F grades this year.

That didn’t come as any surprise to some, including the companies tasked by the state for turnaround efforts.

Arlington is very far from where we want it to be,” said EdPower CEO Marcus Robinson. But there was “no way” the struggling school could improve its grade — even to a D, he said — in little more than a year of takeover.

But he said the F doesn’t reflect the whole turnaround process. And it isn’t an indicator, he added, of whether the state takeover strategy works.

The state can take over any school that receives six consecutive F grades, a tactic used by former state Superintendent for Public Instruction Tony Bennett but not supported by his successor, Glenda Ritz.

The state is paying more than $30 million to the five takeover schools, which include the four IPS schools and one in Gary.

The takeover school in Gary, Theodore Roosevelt Car & Tech Academy, also received an F this year.

The chief academic officer for Charter Schools USA, which operates Emma Donnan, Manual and Howe, says turnaround is not “a quick fix.”

“What is encouraging about our results as we’ve been tracking them,” Sherry Hage wrote in a statement, “is that while we may have received an ‘F,’ our schools are most definitely not failing any longer.

Charter Schools USA and it’s entities donated heavily to Tony Bennett’s reelection campaign and an Indiana judge ruled that CSUSA received up to $6 million more than it should have from the IPS while Bennett was in charge. Bennett’s wife has an administrative job with CSUSA.

There is no joy in seeing schools which  serve disadvantaged, at-risk youth fail. But charter schools don’t to it better and obviously aren’t a panacea. Now look who has a “failing school” and is “making excuses.”

About Bob Sikes

A long time ago and a planet far, far away I was an athletic trainer for the New York Mets. I was blessed to be part of the now legendary 1986 World Series Championship. My late father told me that I'd one day be thankful I had that degree in teaching from Florida State University. He was right and I became twice blesses to become a teacher in the late 1990's. After dabbling with writing about the Mets and then politics, I settled on education.
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3 Responses to Three Indiana Charter School USA Takeovers Earn F’s

  1. Hannah says:

    Soooooo true! Got sick of the whole “no excuses” mantra… they’re confusing excuses with reasons. An “excuse” is “My dog ate my homework” (when in actuality, it was never done). A reason is, “The parent brought the child to school 45 minutes late everyday. They missed core reading instruction. That is why the child is failing reading. ” And some admins will still say, “What are YOU going to do about it?” REALLY?! Thanks for this blog!

  2. Pingback: For-Profit “Turnaround” Schools in Indiana Earn an F | Diane Ravitch's blog

  3. Anthony Rogers says:

    F means failing Sherry Hage who probably made the comment from Florida in her luxury sedan. Florida charter schools have no business being in Indiana. You don’t live here to manage your business!!!!!

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