Have a Voice, Take Part in Education Discussion

Below is a letter to the editor by John and Councillor Jeff Miller on the education reform discussion taking place in Indianapolis. It was published in the Indy Star on May 12, 2012.

If we want Indianapolis to attract and keep families, strengthen its neighborhoods and draw new employers, raising the bar for our schools must be our highest priority. The success of Indianapolis Public Schools and its students is everybody’s business: the City-County Council, the Chamber of Commerce, teachers, parents, and, most of all, students. It is clear that every single resident of Marion County has a stake in the success of IPS.

The good news is this: The community understands the critical importance of the K-12 education discussion and is taking notice of the ideas being proposed.

The council recently approved a new deputy mayor of education position and confirmed Jason Kloth for the job. The Mind Trust sparked a community conversation about improving IPS with the release of its December report, “Creating Opportunity Schools.” And IPS responded last month with its own report.

Both plans warrant discussion, and other ideas from all perspectives should also be welcomed to the table.

It’s time to really engage in a community conversation focused on what ideas will and won’t work for our city and our students. Under the leadership of President Maggie Lewis, the council is doing its part. Earlier this year the Community Affairs Committee heard the details of The Mind Trust’s plan. On May 17, we will hear the details on IPS Superintendent Eugene White’s plan in a public meeting.

Maybe you have an idea for how to improve IPS. Now is the time to speak up — and to listen. We encourage you to join us at 6 p.m. May 17 at 120 E. Walnut St. to add your voice to the discussion.

We need all voices at the table. If we don’t find solutions for IPS, our city — and all of our futures — are at risk.

John Barth

Jeff Miller

City-County Council members


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