IPS Superintendent Dr. Lewis Ferebee, Indianapolis Deputy Mayor for Education Jason Kloth and The Mind Trust’s President/CEO David Harris came together on Afternoons with Amos to explain a new initiative called Innovation School Fellowships. The effort will utilize a new state law, Public Law 1321, which passed this year’s General Assembly. The new law, supported by the City and Supt. Ferebee enables talented leaders or management teams to start high performing, autonomous schools, called “Innovation Network Schools,” in vacant or unused IPS buildings or in place of persistently low-performing schools. These schools, which will continue to be IPS Schools, ultimately supervised by the IPS Superintendent and School Board, will have key conditions for success: freedom for educators to innovate and accountability for results. The Mind Trust, which has funded and created other such innovative education programs, will help fund this new program through an Innovation School Fellowship. The fellowship will provide select leaders who commit to launching Innovation Network Schools the critical time and support needed to ensure those schools thrive. Innovation School Fellowship winners will receive a full salary and benefits ($129,000 in total) so they can spend a year planning their schools’ design and roll out. Research and the experience of the best school leaders across the country have shown that having a planning year is critical to a new school’s success. Dr. Ferebee, Deputy Mayor Kloth and Harris came to Afternoons with Amos to explain the new program to listeners. All emphasized that IPS will provide certain management services for these Innovation Schools” and the district will receive the credit for the academic achievement those school’s students would receive. Additionally, the program is not designed to create new IPS magnet schools, but rather to improve IPS schools that currently have been underperforming, earning overall “D” or “F” state accountability grades.
Click the Arrow on the Player to hear Amos’ Interview with Supt. Ferebee, Deputy Mayor Kloth and Mind Trust’s David Harris. Runs 27 Minutes ©2014 WTLC/Radio One.