In an exclusive, in-depth Afternoons with Amos interview, Marcus Robinson, CEO of Tindley Schools, the operator of Arlington High School, one of the Indianapolis Public Schools takeover schools, talked frankly about why there’s been talk of Tindley no longer operating Arlington. In nthe interview, Robinson assured the community that the school at 48th and Arlington Avenue would open as scheduled on August 11th. In the interview, Robinson went over the background of the issue. Three years ago, the Indiana State Board of Education ordered that five Indiana schools that had received the lowest “F” school accountability grades were to be taken over by the State of Indiana.
An Indianapolis non-profit minority educational organization, Ed Power, which operated the Tindley Charter Schools, was chosen to be the takeover operator of Arlington High School, one of the four IPS schools taken over by the state. Even though the physical Arlington High School building was designed to hold over 2,000 students, Arlington’s current enrollment is less than 450. Ed Power, now called Tindley Schools, was finding it very difficult financially to operate Arlington, given the high overhead and maintenance costs on a huge 300,000 square foot building. Tindley raised concerns that they could no longer financially sustain operating a quality educational program at Arlington without causing academics at Tindley’s five other schools to suffer. Tindley raised the issue of whether or not they could continue operation at a recent State Board of Education meeting. According to Robinson, in the interview, there had been assurances from the former Superintendent of Public Instruction, Dr. Tony Bennett, that there would be adequate funding for Tindley and other takeover school operators to operate their schools for five years. After Bennett was defeated in November 2012, the new Superintendent Glenda Ritz backed away from those promises. That lead to a cash crunch for Tindley which doesn’t have a network of scores of schools to fall back on. Also in the interview, Robinson answered charges about a dispute about Arlington HS graduation rate under Tindley’s operation. Click the Media Player to Hear the Afternoons with Amos Interview with Marcus Robinson about the Status of Arlington and Details of the Education Arlington and other Tindley Students Receive. Runs 29 Minutes. ©2014 WTLC/Radio One.