The Warren Township School District on Indianapolis’ far eastside usually is known for its athletic success. But recently academic excellence and Warren Township are being mentioned in the same sentence. Earlier this year, the US Department of Education awarded the district one of a handful of Race to the Top multi-year grants to improve education and reduce the achievement gap.
The $29 million grant was the most recent example of Warren Township’s improved academic standings. Warren has also become, in the last decade, one of Indianapolis’ most diverse school districts.
Of its over 12,132 students, 48.3% are African-American. The third highest percentage of African-American students (after Pike and IPS) of any Marion County school district. Warren has the fourth highest number of African-American students of any district. Some 72% of Warren’s students received free/reduce lunch. Nearly two-thirds (64.2%) of Warren students passed ISTEP English/Language Arts and Math and 83.4% of Warren’s high school seniors graduated on time.
In that context, the at large race for Warren Township School Board is also interesting and critical because despite its diversity, an African-American has never been elected to the school board. In the at large election for three school board seats, eight candidates are running in November 4th election. Five of them appeared on Afternoons with Amos as the program continues to interview more city/county school board candidates than any other Indianapolis media.
Current Warren Township School Board President Anthony “Tony” Mendez appeared on the program along with Terri Amos, Catherina Boggs, LaShanna Hill Shaffer and Cheryl Hizer who are seeking to be elected for the first time to the board. Incumbent Board members Michelle Wright and Jay Wise and challenger Roosevelt Stanford had schedule conflicts and couldn’t appear on the broadcast.
The candidates fielded a lot of issues from Amos and listeners. Everything from the impact of the Race to the Top grant; Warren’s use of technology; teacher quality and effectiveness; how the district plans to reduce the achievement gap among minority students and school safety. The candidates also discussed bullying and Warren Township’s new effort to create more evenhanded discipline and conduct policies and procedures. Each of the candidates outlined their goals and objectives if elected November 4th, including how to improve parental involvement and engagement. Click the Media Players To Hear the Afternoons with Amos Interviews with Warren Township School Board Candidates. ©2014 WTLC/Radio One. Part 1 – Candidates Amos, Mendez, Hizer. Runs 54 Minutes. Part 2 – Candidates Boggs, Hill-Shaffer. Runs 34 Minutes.