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amos and ips supt ferebee

IPS Superintendent Ferebee Undergoes Intense Questioning By Amos On Several IPS Issues

The Afternoons with Amos PODCAST For Friday, October 23, 2015. NEW INFORMATION ADDED! DETAILS ON INNOVATION SCHOOLS. WHERE SCHOOL 70 STUDENTS LIVE. WHERE CFI WAITING LIST STUDENTS LIVE! (The Afternoons with Amos Interview With IPS Supt. Dr. Lewis Ferebee Begins At 51:22 Mark On PODCAST Media Player). In an intense, hour long interview, IPS Supt. Dr. Lewis Ferebee tried to explain what IPS is planning to do major changes to how IPS schools will be governed.  A process called simply autonomy, that will give principals more control over their school’s operations.  But several parts of the proposal, which the IPS and general community are just now becoming aware of will be voted on this coming Thursday, October 29th, without much opportunity for reaction and discussion with residents and parents within IPS. The proposals include allowing IPS principals to create “Innovation Schools”, where the school forms a non-profit organization and operates the school as a separate entity, though its funding would come through IPS and IPS would gain credit for enrollment and academic outcomes. The IPS Board is expected to OK the “framework” of autonomy which would create three types of schools in the district.  One would be the Traditional Schools, run just as they are now with limited ability by a school’s principal to make changes or decision on their own.  Autonomous Schools where principals could make changes in length of a school day, what types of teaching would be used and have control over content and budget for staff  development and type of teachers.  Then the most controversial proposal Innovation Schools, where the principal would have the freedom to create  new school, in an existing building; convert an existing school to an Innovation school; restart from scratch on IPS failing school; partner with an existing charter school and be housed in an IPS facility.  In an Innovation School employees would not be IPS employees but employees of the new school organization.  They wouldn’t be part of existing IPS unions, but could be allowed to unionize. In repeated questioning, Ferebee seemed at a couple of points to say that the new Innovation Schools would be for neighborhood or non-magnet schools to improve their performance.  But seemingly in the same breath, Ferebee said that magnet schools like CFI could become these Innovative Schools. In the interview Ferebee said an Innovation School Principal would have the authority over the cafeteria, could decide menus and decide who provided the food service. In short, in Innovation Schools, the Principal could make their own choice of vendors for various goods and services a school needs. Which opens concerns about favoritism and cronyism. A major contentious part of the interview was when Supt. Ferebee was asked to explain the proposed changes at Mary Nicholson School 70, a Performing Arts Magnet, and the elimination of the Key Learning at the Key School just south of downtown on White River Parkway.

picture charts on IPS school movement

Chart Showing Where Current School 70 Students Live In IPS District. / Indianapolis Public Schools

Those moves and the proposal to place a fourth Center For Inquiry (CFI) school at School 70 have created a firestorm of outrage.  In the interview Supt. Ferebee admitted that the decisions on moving the schools around were made without having meetings with affected parents.  Those meetings are planned for the first week in November. Ferebee defended the decision to move School 70 to the Key School just south of downtown because the existing School 70 goes to fifth grade and in the new building they would be able to accommodate up to 8th grade.  Even though the Performing Arts curriculum would be a school south of downtown, the students would be able to attend Broad Ripple, the Performing Arts magnet high school. Inconveniencing of students has been cited by parents opposed to the plan. Afternoons with Amos obtained charts from IPS showing where students of the existing School 70 and those on the CFI waiting list live.

picture charts on IPS school movement

Chart Showing Where Students On CFI Waiting List Live In IPS Compared To CFI Boundaries / Indianapolis Public Schools

The charts were provided made public at a school board meeting, but provided to all Indianapolis media. Some 22% of School 70’s students live in the immediate area of the school, between 46th and 38th, Michigan Road and Fall Creek. 42% live east of Keystone and North of I70.  On the subject of adding a fourth CFI school at School 70, Ferebee said the research shows a large demand for a CFI school on the northside. But data obtained from IPS, shows a different reality. Of the students on CFI’s waiting list who live in IPS, but 25% live in the Butler-Tarkington, Meridian/kessler or Broad Ripple neighborhoods. Some 37% live south of 10th and 16th Street. A figure that rises to 64% when you include students wanting to attend a CFI who live between 38th and 10th and 16th Streets. Just a quarter of the so-called demand for CFI lives in the so called priority northside areas IPS seems to be catering to.  In fact looking at the a chart of where School 70 and stude where CFIs waiting list students live, it make a strong case for putting a fourth CFI school at the Key School location just south of downtown.  Our exclusive interview with Supt. Ferebee is MUST HEARING for taxpayers, parents, students, teachers and supporter of IPS.

Dr. eugene white

Martin University President Dr. Eugene White



(Interview With Martin University President Dr. Eugene White Starts At 2:38 Mark On PODCAST Media Player). Also on the program, former IPS Superintendent Dr. Eugene White, now President of Martin University, talked about activities surrounding their Homecoming next week.  No, Martin University has developed a sports team, but Homecoming is used to bring the university community and genera community together. In the interview, a relaxed Dr. White confirmed Martin, while still considered on “probation” the school is fully accredited.  White talked about the school’s improved financial conditions, academics and continued plans to stay the course initially set by the school’s founder the legendary Father Boniface Hardin. The Afternoons with Amos PODCAST For Friday, october 23, 2015. Runs 90 Minutes. ©2015 WTLC/Radio One. PODCAST Starts After Brief Video Ad.