Wednesday, October 21, 2009


The National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) announced today that the City of Indianapolis will receive a $125,000 implementation grant – the first such grant made by NACSA’s new Fund for Authorizing Excellence.

Funds will enable the City to develop and pilot a model accountability system for Mayor-Sponsored charter high schools; to pilot a new performance system for students in special education programs; and to develop an improved platform for sharing performance information.

“Mayor-sponsored charter schools provide outstanding opportunities for school children in Indianapolis and deliver results when it comes to educational outcomes,” said Mayor Greg Ballard. “The NACSA grant award is a welcomed investment in our community’s public charter schools, and we will use it wisely to develop cutting-edge accountability and improvement systems that we hope serve as models locally and nationally.”

The application focuses specifically on using grant funding to improve the Mayor’s nationally recognized accountability system by providing more meaningful information about growth and performance for students in high school, and move from a focus on school compliance with state and federal regulations to assessing the quality of special education programs and performance among students with disabilities. The award will also help create a transparent and more engaging Web platform allowing for various audiences to access customized information about the performance of Mayor-sponsored charter schools. Implementation will begin immediately and will continue through the 2010-2011 school year.

Currently, there are 18 Mayor-sponsored charter schools that serve approximately 6,000 students throughout Indianapolis. According to 2008-2009 data, students in Mayor-sponsored charter schools are typically low-income (76 percent), academically behind (two years behind academically when they first enroll), and minority students (78 percent).

Recent academic results include:

In 2008, 94 percent of Mayor-sponsored charter high school graduates enrolled in college.

According to the state of Indiana’s accountability system (Public Law 221), in 2008-09 the highest performing (Charles A. Tindley Accelerated School) and highest growth (Herron High School) secondary schools in Indianapolis were Mayor-sponsored charter schools.

During the 2008-2009 school year , Mayor-sponsored charter schools represented only seven percent of all schools in Indianapolis, but made up 60 percent of the top 10 schools showing the most academic growth on ISTEP+.

For the last four years, the public school showing the most academic achievement growth in Indianapolis – in terms of increased pass rates on ISTEP+ – has been a Mayor-sponsored charter school.

In 2009, the only three public high schools in Indianapolis to meet federal achievement standards (Adequate Yearly Progress) were Mayor-sponsored charter schools.

For more information about Mayor-sponsored charter schools, including past years’ accountability reports, visit

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