Monday, February 22, 2010


Mayor Greg Ballard today announced the release the 2008-2009 Accountability Report - a comprehensive document that serves as a key component of the schools' rigorous and transparent accountability process.

The report - which is designed to provide the public and stakeholders with a picture of the schools' strengths, challenges, and overall achievement - includes data and performance measures for governance, financial reviews, expert site visits, confidential student and staff surveys and test score analysis.

"The release of this report is significant, because it underscores two of the main reasons charter schools are delivering academic success -- transparency and accountability," said Mayor Ballard. "The key for all Mayor-sponsored schools is continuous improvement. Even the best-performing schools have areas they need to improve upon, so while I am pleased with the overall performance, I will always challenge these schools to keep growing."

Scott Bess, CEO of Indianapolis Metropolitan High School, a Mayor-sponsored charter high school, emphasized the value of the Accountability Report to his school.

"The Mayor's system of oversight is very rigorous," said Bess. "I can attest from personal experience that the level of accountability charter schools face is much more comprehensive and rigorous than most traditional public schools. The Mayor and his team look at every facet of our school's performance -our Board of Directors, our financial position, and our academic achievement. And as a result of last year's assessment, we implemented a number of improvements that helped us operate more effectively. The Mayor's system really pushes us to keep improving, with the end result being a better education for the students we serve."

Performance measures included in the report indicate that students at Mayor-sponsored charter schools are making significant improvement on ISTEP+ each year - most notably in the secondary grades. In 2008-2009, the average improvement in ISTEP+ pass rates in Mayor-sponsored charter elementary schools was 6.9 percentage points, compared to 1.3 points statewide and 1.5 points in Marion County. For secondary schools, the improvement was 6.5 percentage points, compared to a 0.75 point decline statewide and 0.87 point decline in the county. Mayor-sponsored charter schools comprised six of the top 10 schools in Marion County with the most improvement on ISTEP+.

In addition, the Mayor's Office examined student proficiency on ISTEP+ based on the length of time students were enrolled in charter schools. The data indicates that the longer students have been enrolled in charter schools, the better they perform. In the Fall of 2008, 57 percent of students enrolled in a Mayor-sponsored charter school for less than a month passed the ISTEP+ in math. However, among students enrolled for four years, 81 percent passed. Results were similar in English, where 54 percent of students enrolled for less than a month passed, while 67 percent of students who were enrolled for four years passed.

According to the report, Mayor-sponsored charter schools served over 5,300 students in 2008-2009 - around 4% of the county's public school student population. During the 2008-09 school year, 76% of students at Mayor's charter schools were minorities and 73% qualified for free- or reduced- lunch. In comparison, 56% of students in the county and 25% in the state were minorities. 58% of students in the county and 42% of students in the state qualified for free- or reduced- lunch.

The full report, with detailed information regarding the performance of each of the 17 charter schools in operation during the 2008-2009 school year, is available online at

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