November 15, 2018

IPS Targets 7 Underperforming Schools For Review

Ignite Achievement Academy @ Elder Diggs 42 - Indianapolis Public Schools

Ignite Achievement Academy @ Elder Diggs 42

Indianapolis Public Schools

The Indianapolis Public Schools administration named seven underperforming schools targeted for review during a school board meeting Thursday.

These school quality reviews –– or SQR’s –– are conducted to find areas of growth for schools. The reviews could inform decisions to restart these schools –– when an underperforming school is handed over to a third-party to manage –– or close them. 

The schools selected for an SQR: 

  • Stephen Foster School 67
  • Eleanor Skillen School 34
  • Thomas Gregg Neighborhood School 15
  • Ignite Achievement Academy @ Elder Diggs 42
  • Kindezi Academy @ Joyce Kilmer 69
  • James Russell Lowell School 51
  • Louis B. Russell Jr. School 48

The seven schools all fell within the bottom quartile of proficiency scores in the district.

IPS official Andrew Strope says when the district evaluates these underperforming schools it considers more than test scores. 

"As we are determining what those supports and interventions might be, we do not want to rely solely on quantitative data," Strope says. "The SQR provides some great qualitative data."

IPS officials say most schools that received a district review improved from last year.

Elder Diggs School earned three consecutive Fs on the state accountability scale before IPS decided the school should be restarted in 2017. The school board later partnered with Ignite Academy to run the near westside school under an innovation contract.

Now, Ignite Achievement Academy is facing a review. The school earned a C on the state’s A-F accountability grade. For a new school's first three years, the accountability grade is based only on a students' academic growth. The passage rates of state tests are not included. 

Schools that are selected for restart are expected to be made public on January 25th. The district plans to engage with the community and school before the public announcement.

The Indiana Department of Education will also conduct its own school quality reviews on five IPS schools –– these are schools with two consecutive years F ratings. 

Stephen Foster School 67 is the only school that is on both the IDOE and IPS review lists. 

Correction: This story has been updated to reflect a clarification on what type of schools are graded on student's academic growth and Elder Diggs School received an SQR from the state, not the district in 2016. 

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