Improving Achievement in Indianapolis Schools

Written by Patricia Hawke

Achievement has been on the docket as a major issue in recent years for Indianapolis Schools.  Students just didn’t seem to be living up to the standards put before them.  So, Indianapolis schools had to take drastic measures for improving achievement among their students.  So far they’ve seen drastic improvements but want to see even more in the coming years. 
Methods of Improving Achievement in Indianapolis Schools
Indianapolis schools have different methods and practices put in place to make their schools as successful as possible.  Here are a few:
Small Schools:  In order to give their students that maximum amount of attention from their teachers, Indianapolis schools are making their schools smaller.  Instead of one large 1,200 to 2,000 person school, the building is split up into four smaller schools consisting of about 400 students.  Each school offers the same curriculum as a large school, but also offers small class sizes that make interacting with the teachers less of a challenge and learning more of a priority.  All the smaller schools that reside within the same building share the cafeteria, gymnasium, and library.  Not only has this improved achievement, but it has also lowered behavioral problems and enhanced social performance. 
Literary Improvement:  Indianapolis Schools have dedicated themselves to improving the literacy rates among all of their students by involving themselves with the National Urban Alliance, which provides job-embedded development for all teachers and principals.  The teachers and principals are meeting with literacy instructors, coaches, and leadership academy teachers to learn all there is to know about improving the literacy levels of the children in Indianapolis Schools.  This initiative has given the schools national attention, which is making it easier for the students to succeed. 
Technology:  Indianapolis Schools have COWS … “Computers on Wheels.”  These COWS increase the ratio of laptops per student which increases their technological skills.  In addition to COWS, Indianapolis Schools are using technology to help engage students and parents by creating an online web portal that allows students to access their homework remotely and allows parents to check grades, attendance, discipline, or homework assignments from their personal computers.  The long term goal for Indianapolis Schools is to become a wireless school district so that they can provide free internet access to students from their homes in order to maximize their achievement in school. 
Overall, Indianapolis Schools have it right when creating different programs to improve achievement for their students.  As parents, we should applaud the effort that the Indianapolis Schools are putting into our children’s education.  Let’s help them all we can in encouraging the schools to continue what they are doing and our children to learn all they can learn from their teachers.  This is the only way they’ll be able to make it in a world where a high school diploma doesn’t get you as far as it used to.