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Three IPS schools with ‘F’ grades 3 years in a row may be restarted next year

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Three struggling IPS schools have been put on notice and may be “restarted” next year with the teachers forced to reapply for their jobs.

After years of low test scores, School 42 (a north side elementary school), School 63 (a west side elementary school), and John Marshall Middle School (an east side middle school) were named by the district as candidates for conversion to “innovation.” All three of the schools received “F” grades from the Indiana Department of Education three years in a row.

This means the schools would run independently from the district, and the teachers wouldn’t be represented by the IPS union and their principals would have more flexibility over curriculum, school hours and budgets.

In the past two years, three other schools were converted to “innovation” status, and the district plans to continue “restarting” chronically failing schools. But there is no evidence yet as to whether the strategy actually works.

The IPS board will make a final decision next year. These schools could restart by the 2017 to 2018 school year, but eligibility for restart does not guarantee a timeline and this is an early stage of the conversation. Teachers are invited to reapply for positions with the Innovation partner organization.

IPS Wendell Phillips School 63 is currently a Transformation Zone school.

Superintendent Dr. Lewis Ferebee released the following statement Tuesday afternoon:

“In alignment with statewide trends, Indianapolis Public Schools experienced dips in ISTEP+ scores. Several IPS schools demonstrated significant student growth from the previous school year, which is a more accurate measure of instructional gains. IPS is committed to ensuring each student experiences at least one grade level of academic progress annually. We commend our hard-working educators for consistently creating environments which foster academic growth, and we commend our students for doing their best at all times.”

Click here to find out the grade your child’s school received from the Indiana Department of Education.