Poor leadership strategy, ‘lack of respect’ found by IPS superintendent

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INDIANAPOLIS — Following his first 100 days in office, Indianapolis Public Schools’ superintendent has released an executive summary that details holes he found within the district.

Dr. Lewis Ferebee released the summary at a school board meeting Tuesday.

In it, Ferebee details areas that include professional development, school board relations, student engagement and leadership structure.

In particular, Ferebee lists a lack of organization among professional development for teachers as a major area of concern.

“It appears that most of the professional development provided for staff has been provided by external contracts, leaving performance cliffs when the providers are gone,” Ferebee said.

Also targeted for change is the structure of the district’s central office.

“Teaching and school-based support staff have been significantly reduced due to declining enrollment; however, central service staffing has remained consistent. For instance, instead of moving ineffective school-based staff out of school leadership roles, many were moved to district leadership,” Ferebee said.

The superintendent pointed to a re-organization of central office leadership and the district’s community relations department as ways to change.

Also in the report, Ferebee points to a lack of respect among the community for IPS and among board members.

“There are perceived inconsistencies in the volume, quality and integrity of information Board members receive from the administration,” Ferebee said.

He said that he’s spending one-on-one time with board members and has created a plan for greater transparency.

Finally, Ferebee pointed to student engagement. Not only did he identify a plan to encourage students to speak their minds to administrators, but he pointed out a need to reorganize learning and lesson plans.

“There seems to be a rigid focus on test prep and teaching to the test (ISTEP or ECA). More rigorous learning activities are needed to develop critical thinking and problem solving skills needed for career and college,” Ferebee said.

To read the full report, click on the link below.

Ferebee IPS Entry Summary

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