Friday, April 13, 2012

A broken system

Kelly Bentley, the head of DFER-Indiana, with a powerful op ed in the Indianapolis Star:

The Indianapolis Public Schools district is broken.

I don't say this because I'm anti-public education. I don't say this to score political points. I don't say this to hurt anyone's feelings or to be disrespectful. I say this because it's true.

I am a strong supporter of public education. I served on the IPS School Board from 1998 to 2010. My father is a graduate of Arsenal Technical High School. All three of my step-brothers graduated from Tech, my sister and I graduated from Broad Ripple, and my own children attended school in IPS -- at Montessori School 91, Shortridge Middle School and Broad Ripple High School, where my youngest child graduated in 2007. My niece and nephew now attend Center For Inquiry School 2.

When I was first elected to the IPS School Board, I believed passionately that the district could be reformed from within. After all, I had received an excellent education in IPS and my children were attending a great school in IPS. I am still a strong supporter of public education, but I was wrong to believe that IPS could reform itself.

There are some excellent schools and programs in IPS, and there are excellent teachers and school leaders. But what is excellent in IPS is excellent in spite of -- not because of -- the IPS district structure. Excellent people, schools and programs are suffocating inside a bureaucratic structure and a system that do not support excellence, innovation or change.


A broken system

Former IPS board president says school district needs dramatic overhaul

6:57 PM, Mar. 16, 2012  |  
Kelly Bentley

The Indianapolis Public Schools district is broken.

 Subscribe in a reader