Indianapolis has one of the lowest graduation rates in the country, and in some high schools less than 25% of students pass the statewide achievement exam.
Hundreds of Teach For America alumni work in Indianapolis as teachers, principals, and policy and advocacy leaders. Together with the community, they're reshaping the education landscape in the city.
With an unprecedented alignment of state, municipal, and school efforts to create city-wide change, the educational outlook in Indianapolis at this moment is one of great hope.
At the state level, in 2011, the Indiana Department of Education passed the boldest education legislation in the country—eliminating seniority as the only driver of teacher layoff decisions, creating a new teacher evaluation system, and granting principals greater autonomy over schools.
At the city level, Teach For America alumnus Jason Kloth (Rio Grande Valley Corps '03) was recently named deputy mayor of education. He is now working with community stakeholders to create a city-wide vision and strategic plan with the goal of making Indianapolis the model for what's possible in public education.
In schools, innovative campuses like KIPP: Indy College Prep and the Challenge Foundation Academy, both of which are led by Teach For America alumni, are quickly becoming some of the highest-performing schools in the city. More than 10% of public schools in Marion County are run by Teach For America alumni.
And in the community, organizations like The Mind Trust and Stand for Children are mobilizing parents, teachers, civic leaders, nonprofits, corporations, and foundations around a shared vision for change.
With just 40,000 students in Indianapolis Public Schools and a "we can" attitude, our city—known for speed—is ready to accelerate the pace of change in public education in ways that will benefit all of its children.
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Prior to joining staff at Teach For America in 2008, she worked six years as a management consultant and financial analyst then earned her MBA from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Growing up in blue-collar South Bend as part of a working-class family, Rebecca realized early the value of hard work and perseverance. She cherishes the rich diversity and culture that South Bend public schools provided. As a first-generation college graduate, the importance of education was consistently underscored and now drives her professional work. Working alongside her team and devoted community partners, Rebecca knows we can make high-quality public education a reality. She believes all children in Indianapolis should be given opportunities to reach their fullest potential and one day become the leaders of our great city.