Over the last decade, Indianapolis (affectionately known as "Indy") has risen as a national leader on the front lines of innovation in P-12 education. More than any other urban city in the country, you'll find schools, communities, nonprofits, government entities, companies, and foundations working together towards a common mission of equity for our kids.
Collective action for educational equity is not only a result of the city's relational culture—but a moral imperative. By the time Indianapolis students are 10 years old, they are grade levels behind their more affluent suburban peers. Alarmingly, the ELA proficiency rates for students attending public schools with in the geographic boundary of Indianapolis Public Schools is 20 percentage points lower than the state average. Meanwhile, Black students were nearly 30 percentage points lower than their white counterparts.
Fortunately, a movement for change is gaining momentum in the Circle City. And, as is true in any successful endeavor, wherever you see strong results, you find diverse coalitions of breakthrough leaders driving the effort. Teach For America has come to play an essential role as a primary source of leaders who expand opportunity for children from classrooms, schools, and every sector and field that shapes the broader systems in which schools operate.
Living and Teaching Here
Living and Teaching Here
Indianapolis is in the midst of an exciting citywide revitalization throughout its numerous entertainment venues, festivals, parks, restaurants, and sporting arenas. Downtown Indianapolis is home to Canal Walk, with its beautiful scenery and close proximity to some of the city’s most popular cultural institutions. Art enthusiasts will appreciate Massachusetts Avenue, also known as "Indy's answer to SoHo," and Broadripple. Both have a wide array of art galleries, theaters, unique eateries and nightlife.
Corps members teach in more than 50 different public district, innovation, and charter schools throughout the city. Whether teaching across the hall or participating in the numerous social and advocacy events Indy has to offer, the close-knit Teach For America community is thriving on collaboration and connection here in the city.
“I recognized there was something special brewing in Indy, a place where leaders were aligning on a cohesive education strategy that relied heavily on young professionals.”
Our Community Vision
Our Community Vision
Through an empowering education, we envision the day when all Indianapolis children lead lives of their choosing and collectively contribute to a more vibrant and just city.
We are making progress towards that day in Indy. Today, Indiana is among a group of national leaders in educational outcomes, the city of Indianapolis is catching up with the state, and more kids from low-income backgrounds have access to educational and life opportunity than ever before.
Yet, we have a long way to go to reach equitable outcomes for all students and families in our community. As we transition to looking forward towards the next 20 years, the progress we make for our kids and our community must be accelerated. We believe deeply in what we have seen so far and know that the progress moving forward must be deeply rooted in critical hope.
There are multiple systemic conditions that need to be satisfied over time to reach this community vision, including but not limited to the following:
- Every school must be excellent.
- A network of services that meet basic human needs must be available to all kids.
- Expanded post-secondary, employment, and capital opportunity must be accessible to children of all backgrounds.
- Our policy environment must foster equity, be responsive to the needs of our most vulnerable children, and translate insights from proof points of possibility and scale them into broader practice.
TFA Indy's Role
Through 2023, informed by our community vision, conditions to reach this vision, and a point on view on what we need in the near-term, we'll pursue the following core priorities:
We will strategically grow and diversify the base of TFA leaders in Indianapolis to support the growth of excellent schools, protect conditions that have enabled our community’s progress, and scale strategies that are most effective and promising today.
We will develop high quality educators who support excellent schools and who cultivate leadership skills and mindsets to drive the near-term objectives and long-term community conditions over time.
We'll develop and foster a thriving network culture of community, cohesion, learning, and collective leadership to fuel innovation and systems change in Indianapolis.
We'll partner with others in Indy to accelerate the growth of excellent schools, keep conditions that enable progress, broaden and diversify the coalition, and support learning and innovation.
We will develop a sustainable financial model and strong brand presence to support TFA Indy's health and endurance.
Get in Touch
Meet Our Executive Director
Executive Director, Teach For America Indianapolis
With nearly 20 years of experience in education, Dr. Tenika Holden-Flynn has dedicated her career to serving students in elementary, middle, and high school in traditional public and public charter schools in Indianapolis and across the country.
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