The High School Closings: Final Vote Tonight, Parents Show Support With E-mails
INDIANAPOLIS--Three high schools will likely be closing after a vote tonight by the Indianapolis Public Schools Board of Commissioners. This morning several parents of kids who go to IPS gave Superintendent Dr. Lewis Ferebee about 800 e-mails showing their support for the plan.
The parent perspective
"Even prior to the development of the proposal, the parent perspective, the student perspective, was at the forefront of this recommendation, and will remain at the forefront," said Ferebee, while accepting the e-mails from about 12 parents dressed in blue t-shirts. They were organized by Stand for Children of Indiana.
For parent Ashley Thompson, her support was contingent on the board adopting a concurrent plan to take resources and money being put into Broad Ripple, Northwest and Arlington high schools, and instead putting it into college and career academies.
"No one likes to hear anything about closing schools, and I'm not here about closing schools," she said. "I'm here making sure my babies and all of the children at IPS get a better option, just like the private schools and all of the township schools."
Ferebee said he expects the vote for both plans to come tonight.
"The school closures and the school options are actually two separate items for consideration," he said. "It gives students many options to choose from, and it's important to note that all of our high schools will be schools of choice," said Ferebee, regarding the school options vote.
A final argument
Putting teachers out of jobs is the furthest thing from our minds," said Seretha Edwards, another parent with children in IPS schools. "I ask that we all place a portion of accountability on ourselves because this didn't happen overnight."
Edwards pointed to ISTEP scores as an example of the level to which she says schools are failing students.
"If only 50 percent of the district's students read and write age-appropriately, then my argument is extremely valid."
Ferebee said he is sure that IPS has done its due diligence in getting input from the community.
PHOTO: Chris Davis/Emmis