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Indianapolis Public Schools Selected to Join Trailblazing National Education Justice Initiative

Speaking at the launch of the National Education Equity Lab were (from right) IPS Supt. Dr. Aleesia Johnson, Joseph Hurst, Partnerships and Engagement Manager, National Education Equity Lab; Lauren Franklin, Crispus Attucks Principal and
Evan Bayh, former U.S. Senator and governor of Indiana.

The National Education Equity Lab, an education justice nonprofit that delivers, and supports, college credit-bearing courses from top universities to students in low-income communities, today announced that Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) has been selected to join its nationwide effort to empower high school scholars to advance and demonstrate their college-ready skills. 

Beginning with courses offered at Crispus Attucks High School, the Lab will work with leaders across the district to expand access to college credit-bearing courses taught by professors at institutions including Howard University, Stanford University, Princeton University, Wesleyan University, Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania, Georgetown University, Cornell University, Brown University, Spelman College, Barnard/Columbia University, and Arizona State University — at no cost to students. 

The partnership will be formally announced at a launch event at Crispus Attucks High School today, February 2, featuring remarks from IPS Supt. Dr. Aleesia Johnson and former Indiana Senator Evan Bayh.

“Indianapolis Public Schools is committed to providing our students with various tools to be successful and this new partnership with the National Education Equity Lab will certainly open new doors,” said IPS Supt. Dr. Aleesia Johnson. “These classes will show to our students – many of which are from lower socio-economic backgrounds – that college is attainable and doable. In the coming years, we anticipate the number of IPS students going to colleges around this nation to increase, thanks to programs like this.”

“I congratulate Indianapolis Public Schools for being selected to join this national education justice effort,” said former Indiana senator and governor Evan Bayh. “The work of the National Education Equity Lab reflects, and supports, our state’s long standing goal of advancing opportunities that set scholars up for success in college and beyond. Through this collaboration, Indianapolis Public Schools is taking the next step in this ongoing journey — and setting an example for impactful and forward-thinking partnerships that I hope will inspire schools and districts throughout the state.”

Founded in 2019, the National Education Equity Lab (Ed Equity Lab) aims to democratize access to higher education by partnering with top colleges and universities to offer, and support,  college-credit bearing courses in teacher-led Title 1 high school classrooms across the country. To date, the Lab has served over 11,000 scholars in more than 100 districts across 29 states. Over 80% of participating scholars pass their courses, earning widely transferable college credits, a university transcript, and the confidence to know that they belong in the best-matched college for them. 

Crispus Attucks High School is the Lab’s first IPS partner school; the partnership launched this semester with 25 scholars enrolled in  Professor Angela Duckworth’s University of Pennsylvania psychology course Grit Lab 101 and Harvard-ASU Professor Lisa New’s course Poetry in America

The Lab’s expansion in Indianapolis is thanks to the generous support of the NBA Foundation.

“Through its Rebuilding Stronger initiative and the tireless commitment of its leadership, Indianapolis Public Schools has emerged as a national leader in helping students access opportunities that set them up for success in college and the world of work,” said Leslie Cornfeld, Founder and CEO of the National Education Equity Lab. “We’re thrilled to help accelerate their ongoing efforts to ensure that all students have the opportunities, resources and supports they need to succeed in the best-matched college and career for them.”