The Indiana State Board of Education has approved the 2014 accountability grades, and we are proud to share with the Indianapolis Public Schools community the performance gains that we have made as well as growth opportunities to be addressed. IPS is pleased to see this public-facing evidence of our efforts to reverse negative trends and employ strategies to accelerate our progress toward ensuring all of our students’ success. We commend our teachers, administrators and staff on their hard work and dedication as they raised expectations for our students and worked diligently to meet their instructional needs in the 2013-2014 school year. We are also very proud of our students who showed increased focus, commitment and academic growth. As we have all worked collaboratively to advance the district, we are clear that together we have much left to do.

The overall IPS district score improved by more than 50 percent, improving our letter grade from an “F” in 2013 to a “D” in 2014.The state’s accountability grades provide Indianapolis Public Schools with a tool to help identify schools that are making improvements, as well as those in need of strategic guidance. “We are pleased to learn 1/3 of our schools improved by one or more letter grades compared to the 2013 report card,” said IPS Superintendent Dr. Lewis D. Ferebee. “Several of these are priority schools which receive auxiliary support; it’s promising to see gains there.”

Of the schools that did not change letter grades, many received a higher overall score than on last year’s report card. We anticipate continued success at these schools and look forward to higher grades as they continue to thrive.

A small portion of our roster did lose one or more letter grades; we will continue to identify and implement strategic methods of improvement in those schools. Our school leaders and educators are dedicated to providing the best educational opportunities for the public, and we look forward to even more gains in the coming year.

We know this is just the beginning of the positive changes to be seen in IPS in the coming years. We will continue to spotlight our three academic focus areas: balanced literacy, mastery learning and professional learning communities. We’re streamlining support services for our staff and students to ensure our schools continue to grow and thrive. With rejuvenated excitement for the future, we’re positive the accountability grades at IPS will keep increasing as we become the flagship in innovative urban education.