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Indianapolis Public Schools

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Indianapolis Public Schools, abbreviated locally as IPS, is the largest school district
School district
School districts are a form of special-purpose district which serves to operate the local public primary and secondary schools.-United States:...

 in Indianapolis
Indianapolis
Indianapolis is the capital of the U.S. state of Indiana, and the county seat of Marion County, Indiana. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city's population is 839,489. It is by far Indiana's largest city and, as of the 2010 U.S...

 as well as in the state of Indiana
Indiana
Indiana is a US state, admitted to the United States as the 19th on December 11, 1816. It is located in the Midwestern United States and Great Lakes Region. With 6,483,802 residents, the state is ranked 15th in population and 16th in population density. Indiana is ranked 38th in land area and is...

 with 33,372 students enrolled in 2009-2010. The district operates 64 schools, including three traditional high schools (Grades 9-12), four community high schools (Grades 7-12), three middle schools (Grades 7-8), 49 elementary schools (Grades K-6), one K-12 school (Key Learning Community), one Grade 2-8 school (Sidener Academy) and three alternative schools. IPS is the only school corporation in central Indiana to offer magnet/option programs at no cost to students.

Foundation


Indiana was admitted to the Union in 1816, with Indianapolis receiving its charter in 1847. That year, thanks to the efforts of residents including Caleb Mills
Caleb Mills
Caleb Mills was an American educator and the first faculty member of Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana. He helped to construct the public education system of Indiana. Mills came to Wabash College in 1833, after graduating from Dartmouth College and Andover Seminary, to become the first...

 (for whom the current Shortridge High School
Shortridge High School
Shortridge High School is a public high school located in Indianapolis, Indiana. Opened in 1864, it is the oldest free, public high school in the state...

 Auditorium is named), the people of Indiana voted in favor of public schools. A tax levy of 12½ cents per $100 of assessed valuation of property tax was established. In 1853 Indianapolis incorporated its school system. The city's first high school opened that year in the Marion County Seminary building on the southwest corner of University Park. The enrollment was 115 students. In 1858, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional for cities and towns to levy taxes for the support of public schools, and all public schools were closed and rented to teachers. In 1860, elementary schools reopened. In 1895, Manual Training High School, later to be known as Emmerich Manual High School
Emmerich Manual High School
Emmerich Manual High School is a public high school in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. It is one of five traditional high schools in the Indianapolis Public Schools district.-Establishment and History:...

, was opened. In 1912, Arsenal Technical High School
Arsenal Technical High School
Arsenal Technical High School is a public high school in Indianapolis, Indiana, United States which is run by the Indianapolis Public Schools school system. Established in 1912, the school consists of a , multiple building campus east of downtown Indianapolis and is the only such type school in...

 was opened on the grounds of the former U.S. Arsenal at Indianapolis. During the early part of the 20th century, IPS expanded its boundaries to include outlying areas of the still-growing city.

Early expansion


During the 1920s, when Indianapolis made significant annexations, the district incorporated towns such as Broad Ripple, and added their schools into the district. In 1927, Crispus Attucks High School
Crispus Attucks High School
Crispus Attucks High School of Indianapolis Public Schools in Indianapolis, Indiana is named for Crispus Attucks , a black laborer killed at the Boston Massacre whom many regarded as a revolutionary leader...

 opened as the only all African-American high school in the state of Indiana with 1,350 students while anticipating only 1,000. Other new schools also were built during this period, including Thomas Carr Howe
Thomas Carr Howe Community High School
Thomas Carr Howe Community High School is a secondary school in Indianapolis that serves grades 7-12. It is operated by Indianapolis Public Schools.-History:...

 and George Washington
George Washington Community High School
George Washington Community High School is a public community school located in Indianapolis, Indiana, serving grades 7-12. The school is operated by the Indianapolis Public Schools system. The school's athletic teams are named the Continentals...

 high schools.

Later growth and problems


The next wave of annexation came during the 1950s and 1960s, when hitherto-unprecedented enrollment levels occurred. Three high schools were constructed in a period of seven years: Arlington in 1961, Northwest in 1963, and John Marshall in 1968.

During the 1960s IPS began to face major challenges. Entrenched institutional racial segregation
Racial segregation
Racial segregation is the separation of humans into racial groups in daily life. It may apply to activities such as eating in a restaurant, drinking from a water fountain, using a public toilet, attending school, going to the movies, or in the rental or purchase of a home...

 and economic decline of the city proper were both at the root of serious problems. As in other cities, African-Americans had long been segregated away from students of other racial backgrounds, and the movement of Caucasian citizens to suburbs outside of IPS jurisdiction increased the division. These problems became more acute as economic opportunities in Center Township, the core of IPS, deteriorated.

In 1971, U.S. District Judge S. Hugh Dillin found IPS guilty of de jure segregation, by which it was meant that explicit boundaries within IPS had been drawn apparently upon racial bases. This legal decision no doubt contributed to the phenomenon of "white flight
White flight
White flight has been a term that originated in the United States, starting in the mid-20th century, and applied to the large-scale migration of whites of various European ancestries from racially mixed urban regions to more racially homogeneous suburban or exurban regions. It was first seen as...

" from Indianapolis, but it would be simplistic to reduce such a broad demographic shift to a single issue.

Nevertheless, schools such as Broad Ripple High School
Broad Ripple High School
Broad Ripple Magnet High School for the Arts & Humanities, established in 1886, is a magnet school of the Indianapolis Public Schools.-History:...

 went from having virtually no black students in 1967 to becoming 67% African-American by 1975. As the population of Indianapolis became less and less concentrated within the IPS district proper, administrators had to undertake the unpleasant task of closing schools. For example, John Marshall High School, built in 1968, closed only eighteen years later in 1986.

Between 1971 and 2005 the district lost nearly 70,000 students and closed some 100 schools, including six high schools: Harry E. Wood in 1978; Shortridge
Shortridge High School
Shortridge High School is a public high school located in Indianapolis, Indiana. Opened in 1864, it is the oldest free, public high school in the state...

 (which reopened as a middle school) in 1981; John Marshall in 1987; Attucks in 1986 (which also reopened as a middle school); George Washington and T.C. Howe in 1995, which both reopened their doors in 2001.

Beginning in 1981, due to additional Federal court mandates, some 7,000 African-American students began to be bussed from IPS to schools in the Decatur, Franklin, Perry, Warren, Wayne, Pike and Lawrence township school corporations within Marion County
Marion County, Indiana
Marion County is a county located in the U.S. state of Indiana. Census 2010 recorded a population of 903,393, making it the largest county in the state and 55th most populated county in the country, greater than the population of six states. The county seat is Indianapolis, the state capital and...

. In 1998, an agreement was reached between Indianapolis and the United States Department of Justice
United States Department of Justice
The United States Department of Justice , is the United States federal executive department responsible for the enforcement of the law and administration of justice, equivalent to the justice or interior ministries of other countries.The Department is led by the Attorney General, who is nominated...

 to phase out inter-district, one-way busing. By 2005, the six township school districts no longer received any new IPS students.

Throughout the 1990s, worsening budgets contributed to problems common to inner city school districts. While the city had a graduation rate higher than the national average in the 1950s, it now had the worst dropout rates in the state. Test scores declined precipitously.

Attempts at regeneration


Citizens' task forces studied how to combat school violence, low academic achievement, and persistent racial segregation. In 1992, then-superintendent Shirl Gilbert initiated a "Select Schools" plan, allowing parents the option of selecting which school they wanted their child to attend within the district. While theoretically promising, in practice the plan did not lead to general improvements.

Dr. Gilbert was forcibly removed from his post by the school board in 1994 and replaced with Esperanza Zendejas in 1995. Dr. Zendejas pursued an aggressive program of reform and improvement, removing several administrators from their positions and attempting to implement performance standards upon remaining school administrators. After repeated conflicts with administrators, school board members and parents Dr. Zendejas resigned from her post in 1997.

The succeeding superintendent was Duncan N.P. "Pat" Pritchett, who had occupied the superintendent's seat in a locum tenens capacity between Drs. Gilbert and Zendejas. Under both Drs. Gilbert and Zendejas, Mr. Pritchett was an assistant superintendent for facilities management. There was some opinion at the time of his appointment that he was brought on primarily for his affability after the stormy tenures of Gilbert and Zendejas. (The then-president of the Indianapolis Urban League referred to Mr. Pritchett as "same soup warmed over again".) Under Pritchett, the district saw eight years of steady academic improvement thanks to a number of initiatives, including a partnership with the National Urban Alliance to strengthen literacy and a math/science initiative that set algebra as the eighth-grade gateway math course. Pritchett also brought the concept and planning of Small Schools to the district's traditional comprehensive high schools, turning five campuses into 24 schools within a school.

Upon Pritchett's retirement in 2005, the post was offered to and accepted by Dr. Eugene G. White, who had been serving as superintendent of the Metropolitan School District of Washington Township
Metropolitan School District of Washington Township
The Metropolitan School District of Washington Township is a public school district in Indianapolis, Indiana. The district was established in 1955 and serves the area of Washington Township that was outside of the city limits before the city and county were merged in 1970...

 within Marion County. Dr. White began to implement several reforms, including re-establishing high school programs at two historic schools (Crispus Attucks and Shortridge) as academies devoted to medicine and law/government, respectively. In August 2006, Dr. White informed IPS middle school principals that their continued employment depends upon improvement in discipline and test scores. http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060802/NEWS01/608020462&SearchID=73252547966185

As of 2006, approximately 36,000 students were in IPS. Many of the facilities in IPS were outdated and in need of renovation; some facilities being over 70 years old. In 2001, the IPS Board of School Commissioners approved an $832 million plan to upgrade each of the district's 79 schools, in some cases totally replacing outdated buildings with new facilities. The plan has been completed within the last few years.

High schools


Indianapolis Public Schools maintains ten public high schools that go up to twelfth grade, although they do not necessarily start at the ninth grade. They are as follows:
official full name nickname Grades attendance boundary? school-wide magnet?
Arlington Community High School Arlington 7-12 yes no
Arsenal Technical High School
Arsenal Technical High School
Arsenal Technical High School is a public high school in Indianapolis, Indiana, United States which is run by the Indianapolis Public Schools school system. Established in 1912, the school consists of a , multiple building campus east of downtown Indianapolis and is the only such type school in...

Tech 9-12 yes no
Broad Ripple Magnet High School for the Arts and Humanities
Broad Ripple High School
Broad Ripple Magnet High School for the Arts & Humanities, established in 1886, is a magnet school of the Indianapolis Public Schools.-History:...

Broad Ripple 6-12 no yes
Crispus Attucks Medical Magnet High School
Crispus Attucks High School
Crispus Attucks High School of Indianapolis Public Schools in Indianapolis, Indiana is named for Crispus Attucks , a black laborer killed at the Boston Massacre whom many regarded as a revolutionary leader...

Attucks 6-12 no yes
Emmerich Manual High School
Emmerich Manual High School
Emmerich Manual High School is a public high school in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. It is one of five traditional high schools in the Indianapolis Public Schools district.-Establishment and History:...

Manual 9-12 yes no
Thomas Carr Howe Community High School
Thomas Carr Howe Community High School
Thomas Carr Howe Community High School is a secondary school in Indianapolis that serves grades 7-12. It is operated by Indianapolis Public Schools.-History:...

Howe 7-12 yes no
John Marshall Community High School Marshall 7-12 yes no
Northwest High School
Northwest High School (Indiana)
Northwest High School, located at 5525 W. 34th St. Indianapolis, Indiana, is one of five traditional high schools operated by the publicly-funded Indianapolis Public Schools organization. The school, built in 1962-1963, adopted a unique school mascot called the "Space Pioneer," a reference to the...

Northwest 9-12 yes no
Shortridge Magnet High School for Law and Public Policy
Shortridge High School
Shortridge High School is a public high school located in Indianapolis, Indiana. Opened in 1864, it is the oldest free, public high school in the state...

Shortridge 6-12 no yes
George Washington Community High School
George Washington Community High School
George Washington Community High School is a public community school located in Indianapolis, Indiana, serving grades 7-12. The school is operated by the Indianapolis Public Schools system. The school's athletic teams are named the Continentals...

Washington 7-12 yes no

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