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Indiana Blog

Stand for Children’s “What’s Possible?” event kick-starts community conversation about the future of Indianapolis education


INDIANAPOLIS – Stand for Children, a non-profit organization focused on improving education for all students and ensuring college preparedness, today convened a community conversation to discuss the future of Indianapolis schools.

The “What’s Possible?” event attracted more than 200 parents, teachers and community members eager to address a vision that will empower school leaders, streamline administrative oversight, improve transparency and increase funding for students in the classroom.

“Far too often, the discussion about local schools winds up devolving into a war of words that overlooks students,” said Karega Rausch, Stand for Children’s Indianapolis director. “We wanted this event be a community conversation about what’s possible and what we can achieve for all students by building a stronger, more responsive system of schools.”

Rausch said Stand for Children’s Indianapolis organizing team has spent months listening to parents and teachers in different schools about what’s worked and what areas need improvement. Those conversations led to the central “possibility” themes discussed by Stand for Children members at the event:

  • Increased innovation, control, and funding at the local school level;
  • Higher level of responsiveness to parent and student needs, irrespective of the type of school students attend;
  • Parent, teacher, and community led efforts to address underperforming schools; and
  • Belief that it will take the entire community to ensure children thrive

In addition to improving education for all K-12 students, Stand for Children also wants to ensure that those students are prepared for successful college careers upon graduation.

“What’s Possible?” keynote speaker Dr. Michael Lomax, president and CEO of UNCF, emphasized the growing need for educational transformation and higher expectations.

“Indianapolis and the nation need more college graduates,” said Lomax. “And to produce more college graduates, we need to produce more college-ready high school graduates. So we need our schools to be all that they can be, and all that we need them to be. The people of Indianapolis should demand nothing less.”

UNCF (United Negro College Fund) is the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization which works to ensure that every child gets a good education from pre-school through college. UNCF supports students’ education and development through scholarships and other programs, strengthens its 38 member colleges and universities, and advocates for the importance of minority education. Today, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at over 900 colleges and universities across the country.

Stand for Children, a non-partisan national education organization established in 1996, opened its Indiana office in January 2011. The group boasts a unique organizing-based model that enables it to develop personal relationships with parents and teachers to improve schools from the grassroots level.

During the 2011 legislative session, Stand for Children’s Indiana staff and members helped shape Senate Enrolled Act 1, which addresses teacher evaluations and other critical education issues.