We shouldn’t know who is going to pass or fail the test before it’s taken, but we do. If a student is white and attending Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS), they are four-and-a-half times more likely to be proficient in English and math compared to Black students. As a proud IPS parent, I am demanding we do better for the children of this district. Schools with consecutively low test scores and struggling with other basic benchmarks need to look at schools that are thriving and try to replicate the methods that are proving to work. It’s unacceptable to have such large gaps in the opportunities for our Black and Brown children because it’s not the kid’s fault.
Let me repeat that: it’s not the kid’s fault. Students of color are just as capable, just as smart, just as ambitious and just as wonderful. This trend that we see year after year is not about students of color not being able to achieve. It’s about the deep historical roots of our schools, that give pervasive advantages to white students to this day.
- Black students are more likely to succeed if they have at least one Black teacher in elementary school, yet the district’s teacher force is largely white. While I know the district is looking into this, the plan I helped draft lists solutions, such as a “grow your own” approach that I hope the district acts on.
- Black students in the district are more likely to be disciplined. And this doesn’t just stop inside the district, Black students in Indiana schools are suspended, expelled, and arrested at higher rates than white students.
And here’s the REALLY disturbing part: Despite the district’s efforts (which I do appreciate), it’s going to continue to be harder for kids like mine to follow their dreams and get a fair shot at success if we don’t act now. This is why I joined a group of parents and drafted a vision for a more just and equitable IPS.
Kids like my son will benefit from your support.