What We've Done
Our history and impact
From the Statehouse to the schoolhouse, we are empowering parents and engaging state leaders to transform failing schools so that every child – regardless of their background – has access to a high-quality education.
This means we are working with parents in some of Indianapolis’ lowest performing public schools to help empower them to stand up and have a voice in turning around their school. We are also rallying teachers and parents to push for laws at the legislature that create an environment where greater student outcomes are achievable, especially in our lowest performing school and our most challenged neighborhoods.
Stand for Children opened its Indiana office in January of 2011 and has successfully worked on a number of campaigns and initiatives designed to improve student achievement:
- Worked to help win passage of the “Innovation Network Schools” bill in 2014. The new law gave the Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) Board of Commissioners unprecedented flexibility to replicate top-performing schools and forge innovative partnerships with charter schools and other education organizations.
- Created a series of recommendations for improving IPS. In 2015, Indiana parent members drafted a vision for IPS with recommendations for the future and collected signatures in support of their ideas. Ultimately, many of the recommendations were included in the new IPS strategic plan.
- Pushed for stronger teacher preparation. Recent studies have shown that most candidates for teacher preparation programs come from the bottom third of their respective class. That's why we pushed for HEA 1388, which will help ensure Indiana colleges of education are attracting our most talented teacher candidates by raising the bar for entry into our teacher preparation programs.
- Engaged parents in the selection process for the new Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) superintendent. The message of positive change and innovation was heard by the IPS School Board and resulted in the hiring of Dr. Lewis Ferebee.
- Protected strong academic standards. Despite political efforts to have Indiana backtrack on its past adoption of the rigorous academic standards known as the Common Core, we helped ensure that the state's standards moving forward will maintain core elements of these college and career-ready standards.
- Helped pass legislation that ensures Indiana charter schools adhere to high standards and prevents failing charters from re-opening by “shopping” for more lenient authorizers. We advocated for HEA 1338, which requires charter authorizers to adopt national industry standards (NACSA) for quality charter school authorizing. The law, which passed successfully, also limits “authorizer shopping” by charter schools whose charters are not renewed.
- Successfully campaigned to get Project:RESTORE into IPS School 93. Parents collected petition signatures and testified before the IPS school board to successfully get the school turnaround program Project:RESTORE into their failing school.
We are so proud of these accomplishments, but know there is much work to be done to ensure every child has access to a quality public education.