Parents release petition signed by over 1,000

For Immediate Release

February 7, 2024

Kayla Mattas
765.721.2833 (mobile)

Parents release petition signed by over 1,000 calling for district to grow top schools for Black and Brown students

INDIANAPOLIS – A group of public school parents unveiled their petition today calling for Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) to grow proven models from all school types, including local charter schools. The petition led by parents garnered more than 1,000 signatures, showcasing strong community support for district leaders to develop a strategy that will close the opportunity gap by scaling the top performing schools for Black and Brown students.

Advocates delivered the petition to IPS leaders today at an event that took place at the district administration building. Parents Gregory Henson, Irma Perdomo and Susan Sargent, alongside Believe Circle City student Elazia Davison, shared their personal stories that detailed why elevating Black and Brown student achievement is so important to them.

“I am here today to celebrate the growing support from our community to improve public education in our city and intentionally work toward partnerships [with data-proven schools] . . .” Sargent said.

Parents who led the press conference asked the IPS board to pass a resolution calling on the district administration to deliver a detailed plan by the summer to scale school models – including public charter schools – that are closing the opportunity gap according to state assessment data.

“We also want to be clear that this plan must be in place before parents are expected to support any future referendum put forward by IPS,” Henson said.

Parents began gathering signatures last fall after reviewing ILEARN data. In October, the IPS board members were presented with similar data regarding assessment outcomes in and around the IPS district. The report highlighted the top schools in the city when it comes to proficiency for Black and Latino students.

“I am grateful [IPS] shared the data because it gives us, as a community, the information we need to know – information not easily visible in other districts,” Perdomo said.

According to the October IPS board presentation:

  • The district has only one school in the top quartile in Marion County when it comes to Black student performance on ILEARN (both ELA and Math) when excluding the gifted and talented school, where children must test into;
  • IPS has no schools in the top quartile in the county when looking at pass rates for Latino students for ILEARN (both ELA and Math); and
  • IPS has three of the six top high schools in Marion County as measured by SAT performance.
  • All top performing high schools are IPS innovation network charter schools, which advocates believe highlight the benefits of partnerships with high-quality schools in the charter sector.  

Parents pointed out that, in contrast, some independent charter schools within IPS boundaries are delivering student outcomes for Black and Latino students that are anywhere between three and five times better than the state average for pass rates on both sections of the ILEARN, according to the Indiana Department of Education.

“I am fortunate that the school I chose has pushed me to excel and set me up to break barriers in my next chapter of life,” Davison said. “I want every student in our city to know that feeling.”

Community members wishing to join the parent-led efforts should visit:


About Stand for Children Indiana: Stand is a unique catalyst for education equity and racial justice, to create a brighter future for us all.

About Better Together: The Better Together campaign is supported and driven by Indianapolis families who strive to unite IPS and charter schools for the benefit of our kids and community.

About EmpowerED Families: EmpowerED Families connects with Indianapolis parents, families, community and school leaders to help build parent power and to activate change.