As a parent and a community member who loves this city and cares about the kids in Indianapolis, I decided to speak at the IPS Action Session in October. I shared my story with IPS leaders. I asked them to grow the schools that work, schools like the one my son attends. I know that by partnering with the programs that work, opportunity gaps can be closed.
Watch what I asked IPS leaders:
Read my speech
Good Evening IPS board and Superintendent Dr. Johnson,
My name is Cristal Salgado, and I am a community member who loves this city and cares about the kids in Indianapolis. I heard that tonight you’ll be sharing school performance data – I hope that includes talking about the schools in our city that are closing the opportunity gap. I think sharing this data proves there are people in this room who believe there can be a change. I also believe there can be a change, so I want to thank you and say I hope you use this data to grow schools that are getting equitable results for kids.
My son is now in the 8th grade and attends a charter – one of the school models that is doing a better job of closing the opportunity gap compared to most in Marion County. Most of the kids at his school live in the IPS district.
Before he attended the school he does now, when my son was in the 6th grade and the beginning of 7th grade, he was bullied. He was struggling with his homework and falling behind. I tried to talk to his school and teachers several times. I did everything I knew and when nothing worked, I decided to change his school.
Now my son is doing well. He is more confident. He gets his schoolwork done. He’s talking about college for the first time ever. He’s thinking about his future and has hope for his future. This is the type of education I think all our kids deserve.
I drive my son 30 minutes to school and 30 minutes back from school every day. I know not all parents can do this – which is why I hope to see this district grow the schools that are closing the opportunity gap. When I see that only 5.4% of Black students and 8.3% of Latino students in this district passed both sections of the ILEARN, it makes my heart hurt. It is so sad to hear these numbers knowing my son’s experience and how different it could be. I know that by partnering with the programs that work, opportunity gaps can be closed. Thank you for taking the time to listen to me.