The state is taking over four Indianapolis schools and one in Gary after they posted the equivalent of an F on six straight annual report cards. State school superintendent Tony Bennett has proposed shortening that window to four in a row — or five straight years of D‘s and F‘s. Assistant Superintendent Dale Chu says he doesn‘t know where a published figure of 105 schools in danger of missing that threshold came from — he says the department of education hasn‘t run the numbers.
“I’m not exactly sure the origin of that number,” Chu says. “But regardless of the number, we have just under 2,000 schools. And at the federal level, The President and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan have issued the clarion call that all states need to focus on the bottom five percent of schools.”
And he notes a second rules change in the works would alter what constitutes a failing performance. Chu predicts the final list will be shorter than any preliminary list anyway, as schools rise to the challenge rather than risk takeover. And Chu emphasizes a takeover is just one option. The state chose that route for five of seven eligible schools this summer, but Chu says it wouldn‘t be practical to take over dozens of schools. He says the goal is to make sure schools which are having problems get access to resources to help them improve.