Indy Project School Parents Oppose Decision To Close School

Less than a third of students at the Indianapolis Project School passed ISTEP tests -- well below the state average of 71 percent.

Project School

Photo: Stan Jastrzebski/WFIU

Bloomington's Project School, a charter school in the city's downtown, saw its students perform better on statewide tests than its Indianapolis counterpart.

Parents of students who attend The Project School in Indianapolis reacted with frustration and anger Wednesday after the school board outlined what would happen if the mayor’s office revoked its charter.

Board members learned Tuesday afternoon that Mayor Greg Ballard intends to close the school after just 29 percent of students passed statewide standardized tests. In a prepared statement, the mayor said the school was struggling financially and may have mismanaged federal grant money.

School board president Daniel Baron says that leaves parents little time to find a new school for their kids.

“The timeline is really devastating to our school community. It was set up so the decision would be made the day after school starts, on August 7,” Baron says.

At an emergency school board meeting, Baron told parents the school was in good financial standing and had just received an external audit. The board plans to plead its case before the mayor today. It’s too late for the school to receive sponsorship from another organization other than the mayor’s office.

The Project School has a sister site in Bloomington that’s chartered through Ball State University. Students there posted much better scores on the spring ISTEP tests — 68 percent passed both the English and math tests, just shy of the state average of 71 percent.

Elle Moxley

Elle Moxley came to WFIU in 2012 from The Examiner, a community newspaper in suburban Kansas City. She previously worked for KBIA-FM in Columbia, Mo.; The State Journal-Register in Springfield, Ill.; and the Associated Press in London. She is a graduate of the University of Missouri, where she studied multimedia journalism and broadcasting.

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