Karin Chenoweth has spent 15 years visiting and writing about schools that defy expectations: high-achieving and fast-improving schools that serve many students of color and students from low-income families.
“Going to these schools, and now districts, I’m finding great commonality,” Chenoweth told me. “All of them marshal the power of schools to solve problems that educators face all over the country.”
How do they do it? They start with an unwavering commitment to the belief that all children can meet high academic standards. They develop systems that enable teachers to collaborate and learn from each other. They use data and assessments as tools to improve instruction and curriculum.
Recent reports on state education funding suggest Indiana is slipping when it comes to providing fair and adequate support for public schools.
Exhibit A, and the most discouraging example, is an annual report by researchers at Rutgers University and the Education Law Center. The report, “Is School Funding Fair? A National Report Card,” evaluates states on four measures of how they fund schools.
Indiana gets a C in the report for “funding distribution,” a measure of whether states provide additional funding for high-poverty school districts. That’s unfortunate, because Indiana used to consistently get A’s in the category. It used to do a better job of sending more money to the neediest districts.