IPS parents present petition for racial equity, support plan to close educational gaps

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INDIANAPOLIS – Indianapolis Public Schools parents with the group Stand for Children Indiana will present a petition Thursday morning with more than 1,200 signatures in support of making the district more racially equitable. 

In their document, “Vision for a More Just and Equitable IPS”, they outlined goals they wanted to see in place. 

Stand for Children Indiana got a group of parents together from IPS to discuss gaps they’ve experienced with the district and this document is made up of goals to address those. 

“Just making sure folks in IPS really do understand this, and they are standing with this group of parents. And standing with IPS as well, because the great thing about this document is that, yes, parents introduced it in March, however, IPS has already implemented one of the buckets on this document,” said Stand for Children Indiana Regional Organizing Director Ashley Thomas. 

So far, Thomas says IPS has implemented smart goals, where they analyzed data and broke it down to identify what black and brown families need to succeed just as much as their peers. 

They want to keep the momentum going and see things like language justice for English learner families, so they can give input on what is and isn’t working for them. 

“A lot of times if you’re up here as an admin, you might think this is working. But then on the levels of the families and the households, they’re saying this is not working for my kids. And so, we need those things to marry in order to increase those academic outcomes.” 

The group wants the district to incorporate plans from other districts that have worked to help black and brown students be successful.  

They also want to see an increase in IPS intentionally seeking out minority educators. 

“Data shows our children succeed more, the more that they see faces [like theirs] and not just support staff, and not just custodians in a building. Folks are like, ‘OK, that’s our black and brown faces. [Those are] the only black and brown faces they see. They need to see them in their educators as well.” 

The group will meet at 10:30 a.m. to turn in their petition and speak to school representatives and then give an update during a news conference afterward. 

“These are parents. The voices are theirs. And this is all going to be in partnership with IPS because the thing is we have to do this together. One voice can’t be here, and another voice is here. We’ve got to infuse this together. This is about us all pulling this together to make sure the parent voice is at the table.” 

A spokesperson with the school says members of the board will meet with the group and they will make comments addressing this at the news conference. 

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