In a rare piece of good news from Indiana, the new mayor of Indianapolis made clear that the days of unchecked expansion of charter schools are over. He intends to be advocate for public schools, as compared to his predecessors, who wanted to turn Indianapolis in the charter capital of the nation.”

 

 

 

“Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett says he wants to focus on charter school quality “over and against quantity.” (IBJ file photo)
Newly installed Mayor Joe Hogsett had been in office only days when he brought together each of Marion County’s public school district superintendents at the City-County Building for a one-on-11 meeting.

 

“Hogsett and the 11 superintendents discussed the perils of poverty, the impact of property tax caps on school funding, state-mandated testing, and problems with ISTEP.

 

“But they didn’t discuss charter schools, Hogsett said after the private meeting adjourned.

 

“It was a big statement, if not a little unusual, from the only U.S. mayor with the authority to oversee what’s been a fast-growing portfolio of charter schools.

 

“But with that, Hogsett made clear how his education agenda would differ from his predecessors’—the last two of which prioritized and fast-tracked charter expansion.

 

“I think the emphasis needs to be on quality over and against quantity,” Hogsett said. “The emphasis will not be on adding more charter schools just to add more, but rather, holding the current charters appropriately accountable and making sure they have the resources they need to be successful.”

 

Hogsett doesn’t have direct control over any of the 11 traditional public districts—and says he doesn’t want it.

 

“Rather, he said he wants to build consensus around key issues, then use the mayor’s bully pulpit to talk about the successes and challenges of public schools and help them where he can.

 

“I want to be an outspoken advocate on behalf of public education,” Hogsett said”

 

What an amazing development: a mayor who wants to help public schools