There is something very sad about watching a community’s public schools die.

The Indianapolis Public Schools superintendent has recommended the closing of three public high schools due to low enrollments. These are neighborhood schools that were the heart of their communities. Two will be converted to middle schools. The other is in a gentrifying neighborhood and will probably be sold to developers.

Only four public high schools will remain in the entire district if this plan is endorsed by the board. There will be no more neighborhood high schools. Students will be expected to choose their school based on its program, not its proximity to home.

“IPS enrollment has fallen precipitously over the last five decades from a peak of more than 100,000 students to fewer than 30,000 in the last school year. Its high school enrollment is just more than 5,000 students; its seven buildings have capacity for nearly 15,000.”

The Indianapolis Public School District is controlled by two privatizing groups: the Mind Trust, Stand for Children, and the voucher-happy Friedman Foundation. Charter schools in the city are the third largest district in the state. Mind Trust, Stand for Children, and the Friedman Foundation exist to destroy public schools, and they are doing a bang-up job in Indianspolis.

Indianapolis, under the thumb of corporate reformers, has numerous charter high schools. Curiously, their performance is worse than the public high schools whose students they were supposed to “save.”

Do the privatizers learn nothing from their failures? Answer: No. Never.

A community activist wrote this in a personal note:

“No other options were considered by the Task Force appointed by the Superintendent. The Task Force included no parents, no students, no teachers, no principals, and no community members who weren’t real estate developers, charter school financiers, family members of charter school founder/Board chair, etc etc. Most of the IPS central office members on the Task Force have lived in Indiana for 3 years or less, it appears.”

From another community activist:

“This is not the IPS Board’s final decision; this is the superintendent’s recommendation, but it is likely to be what happens.

“Not surprisingly, they completely ignored the community input.

“If you do not like this decision, go to the Board meeting tomorrow night, 6 pm, 120 East Walnut, John Morton Finney Center.”

The resistance to privatization communicates through this Facebook page as We Are IPS:

There is something I don’t understand about the so-called”reformers,” who have run the district for years. They don’t believe in community. They believe in consumerism. They see the relationship between families and schools as a transaction, involving no sense of loyalty, no sentiment.

They fail, fail, fail, and they learn nothing. Their experiments on the children and schools of Indianapolis have been a catastrophe.

What makes them tick?

If IPS dies, this much is sure: It was murdered by “reform.”