Indianapolis Mayor Peterson Approves New Charter Schools
By Fritz Edelstein, and Stephanie Beer, USCM intern
November 3, 2003
Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson is the only mayor in the United States who has the authority to charter schools. Mayor Peterson announced October 6 he was approving two new charter schools from six applications he had received. These are The Southeast Neighborhood School of Excellence (SENSE), and The 21st Century English Avenue Charter School.
SENSE has designed its academic program to teach Spanish'speaking students literacy in Spanish first and then in English based on a research-based curriculum. This will be an elementary school and is being organized in response to community needs. The 21st Century English Avenue Charter will provide a self-paced, technology-based curriculum. It will open as a middle school with multi-age groupings and individualized, tailored learning plans and eventually expand to a high school. Both schools will be located near Fountain Square in downtown Indianapolis.
This past week, Peterson released his 2003 Accountability Report on Mayor'sponsored Charter Schools. This is an in-depth analysis of the performance of the first three charter schools he authorized. The report is part of a comprehensive system the mayor developed to hold charter schools accountable for their performance. During the past year, the mayor's office has gathered extensive information about each school, including academic performance, parental and staff feedback, and financial management and governance. The mayor will issue this report each year for all of the authorized charter schools. At the end of each school's seven-year charter, the information will help the mayor determine if the charter should be renewed. Also, the information in each year's report will be used to help improve the programs and services provided in each school as well as keep parents informed about how the schools are doing.
The city has three charter schools in their second year of operation and two schools are in their first year of operation. The two newly selected charters will open in September 2004. For additional information on the Indianapolis Charter School Program contact, David Harris at 317-327-4930 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.