Moore Announces Strategy
Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) Commissioner Venita Moore has announced a strategy to address inequities for African American parents and students for schools throughout the district. While IPS strives to create an equitable and inviting learning environment for all students, declining graduation rates for African American students coupled with increasing suspension and expulsion occurrences reveal a crisis requiring a heightened level of attention. The strategy proposed by Commissioner Moore includes the following:
Moore Strategy to Address Racial Disparities
Plans call for district-wide training and equity analysis
Work alongside IPS Superintendent Aleesia Johnson and district leadership to address the disproportionate suspension and expulsions rates and develop a report and action plan for community review within the next 90 days;
Require all IPS police officers attend racial equity training and ensure all public safety policies and contracts outwardly communicate that IPS prohibits the employment of any officer, regardless of position, who has a verified use of excessive force record or discrimination complaint.
Launch a district-wide curriculum review to include civil rights education and training for students. Similar to the Colin Kaepernick Initiative, IPS students will gain an understanding of their civil rights and how to advocate for themselves both inside and outside of the classroom.
“...the time for talk alone has ended - people continue to die needlessly, and unlawfully - while talk continues. It's time to take action, because when people are being held down, there is no choice but to fight for freedom. I am committing to making change.”
Venita Moore, Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) Commissioner
Moore Address on Racial Disparities
IPS 2019-2020 demographic information shows that 73.4% of IPS students are children of color with 42.3% being Black and 31.1% Hispanic, but children of color make up 79% of in-school suspensions, 84% of out-of-school suspensions, and 86% of expulsions.
“As an IPS School Commissioner, it is my obligation to ensure students have a high-quality education, can achieve, and take their place as valued adults in our community,” stated Commissioner Moore. “We want the same for all our students, but it makes me angry when I know that Black IPS students - who are most of our students - face discrimination, racism and structural barriers in our society that may forever hold them back,” she added.