Lost boys

Only 21 percent of black males and 22 percent of white males who enter Indianapolis public high schools graduate four years later, making the city’s schools the worst in the nation for male graduation rates. Half of black male dropouts and 10 percent of white male dropouts have criminal records.

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Comments

  1. Indigo Warrior says:

    It seems that whole city of Indianapolis has become one huge slum, with slum values and breeding patterns (the mighty moron marching society). Why bother trying to educate all of them? Focus on the 21 to 22 percent who do bother to attend schools. Give them all the resources they need.

  2. Whoa! Now until recently, I used to live in Indianapolis. Your comments are totally out of place. Actually, the figures that are being cited are for the inner city portion of Indianapolis only. I repeat, the Indianapolis school district is only the inner city portion of Indianapolis. The rest of Indianapolis is divided into many school districts based on townships and are not included in the figures for the Indianapolis public school district (IPD). Misleading, but there are historical reasons for the school district divisions. As for what is going on there are several problems and some politics that might even rival New Orleans in its history. Normally I lean Republican on most issues including schools and even school funding, but if there ever is a school district that is truly underfunded, it is this particular one. When I was in graduate school, I worked first hand with some of these numbers in the raw form, so I know the basis for them. The Carmel school district, part of the Indianapolis metro area, is funded over 4 times higher, not even including a great deal of private donations on top of that amount. The township school districts receive considerable more money as well. The problem is that most of the property in the IPD area is tax-exempt and what little is left is the very poorest areas. Even with a higher property tax rate, there is just not much left to tax. That is only the start of the problem. The actual stats are even much worse than indicated because it includes a few schools with excellent graduation rates that bring the average up for the inner city schools. There are some truly failing schools. The other problem is that most schools are entirely too large. The main reason why most schools are large is due to sports. Even in sports where schools are divided into categories based on size. An Indianapolis high school for instance may have a student body of well over 3500 and compete against the other large schools in the state who have only have half of that amount at best. Indianapolis always has dominated in sports due to incredibly large schools out of proportion with almost all of the other schools in the state, but has scholastically suffered because of that. I also think sports is valued way more than academics by parents in these schools. There are a long list of reasons for the figures, but those are three major reasons to start out with.

  3. Actually IPS is the more common acronym in use, although IPD and IPSD are also used for the Indianapolis school district (which is only the inner portion of Indianapolis). There are several rather unique problems with IPS that I should explain further. One, I should explain the tax problems further. Not only is there a high concentration of government and non-profits in the area, but thanks to planning efforts by city leaders in the past, a great deal of property tax in the school area does not go to the school district like it does in the rest of the school districts in the state. There are TIFFs and business redevlopment projects that take the property tax to repay investors who invested in the re-developmment. The money does not go to the schools. In theory, only half of the school money comes from property taxes in Indiana, but the other half is still based on some weird formula derived from the amount of money that comes from property taxes, so even that money is greatly reduced for IPS. Unfortunately, IPS gets caught on the wrong side of a glitch in the taxation system for schools in Indiana. It is a specialized problem that needs to be changed. As for giving up on IPS, most people in the area already have unfortunately and no, that is not an acceptable solution. It is part of the problem. The better students leave IPS for charters that are not included in IPS figures, private schools that are like charters, and there a huge number that attend Catholic schools. In theory, this should leave more money for the IPS students, but there is a flaw in this too because funding is still tied to actual number of students that attend the schools. Yet another glitch in the taxation system that seems to be rather unique to IPS. I realize that some other school districts out there have problems that sound similiar to IPS, but IPS falls prey to a tax glitch so extreme that is truly an unique problem. Another one of the biggest drains on funding is that there is a number of really old and beautiful schools still in operation with really huge building costs. I am of the belief that most schools in the nation are not underfunded, but I truly believe that IPS has been underfunded for decades and the building problems have become huge costs built up over time. A solution that has been sought is to raise private donations for repair and updating of these schools based more so on historical significance, so that school money can be focused on the students instead of being eaten up by building costs. Private investments have been used successfully for a number of buildings in downtown Indianapolis including newer building such as the mall and stadiums. Last I heard, it did not seem to be going well. People really seem to have given up on IPS and have abandoned IPS. The solution will have to be, especially for some schools, to tear down the old buildings and replace them with newer buildings that cost alot less to upkeep. There are a long list of other problems too, but I hope this helps with the perspective.

  4. Indigo Warrior says:

    Actually, the figures that are being cited are for the inner city portion of Indianapolis only. I repeat, the Indianapolis school district is only the inner city portion of Indianapolis.

    I get the message now.

    The other problem is that most schools are entirely too large. The main reason why most schools are large is due to sports. Even in sports where schools are divided into categories based on size. An Indianapolis high school for instance may have a student body of well over 3500 and compete against the other large schools in the state who have only have half of that amount at best. Indianapolis always has dominated in sports due to incredibly large schools out of proportion with almost all of the other schools in the state, but has scholastically suffered because of that. I also think sports is valued way more than academics by parents in these schools.

    One thing that needs to be demolished is the delusion that sports turns troubled youths into model citizens. It doesn’t. Sports teams are little more than gangs under different management, and with different uniforms. And parents, teachers, and educators who complain about low achievement and high dropout rates need to take a good look at how spending tax money on school sports is a big waste.

  5. “Sports teams are little more than gangs under different management,”

    In most schools, that depends on the management. However, if too many of the students were in gangs in the first place, maybe all that putting an adult coach in charge does is legitimize them.