One of the challenges facing public schools in Indianapolis is a disparity between teacher and student demographics. According to Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) statistics, for example, more than 76% of the student population in IPS is non-white, yet less than 21% of certified employees in IPS are non-white. Statistics at area charter schools are comparable.
There is also a documented shortage of male teachers in urban schools. National statistics indicate that just 28% of urban teachers are male (National Center for Education Statistics, 2008), but according to IDOE, at least half of urban students in Indianapolis are male.
Research indicates that it is not enough to simply recruit individuals whose ethnicity, race or gender is under-represented in urban schools to pursue careers in education. Multiple studies have found that 40-50% of new teachers leave the industry within the first five years of service. One of the most successful means of improving retention is mentoring, supporting entry-level teachers in their first few years of teaching (Education Commission of the United States, 2004).
The Indiana Partnership for Young Writers provides mentoring and support to early-career educators who are underrepresented in comparison to the populations they serve. These young teacher-leaders receive free professional development and mentoring, including participation in the Partnership’s seasonal workshops with visiting scholars and one-on-one coaching with local Partnership staff.
Our 2015-2016 Young Leaders in Urban Education group represents the following schools:
IPS Butler Lab School #60
Thomas D. Gregg #15 (IPS)
Sunny Heights Elementary (Warren Township)
Forest Glen Elementary (Lawrence Township)
Phalen Leadership Academy (charter)
Andrew J. Brown Academy (charter)