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Indianapolis – 2022

2022 City Studies

Summary of Findings

This summary highlights major findings about students’ academic performance in public K-12 schools in Indianapolis, Indiana. Performance is measured by one-year learning gains or growth students made from one school year to the next. We benchmark Indianapolis students’ growth against the state average growth and then compare the progress of charter and innovation school students with that of similar traditional district school students within Indianapolis, accounting for student characteristics.


Overall:

Students in Indianapolis posted weaker learning gains compared to the state average in both reading and math throughout the 2017-18 and 2018-19 school years.

Sector:

For reading, Indianapolis charter students made similar learning gains than the state average over the two growth periods. Students in Indianapolis innovation schools posted weaker learning gains in 2017-18, while grew on par with the statewide average in 2018-19 school year. Traditional district students in Indianapolis lagged behind an average student in the state throughout the both growth periods. For math, Indianapolis charter and innovation school students grew on par with the state average, while Indianapolis district students exhibited weaker learning gains than an average student in the state over the two growth years.


Comparisons of sectors within Indianapolis indicate that there is no significant difference in growth in reading across sectors over the two growth periods. For math, charter schools exhibited greater learning gains than district schools in 2018-19, while no significant difference in growth was found between innovation and district schools or between charter and innovation schools.


A deeper dive into Indianapolis student growth for the period ending in Spring 2019 reveals the following findings:

Charter School Type:

Indianapolis charter schools affiliated with a Charter Management Organization (CMO) make greater progress in math, while exhibiting similar learning gains in reading when compared to the state average. Students attending Indianapolis independent charter schools grow on par with the average student in the state in both subjects. Within the Indianapolis charter sector, there is no significant difference in learning gains between CMOs and independent charter schools in either reading or math.

Race/Ethnicity:

Overall, Indianapolis black students make weaker learning gains in both reading and math compared to the state average black student. Breakout analyses by sector suggest that black students enrolled in charter schools show greater growth in math, and similar growth in reading than the average black student in the state. Indianapolis innovation black students grow similarly in both subjects compared to the state average. Indianapolis traditional district school black students underperform an averaged student in the state in both subjects. Shifting the focus to sector comparison within Indianapolis, black students enrolled in charter schools post stronger growth than district school black students in both subjects. There is no significant difference in learning gains in reading or math between black students in Innovation schools and black students in district schools within Indianapolis.


Indianapolis Hispanic students overall show weaker growth in reading and math than the average Hispanic student in the state. Sector breakout analyses reveal that Hispanic students in Indianapolis charter schools make similar progress in both reading and math relative to the average Hispanic student statewide. Hispanic students enrolled in Indianapolis innovation schools make similar learning gains in reading and weaker learning gains in math compared to the average Hispanic student in the state. Indianapolis district school Hispanic students make weaker learning gains in both subjects compared to the average Hispanic student in the state. Cross-sector comparisons within Indianapolis indicate stronger growth among Hispanic students enrolled in charter schools than growth among district school Hispanic students in both subjects. No significant difference in reading and math growth is found between students in Indianapolis innovation school Hispanic students and district school Hispanic students.

Poverty, ELL, and Special Education:

Indianapolis students living in poverty overall post similar learning gains in both reading and math compared to the average student living in poverty in the state. Sector breakout analyses show stronger growth in math and similar growth in reading among students in poverty enrolled in Indianapolis charter schools relative to the state average of students living in poverty. Indianapolis innovation school students in poverty demonstrate similar growth in both subjects compared to the average student in poverty statewide. Indianapolis district school students in poverty demonstrate weaker growth in both subjects compared to the average student in poverty statewide. Comparisons of sectors within Indianapolis demonstrate charter school students in poverty outperform district school students in poverty in both reading and math, while no significant difference in learning gains is found between innovation school students in poverty and district schools students in poverty in either subject.


English Language Learners (ELLs) in Indianapolis as a whole demonstrate weaker learning gains in reading and similar learning gains in math relative to the average ELL student in the state. School sector breakout analyses indicate that when compared to the statewide average ELL, Indianapolis ELLs in charter and innovation schools make similar progress in both reading and math, while ELLs in Indianapolis district schools post weaker learning gains in both subjects. Cross-sector comparisons within Indianapolis indicate that ELLs students show similar learning gains in both subjects, regardless of the sector they are enrolled.


Indianapolis students receiving special education services overall exhibit similar growth in reading and weaker growth in math relative to the average student receiving special education in the state. Breakout analyses by sector suggest that special education students enrolled in Indianapolis charter and innovation schools grow on par with the average special education statewide in both subjects. Indianapolis district students in special education show weaker learning gains in math than the state average of students in special education, no significant difference is found in reading growth. The only significant difference surfacing from cross-sector comparisons within Indianapolis is that special education students in charter schools make greater gains in reading than special education students in traditional district schools.

Gender:

Both male and female students in Indianapolis overall post weaker reading and math learning gains than the average student of the same gender in the state. Breakout analyses by sector suggest that male students in Indianapolis charter and innovation schools grow on par with the average male student in the state in both subjects. Male students in Indianapolis district schools register weaker reading and math growth when compared to the state average of male students. Within Indianapolis, male students in charter and innovation schools exhibit similar growth in both subjects compared to male students at district schools.


Female students enrolled in Indianapolis charter schools make greater learning gains in math, while grow similarly in reading compared to the average female student in the state. Female students in innovation schools in Indianapolis grow on par with the average female student in the state in both reading and math. Female students in district schools in Indianapolis lag behind the average female student in the state in reading or math. Comparisons of sectors within Indianapolis reveal stronger growth in both subject among female students at charter schools when they are compared to average female student in district schools in Indianapolis. Female students enrolled in innovation schools show similar gains in both subjects compare to their counterparts in district school.


Presentation of Findings


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