3 Year Teacher Improvement Grant Approved, PPI and IHSAA Action

I just received notice that all 4 GEO Indiana schools will take part in a three-year teacher-improvement program led by the National Insitute for Excellence in Teaching. These guys are the developers of the TAP system, a program that is centered on student data, helps teachers and leaders understand student data, helps schools develop career ladders for teachers (keeping the best in the classroom and impacting learning for as long as possible), and provides bonus pay for results. This grant will provide our schools coaching and supports so that we can do better for our kids. And yes, while it is specific to Indiana, our Louisiana schools will benefit from what we learn, too.

We’ve been BIG believers in TAP since 2010 and we’ve implemented it to the best of our ability but this grant will supercharge our efforts and support teachers learning from other teachers in the field and provide much-needed support to our leadership. I’m very excited about this opportunity and the potential for great student gains.

On another note, please check out the Progressive Policy Institute’s webinar Wednesday, March 10, at 1 p.m. Eastern, noon Central, to get a snippet of what we do in Gary, Indianapolis and Baton Rouge, and to hear directly from one of our super stars, Arianna Mayes. This an exciting opportunity to introduce to the nation our “college immersion” model and how it is distinct from the early college and middle college programs that exist today. Click this link to register.

Lastly, a word about the IHSAA, the Indiana High School Athletic Association. We had a student transfer from one school into ours this year. Why? Because the mother’s father fell ill and requires 24/7 care. Our school is closer and also more academically appropriate for the student (according to the mother). Well, the student also plays basketball. So, while his transfer to our school was not for athletic reasons, and both schools said so (the sending school and our school), the IHSAA (a sports group) said no way. The kid, no matter how talented, can’t play varsity. Really? Well, I’ve never been involved in such a battle before. Long story short, the Mom appealed to the Indiana Department of Education and she won. Now, there is a lot more to this story, but lets just say the IHSAA needs some reforming. The way they treated the mother in this case was despicable! And this association is supposed to represent me and my schools? Really? Not this way. Turns out, I’m not the only one with a concern about the IHSAA’s treatment of parents and students. The Indianapolis Star ran a great column (2 actually) by Gregg Doyal calling attention to the ways of the IHSAA and called for reforms, too. Not sure if you will be able to open the article right now. The Star has a firewall up blocking non-subscribers. They may open it up in a week. In the meantime, we will see if we can make a difference. I think we will.

It’s only Tuesday….


Kevin Teasley
Founder & President
GEO Foundation