A snapshot of some major milestone in the history of public education in Indianapolis, as gleaned from The Mind Trust's "Opportunity Schools" report with the addition of a few other historical benchmarks.
1945 – IPS focuses on serving returning veterans in addition to school children.
1954 – Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision finds segregated schools unconstitutional.
1954 – IPS serves 53,352 students in 87 elementary and junior high schools and eight high schools.
By 1967, 82,853 students enrolled in 113 schools, a 55 percent increase.
1965 – Passage of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, (ESEA), enables additional federal compensation to offset lagging performance effect associated with higher poverty levels.
1967 – 60 separate governing entities including schools boards and townships exist within Marion County.
1968 – IPS hits enrollment high of more than 108,000 students.
1969 – UniGov or Consolidated First-Class Cities and Counties Act is established with the goal of streamlining services and reducing bureaucracy.
1969/1970 – COP-E (Community of People) Academy on the Eastside is founded as what NUVO roundtable members recalled as Indy's "first public school of choice."
1970 – IPS review counts more than 30 ESEA- funded initiatives under the Act's Title I and III.
1971 – Judge Hugh Dillin's decision that Indy's school were segregated. A busing order follows.
1975 – Congress passes "Education for All Handicapped Children Act" enables federal funding of special education. It now includes early intervention provisions to provide preschoolers with learning support. Critics charge that special education enables a new form of segregation and link the dual-track system to a "school-to-prison pipeline," which discards students unable to conform to the system.
1983 – President Ronald Reagan's National Commission on Excellence in Education publishes "A Nation at Risk," which calls for greater accountability and reforms and stands as a precursor to the No Child Left Behind Act in its position that greater accountability and success must be achieved within U.S. schools if citizens are not to be disenfranchised by the ever-growing competitiveness posed by an ever-more globalized and computerized economy. Critics charge this approach places an inappropriate focus on test scores.
1990 "Individuals with Disabilities Education Act" (IDEA) passes, expanding and renaming policies established in '75 under "Education for All Handicapped Children."
1991 – Indy's "Parents in Touch" effort attempts to foster greater involvement and accountability on parents' parts. Another initiative: Community Leaders Allied for Superior Schools.
1993 – The Indianapolis Adult Literacy Program identifies "the real tragedy" within local schools: "No one is accountable. Teachers, administrators, parents and students must be more responsible for achieving quality in our schools."
1995 – Indiana state law enacted to limit teachers' collective bargaining rights.
1995 – Indianapolis Mayor Stephen Goldsmith proposes "mini districts" to reduce bureaucracy in the educational system. It does not gain traction amid push back from stakeholders.
2001 – Indiana's state Charter School Law signed by Gov. Frank O'Bannon on May 1 and Mayor Bart Peterson becomes first mayor in nation with direct charting authority. Peterson hires David Harris, who works for five years as Charter Schools Director.
2002 – First year of charters in Indianapolis. 551 students enroll. By fall of 2011, 2,000 students on charter waiting lists. Four schools launched in 2002 in Indianapolis, three sponsored by the mayor and one by Ball State.
2004 – Individuals with Disabilities Act established.
2004 – Knowledge is Power Program establishes Indianapolis College Preparatory School.
2004 – A law requiring cultural competency in teaching is passed, which requires educators to integrate culturally relevant material and teaching styles in recognition of the cultural orientation of local students.
2006 - The mayor's Charter School Initiative wins a Harvard Innovations in American Government award.
2006 – David Harris establishes The Mind Trust. Peterson serves as board chair, other luminaries on the 13-member board include Cummins Foundation Chief Executive Jean Blackwell; Mark Miles; chief executive of Central Indiana Corporate Partnership, Ann Murtlow, former chief at Indianapolis Power & Light; and broadcast journalism legend Jane Pauley.
2010-2011 – Just over 33,000 students remain, down nearly 70 percent from the '60s high. "In 2011, nearly 300 additional students left the district, raising serious concerns about the long-term financial sustainability of IPS," the report said.
2011 – Enrollment in Indy's public charters increased to more than 9,000, about 5,000 of them moved from IPS.
2011-2012 school year – IPS has 48 magnet schools in 19 IPS schools with 12,448 seats available and 1,064 students on magnet waiting lists. The city now has 27 charter schools in Indianapolis, 23 sponsored by the mayor's office and four sponsored by Ball State. Some are run by for-profit entities, others by non-profit.