Advancing Outcomes

The core goal of The Mind Trust’s strategic plan is to triple the academic proficiency of students within IPS boundaries by 2027. This deliberate focus on outcomes is so important because without foundational academic skills, students are much less likely to succeed after high school. 

Over the past year, The Mind Trust undertook a variety of strategies and interventions to advance student outcomes with equity in mind. Much of this work also looked to accelerate learning for students who had their learning most disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic from past school years. 

In 2022, we were thrilled to celebrate multiple data reports and studies that showcased the incredible progress occurring for students attending innovation network and charter schools.

Our top-line proficiency goal: triple student proficiency within IPS boundaries by 2027.

CREDO at Stanford 2022 Study

Stanford University’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) released a new study on the academic performance of Indianapolis K–12 charter, innovation network, and traditional public schools in 2022. The study found increased learning gains for students in innovation network and charter schools compared to their local peers in district-run schools. Many of those gains were statistically significant, especially for Black, Latino, and low-income students.

Data from the 2018–19 school year showed students in Indianapolis charter schools achieved growth equivalent to:

  • 64 days of additional learning in English Language Arts (ELA)
  • 116 days of additional learning in math relative to students at direct-run IPS schools

Meanwhile, students at Innovation Network Schools achieved growth equivalent to:

  • 38 days of additional learning in ELA
  • 47 days of additional learning in math relative to students in direct-run IPS schools

The Mind Trust also recognizes that simply outperforming the local district is not the goal. The goal is absolute proficiency and achievement for all students.

That’s why we were heartened to see this year’s CREDO study find that students in Indianapolis charter schools achieved growth equivalent to:

  • 12 days of additional learning in reading
  • 47 days of additional learning in math relative to students across the state of Indiana.

These results are especially notable when you consider that thousands more students attend autonomous schools in Indianapolis when this data was gathered compared to the previous CREDO report from 2019.

students talking in class

ILEARN 2022: Examining critical progress

Each year, Indiana students in grades 3–8 take the ILEARN, a state assessment that measures student learning in English and math.

While a single test can’t show us everything about an individual student, this data is incredibly important to analyze at the school, district, county, and state levels.

In Indianapolis, public charter schools and innovation network schools achieved proficiency gains meaningfully larger than the state average. Independent charter schools in Indianapolis increased their overall proficiency by 3.8 points, matching or surpassing increases for all 11 Marion County school districts.

Chart: Overall Pass Rates and Change Percentages for 11 Indianapolis school districts and charter schools

Within IPS boundaries, ten of the 12 public schools that achieved the largest proficiency outcomes for Black students were charter and innovation schools.

Chart: Student group Pass Rates and Change Percentages for 11 Indianapolis school districts and charter schools. Note: FRL is an abbreviation of “Free or Reduced Lunch”

Another measure of student learning is the rate at which achievement gaps are narrowed. This is measured by the pass rate for white students in a district or group of schools versus the pass rate for Black or Latino students in the same district or group of schools. In Indianapolis, these gaps are anywhere from 8.2%–44.8%.

Public charter schools in Indianapolis cut their Black-white achievement gap by 2.7 points, which was the largest drop in Marion County. These schools now have the second smallest gap compared to the 11 Marion County districts.

Nine of the 11 Marion County school districts saw their Black-white achievement gap grow in 2022.

SAT 2022: College-readiness in Marion County

This spring, all Indiana juniors were required to take the SAT, which has replaced the ISTEP+. Indiana is one of ten states that administers the SAT as a high school accountability exam.

Within IPS boundaries:

  • 9 of the top 10 high schools for Black student reading and writing college-readiness are charter and innovation schools.
  • 7 of the top 10 schools for Latino student reading and writing college-readiness are charter or innovation schools.
  • 9 of the top 10 schools for Black student math college-readiness are charter or innovation schools.
  • 4 of the top 5 schools for Latino student math college-readiness are charter or innovation schools.

As Indiana faces a decrease in students who are entering and graduating from college, it is imperative that we provide students with the support and academic rigor needed to be academically ready for college.

Growing public school options

The Mind Trust has supported the launch of 45 public schools in Indianapolis, including four schools in 2022. We are proud to have helped launch these great school options:


  • Circle City Prep Middle School
  • Liberty Grove Schools @ Elder Diggs School 42
  • Monarca Academy
  • Rooted School Indianapolis Middle School


  • Herron Preparatory Academy
  • Paramount Online Academy
  • Promise Prep


  • BELIEVE | Circle City High School
  • Christel House Watanabe High School
  • Cold Spring Middle School @ Marian University
  • Emma Donnan Elementary and Middle School, operated by Adelante Schools
  • Phalen Leadership Academy @ Louis B. Russell School 48
  • Phalen Virtual Leadership Academy
  • Rooted School Indianapolis
  • Sankofa School of Success @ Arlington Woods School 99
  • The PATH School at School 67


  • Invent Learning Hub
  • KIPP Indy Legacy High
  • Paramount Englewood
  • James and Rosemary Phalen Leadership Academy High School
  • Purdue Polytechnic High School North


  • Allegiant Preparatory Academy
  • Matchbook Learning at Wendell Phillips School 63
  • Paramount Cottage Home
  • pilotED: Bethel Park
  • SUPER School 19
  • Thrival Indy Academy
  • URBAN ACT Academy at Washington Irving School 14


  • Avondale Meadows Middle School
  • Circle City Prep
  • Edison School of the Arts 47
  • Herron-Riverside High School
  • Ignite Achievement Academy @ Elder W. Diggs School 42
  • Purdue Polytechnic High School Englewood


  • Cold Spring School @ Marian University
  • Global Preparatory Academy @ Riverside 44
  • Kindezi Academy
  • Phalen Leadership Academy @ George H. Fisher 93


  • KIPP Indy Unite Elementary
  • Phalen Leadership Academy @ Francis Scott Key School 103


  • Christel House Academy West


  • Enlace Academy
  • George and Veronica Phalen Leadership Academy
  • Christel House DORS-South


  • Charles A. Tindley Accelerated School, formerly Tindley Collegiate Academy

System-wide supports

The Mind Trust recruits national nonprofit organizations to Indianapolis and supports innovative ideas that become new nonprofits in an effort to bolster the work happening in Indianapolis schools.

We have built a network of 15 education nonprofits currently serving educators, students, and families throughout our city.

Recruited to Indianapolis by The Mind Trust

  • Relay Graduate School of Education
  • Stand for Children
  • Surge Academy
  • Teach For America
  • TNTP

Locally incubated by The Mind Trust

  • Center for Innovative Education Solutions
  • EmpowerED Families
  • Enroll Indy
  • Foster Ed
  • Global Citizen Year
  • Seton Education Partners
  • Summer Advantage USA
  • Teach Indy
  • Teach Plus
  • The Expectations Project
student reading in classroom
students laughing in class