Press Releases | June 9, 2022

New study from CREDO at Stanford University finds learning gains for Indianapolis charter and Innovation Network school students

(INDIANAPOLIS) – June 9, 2022 – Stanford University’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) has released a new study on academic performance of Indianapolis K-12 public charter, Innovation Network, and traditional schools within the boundaries of the Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) district. The study found that students who attend charter and Innovation Network Schools in Indianapolis achieve more academic growth than their peers in traditional public schools within IPS.

In particular, students attending Indianapolis charter schools made significantly stronger learning gains relative to their peers in traditional public schools within IPS. In addition, Black, Hispanic, low-income, English Language Learners, and special education students who attend Indianapolis charter schools achieve greater learning gains than their peers across the state. Some gains in these subgroups can be considered statistically significant.

“The results of the 2022 CREDO at Stanford University study demonstrate undeniable academic progress for Indianapolis charter and Innovation Network School students, particularly those students from historically marginalized communities,” said Brandon Brown, CEO of The Mind Trust. “We are thrilled to also see students who attend Indianapolis charter schools now consistently achieving more learning gains than their peers across the state. These life-changing outcomes are due to a sustained community effort to transform our education system into one that provides opportunity for all students, regardless of background.”

The 2022 Indianapolis CREDO study measures student performance during the 2017-2018 2018-2019 school years. Highlights for the 2018-2019 school year include:

  • Indianapolis charter schools outperform the statewide average: Students attending Indianapolis charter schools now achieve more growth in English Language Arts (ELA) and math across all subgroups compared to their statewide peers. This progress can sometimes be considered statistically significant. Overall, these students achieved growth equivalent to 12 days of additional learning in ELA and 47 days of additional learning in math relative to students across Indiana.
  • Indianapolis charter school students achieved growth equivalent to 64 days of additional learning in ELA and 116 days of additional learning in math relative to students at traditional public schools within IPS.
  • Innovation Network School students achieved growth equivalent to 38 days of additional learning in ELA and 47 days of additional learning in math relative to students at traditional public schools within IPS.
  • Since the 2019 CREDO at Stanford Indianapolis study, charter and innovation school enrollment grew by almost 20%, meaning more students had access to a better school.

Additionally, students from historically marginalized groups who attend charter and Innovation schools achieve greater academic progress relative to their peers. Results for Black, Hispanic, and low-income students include:

Indianapolis charter school performance compared to state averages:

  • Black Indianapolis charter school students achieved growth equivalent to 15 days of additional learning in ELA and 54 days of additional learning in math relative to the statewide public school average.
  • Hispanic Indianapolis charter school students achieved growth equivalent to 27 days of additional learning in ELA and 46 days of additional learning in math relative to the statewide public school average.
  • Low-income students in Indianapolis charter schools achieved growth equivalent to 19 days of additional learning in ELA and 51 days of additional learning in math relative to the statewide public school average. 

Indianapolis charter school performance compared to traditional public schools within IPS:

  • Black Indianapolis charter school students achieved growth equivalent to 86 days of additional learning in ELA and 144 days of additional learning in math relative to Black students in traditional public schools within IPS.
  • Hispanic Indianapolis charter school students achieved growth equivalent to 73 days of additional learning in ELA and 89 days of additional learning in math relative to Hispanic students in traditional public schools within IPS.
  • Low-income students in Indianapolis charter schools achieved growth equivalent to 63 days of additional learning in ELA and 112 days of additional learning in math relative to low-income students in traditional public schools within IPS.

Indianapolis Innovation Network School performance compared to traditional public schools within IPS:

  • Black students in Innovation Network Schools achieved growth equivalent to 69 days of additional learning in ELA and 80 days of additional learning in math relative to Black students in traditional public schools within IPS.
  • Hispanic students in Innovation Network Schools achieved growth equivalent to 11 days of additional learning in ELA and 10 days of additional learning in math relative to Hispanic students in traditional public schools within IPS.
  • Low-income students in Innovation Network Schools achieved growth equivalent to 40 days of additional learning in ELA and 45 days of additional learning in math relative to low-income students in traditional public schools within IPS.

English Language Learners and special education students in charter and Innovation Network Schools also achieved ELA and math gains in charter and Innovation Network schools. Click here to explore all of the data or see charters below and attached.

“All Indianapolis students deserve a high-quality education that helps them reach their full potential. The results of the recent CREDO at Stanford study show that students in our city’s public charter schools outperform the state average in key metrics of academic progress and innovation schools continue making strong academic gains,” said Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett. “These promising results are made possible by hard-working educators and our city’s collaborative spirit that puts student success first.

In Indianapolis, there are more than 45 mayor-sponsored charter schools that serve over 18,000 students as independent public charter schools and innovation schools. In total, more than 26,000 students attended a public charter or innovation school within IPS boundaries during the 2021-2022 school year.

Since 2006, The Mind Trust has supported the launch of 41 public charter and Innovation Network schools in Indianapolis that currently serve more than 12,000 students.

Stanford’s CREDO strives to offer education policymakers with reliable, empirical evidence about student achievement at the primary and secondary levels. CREDO’s City Studies Project provides the public with periodic reports of academic performance for public K-12 schools in selected cities across the United States.

“The aggregate results for Indianapolis masked important differences for district schools, innovation schools, and charter schools operating in the city. Students in Indianapolis charter schools showed consistently better results in reading and math gains, on par with the state. In contrast, students in innovation and district schools posted lower gains. There is an intense need for schools with better results to share their approaches, so all students have the best chance of academic recovery after COVID,” said Macke Raymond, Director, CREDO at Stanford University.

About The Mind Trust

The Mind Trust is an Indianapolis-based education nonprofit that works to build a system of schools that gives every student in Indianapolis, no exceptions, access to a high-quality education. The Mind Trust does this by building a supportive environment for schools through policy and community engagement, empowering talented, diverse educators to launch new schools, and providing existing schools with the support they need to hire world-class talent and achieve excellence. Since 2006, The Mind Trust has supported the launch of 41 schools, 14 education nonprofit organizations, and has helped place more than 1,700 teachers and school leaders in Indianapolis classrooms.