Indianapolis Chamber, Marion County Superintendents and Community Partners Commit to Raising Graduation Rates

November 29, 2006 (PRLEAP.COM) Education News
Marion County school superintendents and the Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce are developing an initiative — named “Common Goal” — to increase the graduation rate in Marion County public schools, beginning with the 2007-2008 academic school year.

This initiative will include — among other things — a “list of interventions,” allowing the community, including parents, businesses and civic groups, to become more engaged in Marion County’s schools. Three key community partners will participate in support of Common Goal: United Way of Central Indiana, Indianapolis Urban League and the Center for Leadership Development.

Leaders from these organizations have been actively engaged in conversations since June of this year, working to translate data and determine goals and strategies the entire community can adopt.

The Common Goal initiative will officially launch in the fall of 2007. In the meantime, the Indianapolis Chamber will continue working with area superintendents and community partners to research similar efforts in other communities, conduct idea generation sessions with a broad range of community representatives, and formalize a list of interventions. These interventions may take many forms, as a “one size fits all” solution will not apply to Marion County’s 11 school districts.*

The superintendents are working with the Indianapolis Chamber to identify current data used to calculate graduation rates, and will release those statistics in the coming weeks, based on information from the Indiana Department of Education.

Based on this data, superintendents will determine annual graduation benchmarks and milestones for their respective school districts. These benchmarks will include increases in the graduation rate each year. The Indianapolis Chamber and coalition partners will examine the list of interventions annually.

“This partnership between all school districts and the Indianapolis Chamber is a win-win,” said Lawrence Township Superintendent Dr. Mike Copper. “Through Common Goal’s list of interventions, the business community will be able to identify opportunities to become more engaged in area schools. I’m confident this initiative will grow and can become a national model for best practices.”

“This innovative and ground-breaking initiative is a coordinated and integrated approach to ensure every child is prepared to become an engaged and productive member of tomorrow’s workforce,” said Roland M. Dorson, President of the Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce. “The interventions used to reach this goal will take many forms, including tutoring opportunities and mentoring services, as well as a call for businesses to provide employees with time off to attend their child's parent-teacher conference.”

* Marion County’s 11 school districts are: Beech Grove City Schools; Decatur Township, M.S.D.; Franklin Township Community School; Indianapolis Public Schools; Lawrence Township, M.S.D.; Perry Township, M.S.D.; Pike Township, M.S.D.; School Town of Speedway; Warren Township, M.S.D.; Washington Township, M.S.D.; and Wayne Township, M.S.D.


Founded in 1890 by Colonel Eli Lilly and a group of Indianapolis business leaders, the Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce is the voice of the central Indiana business community. Today, with a membership of nearly 4,000 businesses, the Indianapolis Chamber is still a voice of progress and improvement, bringing together businesses for a thriving community. For more information on the Chamber, visit