School & District Management Video

Indiana Superintendent Is Powerful Advocate for Urban Education – Meet Wendy Robinson, 2016 Leader to Learn From

February 24, 2016 2:18

Wendy Robinson, the superintendent in Indiana’s Fort Wayne Community Schools for the last 13 years, is, perhaps, the state’s most persuasive advocate for traditional public schools, even as many Indiana politicians embrace robust school choice policies. Her approach to fighting for public schools—particularly urban districts like Fort Wayne—is thoughtful, prepared, and confident. She is not only well-versed in research-based academic best practices, but also deeply knowledgeable about school finance, education policy, and the often divisive politics that drive the debate over K-12. It’s an approach that has helped cement Fort Wayne as a diverse and thriving urban school system—a counter narrative to the often negative stereotype of big-city school systems—that wisely uses its resources to produce strong academic results. “Our whole philosophy is that ‘no, we are not failing,’” Robinson says. “Our kids may need different resources, but we have as many kids who are considered highly able, who can go on to Stanford, and Yale, and all the other universities as kids in other areas [do]. But just because it’s public, it’s denigrated, and that really is a personal affront for me.” This video was produced as part of Education Week’s Leaders To Learn From project, recognizing outstanding school district leaders from around the country.

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