Indianapolis Superintendent Lewis Ferebee defies the usual labels when it comes to describing his approach to improving his city’s long-struggling school system. A traditional educator who years ago wrote his doctoral dissertation on the limitations of school choice, Ferebee is now leveraging partnerships with high-performing charters in Indianapolis to boost academic outcomes for students in some of the lowest-performing schools, reverse a decades-long trend of enrollment loss, and revive the city’s entire public school system. But Ferebee, despite his unusual collaboration with charter schools, remains a firm believer in the importance of thriving neighborhood schools. “The ideas around school choice continue to evolve; … it was this idea that you’re not going to be cursed with a poor-performing school based on where you live,” he says. “It’s a noble idea, but I think this plan that we have in Indianapolis is providing that option, or working to provide that option, in a neighborhood school.” 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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