Chalkbeat asked the 10 candidates running for an Indianapolis Public School Board to answer a survey about their positions on issues facing the district and its students. Below is one response. If you want to see how these answers compare to other candidates, please visit our interactive election tracker at in.chalkbeat.org/ipselection2014.
Samantha Adair-White was elected to the IPS school board in 2010, running after being inspired by her husband Jeffery White’s work as principal of John Marshall High School. Adair-White is a volunteer in IPS schools. Her children attend a district school. She is running in District 3 against Kelly Bentley and James Turner.
1. Do you support the direction of the school district under Superintendent Lewis Ferebee?
What, if anything, do you like about Ferebee’s leadership of the district? What would you change?
I’m very excited about the direction that our district is going in.
2. Do you believe the operation of IPS’ central office is efficient?
What is your opinion of the efficiency of IPS’ central office operations? How much money should be spent outside the classroom on high-level district operations?
Dr. Ferebee is doing a great job trying to get central office back on track.
3. Should the school district partner with charter schools?
Do you support the House Bill 1321 “innovation network” law? What is the ideal relationship between the district and a charter school operator?
It all depends on the school as long as we do what is in the best interest of all kids.
4. Do you support the state’s voucher program?
If yes, why do you support vouchers? If not, would you propose ending it?
5. The district is moving toward more partnerships with outside groups like The Mind Trust and Stand for Children. Do you support stronger partnerships with school reform organizations?
If not, why not? If yes, what would you envision those partnerships with charter school organizations look like?
It all depends on the school. As long as we do what is in the best interest of all kids.
6. Teachers haven’t received a pay raise in several years. What budget changes, if any, would you support to make this happen?
We are in the process of negotiating our teachers contract.
7. What percentage of a teacher’s performance evaluation score should be based on student test score growth?
It depends on the school.
8. The state takeover process has been scrutinized recently. What’s your proposal for how to improve schools that have been rated an F for six straight years?
It depends on the individual school.
9. Ferebee has identified 11 low-performing priority schools to receive extra support and resources. What is your vision for how to improve IPS’ low-performing schools?
My vision is to make sure we get the best resources to help with the needs of our students and improve the low-performing schools.
10. What is your vision for how schools within the district should be governed? What role should principals and their assistants have in leading schools?
It depends on the school.
11. What didn’t we ask? Tell us about your platform, or another issue you’re passionate about.
I’m a cheerleader for all kids no matter where they come from. All of them deserve a good education.