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Indy-area educators to discuss issues facing minority students during Community Conversations

Panel to address achievement gap among minority students

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Education advocates in Indianapolis will participate in a pair of panels Thursday evening to speak on the achievement gap among minority students in schools.

It’s the second part of the Indianapolis Commission on African American Males and Crossroads Public Affairs’ Community Conversions series.

The free, public events will be start at 6 p.m. Thursday at Rooted School, 5750 E. 30th St. People looking to attend are asked to RSVP online.

The first two discussions will be on mental health and community violence.

Marshawn Wolley, chairman of the commission, says its goal is to use these events to guide future studies and legislation. “Have a dialogue between university experts as well as the community to try to come up with solutions that are going to move the needle in each of those areas.”

Leaders from Indianapolis Public Schools, Lawrence Township, and Pike Township Schools and the Indiana University’s School of Education will gather to address some of the issues facing minority students.

High school students from the three school districts will also have a panel to highlight their experiences.

Ma’at Lands, executive director and founder of The Charter Schools, says she looks forward to hearing different perspectives. “They talk about the achievement gap, but in education, we really call it the opportunity gap.

“Students (are) not having the access that they need to be able to be successful. … We also see disparities in student discipline and suspension data and achievement on standardized test as well.”