- About Us
- Our Schools
- Start a School
- For Schools
- For Families
- Our Initiatives
This page provides links to recent research on topics important to our work.
Success in life, says Nobel Laureate Jim Heckman, depends on much more than cognitive skills and academic ability. Noncognitive skills like social adaptability, motivation, and self-discipline are just as crucial for thriving in the modern economy as are skills that can be measured on achievement tests. Research in brain development reveals that the critical period for developing these socially and emotionally valuable skills occurs early in a child’s life, before the age of starting school. Good stewardship of scarce public resources entails prioritizing investment according to what works best. This article asserts that “the best evidence supports the policy prescription: invest in the very young.”
The Center for Evaluation and Education Policy (CEEP) estimates that Indiana has over 30,000 at-risk 4-year-olds not currently enrolled in publicly funded early education. This report makes a comprehensive case for pre-K in Indiana, citing evidence from model programs around the country, as well as studies on the quality of early learning programs around the state. Investing in early learning with a focus on school readiness would help many Hoosier children achieve educational, social, and economic success and improve the overall economic health of our state by developing a more educated and productive workforce while saving costs on education, social services, and public safety.
In 2003, economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis developed this paper presenting early childhood education as an economic development strategy deserving of more consideration by policymakers. While many state and local governments turn to business subsidies to strengthen the economy, they often overlook early education programs, which are shown to cause increased educational attainment, higher earnings and worker productivity, and decreased reliance on social services. The Minneapolis Fed proposes the creation of an endowment funded by the government as well as private donations that would earn sufficient interest to sustainably fund high-quality early childhood programs for all low-income children in Minnesota.
This 2015 report seeks to determine whether urban charter schools have different performance than other schools in their communities. Additionally, CREDO researchers question whether urban charter schools present results that differ from the charter school landscape as a whole, as estimated in the 2013 National Charter School Study. Indianapolis-level data was also released as part of this report.
This report provides the second in-depth examination of the results for charter schools in Indiana by CREDO. It contains a rigorous and independent view of the state’s charter schools, and is consistent with CREDO’s reports on charter school performance in other locations, making the results amenable to being benchmarked against other states.
Conducted jointly by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute and Public Impact, the new research study Searching for Excellence: A Five-City, Cross-State Comparison of Charter School Quality sheds light on charter performance in Albany, Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, and Indianapolis. The study analyzes the 2010-11 standardized test results for 108 elementary and middle schools in these five cities. Charter school quality is assessed by comparing charter school test results to those of the home school district and to all public schools statewide. Results are reported for both individual charters and as a citywide cohort.
NACSA releases an state policy analysis annually to report on the strength of charter laws and practices. In 2015 Indiana was ranked the #1 Charter Law in the nation.
This 2015 report from the Fordham Institute studies cities’ environments for school choice. Indicators examined include political support, policy environment, and quantity and quality. Indianapolis was ranked 4th in the nation.
In their second annual report, NAPCS examines the health of the charter school movement in each state by examining factors such as student gains, student body makeup, and enrollment. Indiana ranks 2nd in the nation.
Released in 2013, this is a study about neighborhoods, children and access to high performing schools. At its heart lies the question, ‘What areas in Indianapolis have the greatest need for high-performing seats?’ In providing an answer to this question, it aims to unite district, charter, and independent school leaders around the shared goal of providing quality schools for all children.
IFF has created an interactive school supply-and-demand analysis that utilizes Tableau to display school performance data. This allows the user to view schools by poverty levels, authorizer, school type, and more.