Butler Partners with IPS to Create Magnet High School
Dr. Eugene G. White, Superintendent of Indianapolis Public Schools, speaking at the announcement.
Butler University and Indianapolis Public Schools, Tuesday, Feb. 6, announced a partnership in which the university will help IPS turn Shortridge Middle School into the Shortridge Magnet High School for Law and Public Policy. The school will begin in 2009 for grades 6-9. A new grade will be added every year thereafter until the school reaches grade 12.
"This partnership has the potential to revolutionize the role of the university in public education," Butler President Bobby Fong said. "I hope Shortridge will become a model of how a university/public school partnership can transform a school.”
Under the Butler/Shortridge partnership, all of Butler’s five academic colleges –Education, Business Administration, Liberal Arts and Sciences, Pharmacy and Health Sciences, and Fine Arts – will work with the school, but the College of Education will be intimately involved in almost all phases of the partnership.
Professors will be invited to work with teachers at Shortridge, mentoring them and providing professional development opportunities. Butler students also will be paired with Shortridge students, both during the school day and in after-school programs, serving as role models, mentors and tutors.
For the past four years, Butler education majors have tutored students from Shortridge as part of course work and through involvement with the Stacey Toran Foundation. The foundation identifies Shortridge students at risk of failing and pairs them with selected Butler sophomores for a year’s worth of tutoring.
An early college component of the partnership will begin in 2011. Shortridge students who pass the Graduation Qualifying Exam (GQE) early and do well on the SAT, can take introductory classes at Butler and earn college credit while still in high school.
Ena Shelley, dean of Butler's College of Education, said the partnership provides major benefits for the university, the students and the community.
“Retention of inner-city high school students is poor nationwide. This is an attempt to address this situation. It's also an opportunity to enhance Butler University's role in the community,” Shelley said. “This is not about creating the next generation of lawyers; this is about broadly educating students and preparing them to exercise their rights and responsibilities as citizens of the city, state and nation.”
Shortridge students also will have the opportunity to spend time on Butler’s campus and participate in many education programs including the Celebration of Diversity Distinguished Lecture Series, Vivian S. Delbrook Visiting Writers Series and the J. James Woods Lecture in Sciences and Mathematics.
Shortridge and Butler share a rich history of collaboration.
When Allen Benton was president of Butler in the 1860s, he determined that the university needed a preparatory school to serve as a feeder to the college. He called on his friend and educator, Abraham C. Shortridge, to come to Indianapolis from Ohio to begin such a school. Shortridge, who would lead IPS as superintendent, helped organize the city’s first high school, which was later renamed in his honor.
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