Earl Phalen has poured his life into helping children from poor families in Indianapolis find success in school.
He first founded Summer Advantage, an innovative effort to offset the learning lost when kids are out of school for extended periods, and then he launched the Phalen Leadership Academy, a planned network of charter schools built around a model that blends technology-based learning with classroom instruction. (About 93 percent of students in Phalen’s school come from families with incomes low enough to qualify for free or reduce-priced lunch.)
But even Phalen acknowledges the daunting reality that still faces this city, state and nation in terms of education. For all the effort and money poured into school reform, we’re simply not making enough progress.