A study on the impacts of Teach For America Indianapolis found TFA teachers with one to two years of experience were somewhat more effective at improving student achievement than non-TFA teachers with similar experience levels, while TFA teachers in schools with at least five TFA peers were substantially more effective at increasing student achievement. Additionally, TFA teachers were placed in higher-need schools than other first-year teachers, and, in recent years, TFA teachers have been more racially diverse than other new teachers. Further, the study finds that TFA teachers’ greater effectiveness more than made up for the negative impact on student achievement associated with their higher turnover rate.
In 2018, the Fairbanks Foundation launched Prevention Matters, a four-year, $13.5 million grant initiative aimed at helping K-12 schools in Marion County identify, implement and sustain evidence-based substance use prevention programs. In addition to a formal, external evaluation of the initiative, the Foundation also created “lessons learned” documents. The first document is designed for schools seeking to implement and sustain successful prevention programs, while the second is aimed at funders seeking guidance for prevention program-focused grantmaking.
Reducing tobacco use would unquestionably save lives in Indiana, where the smoking rate remains higher than the national average. Decreasing tobacco consumption also would drive substantial economic gains in the state, including population growth, added jobs, and higher incomes.
From extra absenteeism and unsanctioned smoking breaks to excess healthcare costs, employees who smoke cost Indiana employers $3.1 billion annually, which serves as an additional “tax” for Indiana businesses equaling 1.7% of total wages. In Marion County alone in 2022, businesses paid nearly $609 million in this hidden “smoking tax.”
To lessen these economic impacts, Indiana must decrease its smoking rate. The method proven most effective in reducing that rate – increasing Indiana’s cigarette tax – would improve public health outcomes, reduce healthcare costs by $795 million and generate $356 million in new annual revenue for the state.
Healthy students make better learners and are more likely to see positive academic outcomes. With calls for increased funding for health services provided in schools, we revisited our historical funding for school-based health services in Indianapolis and created a “lessons learned” document to guide future implementation efforts by schools and healthcare providers.
2022 data show academic achievement gaps between Black and Hispanic students and their white peers have grown, due in large part to the pandemic. This updated report includes relevant data, as well as specific, actionable recommendations stakeholders can implement to reduce disparities and improve education outcomes.