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Low-Income Students Face Several Challenges Outside the Classroom. Does This Mean They Can’t Learn?

Alex Cohen is the Director of Learning and Evaluation for the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation. The most recent round of ISTEP+ results, released last month, continue to show students in Marion County public schools performing well below state averages. At Indianapolis Public Schools, for example, fewer than 25% of elementary and middle school students passed both English and math ISTEP+ tests. These numbers should serve as a call to action to support struggling students and schools. Unfortunately, they’ve also raised a common refrain used to push back against efforts to improve educational outcomes for low-income students. In Marion County, 31% of children under 18 live in poverty, and 66% of […]

It’s Time We All Agree: Enough is Enough When It Comes to Indiana’s Poor Health Outcomes

Claire Fiddian-Green is the President & CEO of the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation. The 2018 America’s Health Rankings report was just released, and Indiana has slipped from 38th to 41st out of 50 states. According to the report: “States ranking least healthy are in the South with the exception of Indiana.” For the sake of the people of Indiana and the economic well-being of our state, we simply must do better. The primary root causes of Indiana’s poor ranking are clear: we rank among the worst in the U.S. for smoking (44th), infant mortality (43rd), cancer deaths (42nd), frequent mental distress (42nd), obesity (39th) and drug deaths (33rd). Another root cause: […]