Improving Academic Outcomes; MINIMIZING UNDEREMPLOYMENT and the Skills Gap

The Foundation believes that a well-educated population is critical to the vitality of Indianapolis and the continued global competitiveness of the U.S. Unfortunately, the U.S. continues to lag behind other Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development nations in literacy, numeracy, science, and critical thinking skills. In Indianapolis and elsewhere across the state, too few students demonstrate proficiency in core academic subjects such as math, science, and reading, and too few students graduate from high school adequately prepared for college or careers. This holds especially true for students from low-income families and students of color. Additionally, employers report that they continue to struggle to identify a sufficient supply of skilled talent.

Learn more about our strategies below, or contact us for more information.

To address these challenges, the Foundation has established two goals in this focus area:

  • Improve academic outcomes for Indianapolis students by supporting the conditions necessary to grow the supply of high-performing schools and programs.
  • Minimize underemployment and the workforce skills gap in Indianapolis by supporting the delivery of cost-effective education and training programs.

We have identified the following strategies to support these goals:

  • Identify and address the systemic conditions that prevent children from accessing highly effective pre-kindergarten programs.
  • Strengthen the systemic conditions most likely to result in education and workforce development systems that provide a robust set of high-performing school and training options for Indianapolis students and adults.
  • Attract, retain, and develop great talent, particularly school leaders and teachers.
  • Support the launch and replication of high-performing, cost-effective, competency-based college and career preparation models aligned with the needs of employers.
  • Identify and address the systemic conditions that prevent the adult workforce from securing good and promising jobs.
  • Communicate what is, and what is not, working across stakeholder groups.

When implementing these strategies, special consideration will be given to initiatives that address racial and socioeconomic disparities.