What do you want to happen regarding Indy education?

By Kayla Owens

My name is Kayla Owens, and I’m a senior at Purdue Polytechnic high school. I am actively involved in making change, not only in my community but at my school as well. As an African American student in today’s society, I have seen a little bit of everything.

In elementary school, I always thought I wasn’t challenged enough, and my intellect was beyond what was being taught to me. In my head, I was convinced that teachers were just giving me a good grade because I was an African American kid. Once I got to middle school, I went to a school whose mission was academic excellence, and I finally felt my intelligence was tested.

The whole point of mentioning this is because I believe that, in Indianapolis, most schools aren’t taking the time to make sure every student isn’t just handed a grade, but given the opportunity to be challenged to go to the next level in their education.

School staff should not single out students because of their skin color, but get to know them as individuals and see where they are academically. Every student is different and learns differently, and teachers need to understand that.

Now that I’m involved in the Rise Indy youth leadership program, I’ve seen the education system through a different lens. The test scores in Indy are a great disappointment, to see how low the scores were for African American and other culture counterparts. This means that something that the Indy education system is doing is wrong, or is focusing on the wrong components.

It’s time to make some changes, and look at data to come up with some better ways of teaching and learning. In the future, I would like to see more hands-on learning, less test based decisions (every student’s smartness isn’t defined by a test), teachers that care about their students, and a challenging curriculum.



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