Mind Trust Secures Millions From Lilly Endowment

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Lilly Endowment Inc. has awarded more than $3.4 million to Indianapolis-based The Mind Trust. Much of the money will be used by the organization to help support recruitment efforts for hundreds of teachers and administrators at "high-need" public schools. January 26, 2015

News Release

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind - The Mind Trust has received a $3.42 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to recruit and support 300 talented educators to teach and serve Indianapolis public school students, leaders of The Mind Trust said today.

During the next two years, The Mind Trust will work with the Indianapolis offices of Teach For America (TFA) and TNTP (formerly The New Teacher Project), both national organizations, to recruit teachers and school leaders to Indianapolis' public schools and provide them with ongoing support.

"Excellent teachers and school leaders are crucial to student success, and this grant will go a long way toward continuing to bring the best and brightest educators to Indianapolis’ public schools," said David Harris, founder and CEO of The Mind Trust. "Lilly Endowment has once again demonstrated its commitment to improving education in Indianapolis for all students, and we are grateful to the Endowment for its support and vision."

About the grant. Since 2007 Lilly Endowment has awarded The Mind Trust more than $14 million to help fuel the growth of both TFA and TNTP in Indianapolis. The grants are part of the Endowment’s longstanding commitment to K-12 education and will fund local education innovation in the following ways:

-$2 million will help TFA recruit up to 100 top college graduates a year for two years beginning in 2015 to teach in Indianapolis high-need public schools.

-$400,000 will support TFA’s rigorous "Indianapolis Principal Fellowship” program. It will recruit and train up to 10 school leaders a year for two years beginning in 2015 to serve as public school leaders for four years. TFA will lead this effort in partnership with Columbia University in New York.

- $1.02 million will support TNTP, an organization that recruits successful mid-career professionals to become teachers in high-need subject areas and schools, to recruit and support up to 50 new classroom teachers for two years beginning with the 2015 academic year.

"As a school leader, I have no job more important that hiring and training teachers," said Carole Wilson Frye, principal of IPS's Clarence Farrington Elementary School 61. "Through the work of TFA and TNTP, we have been able to bring nine new teachers into our building. These teachers have a passionate commitment to better the lives of children in Indianapolis and they have been instrumental in our positive growth this year."

Teach For America in Indianapolis. The Mind Trust recruited TFA to Indianapolis in 2007, bringing members of its diverse corps of individuals from all academic disciplines to teach for two years in low-income schools. Since then its teachers have proven successful in local classrooms:

-There are currently 350 TFA alumni working in Indianapolis, including 55 school leaders, 140 teachers and 20 educational policy leaders.

-In the 2013-14 school year, eight TFA teachers or alumni were named "Teacher of the Year" in their schools, and three were named in the "Top 10 IPS Teachers of the Year."

TNTP in Indianapolis. TNTP is a nonprofit organization working to end educational inequality by ensuring that all students have excellent teachers. Founded by teachers, the organization began working in Indianapolis in 2006 with support from The Mind Trust:

In Indianapolis three out of four TNTP teachers who have taught for five years or more are still teaching in the school or district where they were first hired.

The first TNTP teachers recruited in Indianapolis in 2007 have an above-average retention rate for teachers serving high-need schools.

In 2014 two TNTP teachers were named “Teachers of the Year” by their schools.

Source: The Mind Trust