After a 6–2 vote by the State Board of Education to return Emma Donnan Middle School, Emmerich Manual High School and Thomas Carr Howe Community High School to Indianapolis Public Schools, IPS Board of School Commissioners President Michael O’Connor released the following statement.

“Today, the Indiana State Board of Education made the right decision to return Emma Donnan Middle School, Emmerich Manual High School and Thomas Carr Howe High School to the Indianapolis Public Schools family. I know this decision was not an easy one, but I believe it is the best long term decision for our students and families.

Many people shared their thoughts with the State Board, including former IPS Interim Superintendent Peggy Hinckley. Ms. Hinckley, who is a member of the Noble Education Initiative team — the service provider for CSUSA — spoke in a way that I found insulting to our Superintendent, patronizing to our IPS community and family, and is completely out of touch with the innovative school system we are today.

Perhaps if Ms. Hinckley had participated in any of the community meetings during the superintendent search process, or attended any of the seven recent town hall meetings, she would understand why our board voted unanimously for Superintendent Johnson. We are both proud and very fortunate to have her leading our district and inspiring our students.

This work is not easy, and both Superintendent Johnson and the Board of School Commissioners are committed to ensuring a smooth transition for the students, staff and families from all three schools starting now.”