An upset in Indy
To the west, in Indianapolis the Democratic mayor often referred to as the "Peyton Manning of charter schools" was defeated by Republican Greg Ballard in what some are calling the "biggest upset in Indiana political history" (see here). Mayor Bart Peterson changed the face of education in Indianapolis during his eight years in office. He was the only mayor in the country to serve as a charter school authorizer. In 2006, his office was authorizing 16 charter schools that served over 3,800 students. He instituted a rigorous application process for opening schools, required transparency in academic and fiscal performance of all his sponsored schools, and held schools accountable for results and closed those that failed academically. Crime and rising taxes cost Mayor Peterson his office, but his impact on school reform efforts will be felt for years to come in Indy and beyond. Mayor-elect Ballard has promised to continue the charter school program.