Butler University has had a partnership with Shortridge Magnet High School since 2007 that deepened when the school reopened as a magnet high school in 2009.
The school offers Butler a place to train education students and those involved in other areas while Shortridge benefits from collaborating with university staff and sharing resources.
But recent difficulties have resulted in a nearly-complete overhaul of Shortridge’s administration.
Perhaps the most controversial of these involved principal Brandon Cosby who was terminated in November. More recently, both vice principals were approved for layoff notices.
With all of the turnovers in administration and the benefit of looking back over two years, Shortridge and Butler now have the chance to redefine their partnership in a way that benefits the magnet school most.
We at The Butler Collegian believe more peer-to-peer and faculty interaction with the school’s staff is needed.
This would build a stronger partnership and, more importantly, help Shortridge’s students.
Many Butler personnel work with teachers, students and staff of the school. They should be the focus of the program as it grows.
The school and teachers have a uniquely close perspective to what choices will most benefit the programs and the students.
Therefore, the partnership should be about emphasizing Shortridge’s independence to benefit the students the most.
The school’s new administration hopefully will be a great benefit to these plans.
Going forward, Butler should emphasize working with the existing system deliberately and carefully.
Butler should play a supporting role, not try to lead the school through direct intervention.
Our Shortridge partnership is well intentioned.
We invest a lot of energy in it: tutors, scholarships, administrative input and college preparatory classes.
Eight students currently come to Butler to take college level courses, and the skills they are learning will put them in a good position to attend universities, even ones other than Butler.
Shortridge is a very visible part of Butler in Indianapolis. To many of the people in the city, the magnet school is much more integrated in everyday life than the university.
The school interacts with people’s children and impacts the community.
People see this every day, and attach that mentally to Butler.
But members of the school’s community may be wary of Butler’s role in the school.
These people need to be won over if anyone hopes major changes will succeed.
Cooperation, compromise and construction of a school from the students and teachers up are the only ways to make this partnership succeed.