||Office of the Mayor, Indianapolis
Total Duration6 yrs 7 mos
TitleIndianapolis Charter Schools Director
Dates EmployedMay 2001 – Jul 2006
Employment Duration5 yrs 3 mos
As the nation’s first director of a mayor-run charter authorizing office, Harris developed a unique authorizer model from the ground-up that has produced transformational results for students. This involved building strategies and processes for recruiting top talent to launch charters in Indianapolis; designing a rigorous application and candidate-vetting process; and establishing a comprehensive accountability plan to monitor and report schools’ results.
As a result of these efforts, the schools authorized by the Indianapolis Mayor’s Office – both under Harris’ tenure and in the time since – have demonstrated exceptional results for students. Three Stanford University studies have concluded the students in Indianapolis public charters gain additional months of learning compared to their peers in traditional public schools, and students in Indianapolis charters significantly outperform district peers on statewide standardized tests. The Mayor’s authorizing office was recognized for its success by earning the prestigious Harvard University Innovations in American Government award in July 2006.