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Indiana Black Academic Excellence Plan

Planning for Black Academic Excellence:
Closing The Academic Achievement/Opportunity Gap

Working with state and national experts, the Indiana State Conference of the NAACP has identified Foundational Principles, Key Steps and Action Strategies to guide how government leaders and officials, the  educational community, parents, community members and students can ensure substantial improved academic excellence for Indiana’s Black students. 

Video Summary (10:30)

Indiana NAACP State Conference Education Leaders Summarize the Plan (2022):

Indiana Black Academic Excellence Plan (external link to YouTube Video)

What People Are Saying about the Indiana Black Academic Excellence Plan:

Media Coverage and Endorsements

PowerPoint Slide Deck:

Summary of the Indiana Black Academic Excellence Plan 

Watch April 21, 2022 Press Conference:

Announcing the Indiana Black Academic Excellence Plan ​(external link to YouTube Video)



Press Release

Executive Summary

From the Executive Summary:


"... Our state cannot be content with celebrating the achievement success of Black students who are 􏰁􏰄􏰄􏰊􏰄􏰁deemed proficient. Nor should we be surprised that these high performing students were capable of somehow overcoming the odds that block success for the majority of our Black students. This success is what we should all expect for all students. What happens from Grade 3, when 74% of Black children pass the state’s 􏰙􏰚􏰄􏰖􏰁IRead Reading Proficiency Assessments, to when after seven or more additional years of education within our 􏰔􏰃􏰎systems, the 10th Grade data reveals that only 24.7% of Black children pass the ISTEP+ English/Language 􏰀􏰂􏰎􏰑Arts Proficiency assessment (IDOE, 2019)? We believe there are additional factors that predict this drastic drop, and there are additional factors that work to produce excellence."

Download the Executive Summary

Indiana Black Academic Excellence Plan

This plan, with its definition and foundational principles for what Black Academic Excellence looks like in preschool through high school, provides a blueprint that educators, legislators and government officials can use􏰓􏰑􏰄 to frame new perspectives and provide more consistent actions to correct the unsatisfactory outcomes that change throughout the state. Using fifteen recommended strategies to close the achievement/opportunity gap can help guide state, districts, schools, and classroom changes to address racial inequities and begin to meet the needs of Black students. Key factors addressed within the report include the following:

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15 Strategies


Click on the links below to read more about each strategy in the Indiana Black Academic Excellence Plan.

15 Strategies to Close Black Academic Achievement/Opportunity Gap


The vision of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is to ensure a society in which all individuals have equal rights without discrimination based on race. The NAACP national, state and local branches work in conjunction to promote its mission to secure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights in order to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well-being of all persons.


This document illuminates educational inequities and seeks to remove racial barriers and prejudice, inform the community about racial discrimination, and advocate for the elimination of racial prejudice by proposing to eliminate the academic achievement gap. This working document upholds the organization’s basic tenets to help support changes in educational practices in Indiana with a focus on Black Academic Excellence.



Barbara Bolling-Williams, J.D. President, NAACP Indiana State Education Conference

Debra Vance, Chairperson, NAACP Indiana State Conference Education Committee

Chrystal Ratcliffe, President, NAACP Greater Indianapolis Branch
Garry Holland, Chairperson, NAACP Greater Indianapolis Education Committee



Dr. Gwendolyn J. Kelley, Lead Editor

Carole Craig, Co-Editor
Dr. Teresa Baker
Shawnta S. Barnes

Cynthia Evans
Dr. Cassandra D. Gray

Kelly Hershey
Dr. Ivan Douglas Hicks

Annette Johnson

Nichole Kelley
Dr. Gwendolyn Lavert

LaQuita Maxey

Heather McKinney

Patricia Payne
Jillian Jay Watts


Adrienne Byfield
Special Thanks to Black Onyx Management


The Indiana Conference NAACP, P.O. Box 6498, Gary IN 46401

© 2022 by the Indiana Conference NAACP

All rights reserved.

Permission granted to use photos of Indiana Graduates

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