Consortium studies are not intended solely for education scholars or district leaders. Central to our work is the UChicago Consortium mission to stimulate evidence-driven discourse on vital issues facing Chicago's public schools among all school staff, civic leaders, parents, students, and community activists.
We are committed to better understanding the fundamental practices and conditions that advance student learning. Our studies fall into four main categories:
Long-term studies of particular CPS policies or practices
We select research topics that not only have enduring significance locally, but also have implications nationally. A notable example is our series of studies in the mid-1990s about the importance of providing students with intellectually challenging instruction, which built awareness of this issue within CPS. District leaders drew upon this research as CPS developed its 2002 Education Plan.
Statistical indicators and reporting of long-term trends in CPS
Our researchers have particular expertise in analyzing achievement test scores and in developing value-added measures of school improvement based on these scores. We have created and reported on other performance indicators, including graduation and dropout statistics, an indicator of whether students are on track to graduate, and indicators of patterns in courses taken by high school students.
Reports on key conditions and attitudes at individual CPS schools
We create confidential, individualized reports for schools by consolidating data from our biannual surveys. These reports provide schools with extensive information on vital aspects of their climate and practices, which can assist in their school improvement planning. We also provide schools with analyses on their student outcomes, such as graduation rates and value-added measures of student performance.
Short-term evaluations and research assistance
Consortium staff help local organizations and institutions in evaluating a range of education programs. Our research analysts also support academic researchers at the University of Chicago and other universities by assembling and helping to analyze our data for studies on urban education.