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Supporting School Improvement
Early Findings from a Reexamination of the 5Essentials Survey
Trends in Computer Science Education
Access, Enrollment, and Performance in CPS High Schools
Take Action Against Racial Violence
Educational Equity Cannot Be Achieved Without Racial Equity
How a school transformed from one of New York City’s worst to one of its best
Improvement was grounded in the Five Essential Supports
A message from the Consortium to our community

The UChicago Consortium...



the progress & challenges of the Chicago Public Schools



how programs and policies are working



what really matters for school & student success

Freshman OnTrack

Freshmen are considered on track to graduate high school if they have enough credits to be promoted to tenth grade and have earned no more than one semester F in a core course.  Consortium research has shown that students who end their ninth-grade year on track are almost four times more likely to graduate from high school than those who are off track.

In 2007, in response to this research, CPS launched a major effort, centered on keeping more ninth-graders on track to graduation.  Since the Freshman OnTrack metric was adopted, improvements in ninth-grade on-track rates were sustained in tenth and eleventh grade and followed by a large increase in graduation rates.

What We’ve Learned

Early Childhood

Does pre-k attendance matter? How can we prepare students to transition from pre-k to kindergarten? What tools could help early childhood education leaders improve their programs and their students’ development?

Elementary & Middle School

What is the best indicator in elementary and middle school that students will be ready for high school? How is attendance related to school performance in the primary grades? How are eighth-graders using the GoCPS system for high school admission?

High School

How can high school educators improve graduation rates, starting in ninth grade?

College & Career

What academic and non-academic factors influence students’ college choices, access, and success?

Teachers & Leaders

How can principals and teachers best improve student learning gains? What do we know about teacher evaluation in Chicago? How have changes to Illinois principal preparation requirements affected education in the state?

District & Policy
  • May 2019

    A First Look at Ninth-Grade Applications, Offers, and Enrollment

  • May 2018

    Staff and Student Experiences and Academic Outcomes

How have district policies affected students? What options does CPS offer families, and how might they be evaluated?

Equitable Learning and Development

If we applied the best research on how human beings learn and develop, what would classrooms, schools, and districts look like?


What tools and data could help school leaders improve their students’ learning gains? What tools could help early childhood education leaders improve their programs and their students’ development?

Connect with Us

Contact us to share your questions or comments, learn more about our team, and sign up for email updates so you don’t miss out when we share our latest findings.