With the goal of supporting stronger and more equitable educational outcomes for students, the UChicago Consortium conducts research of high technical quality that informs and assesses policy and practice in the Chicago Public Schools (CPS).
We seek to expand communication among researchers, policymakers, practitioners, families, and communities as we support the search for solutions to the challenge of transforming schools.
The UChicago Consortium encourages the use of research in policy action and practice but does not advocate for particular policies or programs. Rather, we help to build capacity for systemic school improvement by identifying what matters most for student success, creating critical indicators to chart progress, and conducting theory-driven evaluation to identify how programs and policies are working.
Our Core Values
Our core values and beliefs influence our work in many significant ways—from the types of projects we take on to the ways in which we connect with our stakeholders, including policymakers, practitioners, students, and families. Our values have implications for the ways we do our work and how we support one another as we strive to achieve our shared goals. We focus on these core values to guide our work to a future with more equitable experiences, improved outcomes, and opportunities for youth.
We believe equitable schools are places where all young people are able to participate fully in learning and have learning environments that are designed to be developmentally appropriate and responsive to the specific needs, assets, and cultures of the young people served by them. We recognize that inequitable outcomes are a product of existing systems of oppression, not the fault of individual learners, and working towards equity requires challenging structures that reinforce inequities based on race, ethnicity, family income, gender or sexual orientation, and any other sociocultural factor. We envision a future where schools provide the resources and supports that allow all young people to thrive academically, politically, and socially.
We further recognize that the multiple identities of our staff, including our status as researchers at the University of Chicago, requires us to interrogate our actions and check our assumptions about the world, the education system, and the students and families who are impacted by our work.
Our work is strongest when we leverage the insights and expertise of people both inside and outside the UChicago Consortium. We actively solicit feedback in our work because our collective approach helps us achieve greater impact than we could have as individuals working in isolation.
We are committed to engaging a wide variety of stakeholders, including organizations and individuals who are diverse in their roles and lived experiences. To ensure our research is relevant, we work closely with practitioner partners on co-developing research questions. We leverage the expertise of our partners in the field throughout our research—learning about contextual factors, developing insights, and honing the implications from key findings.
To reach our goals around equity, we must listen to the people who are affected by our work. We must intentionally strive to build relationships and share power with young people, families, community members, and educators. Seeking broad community engagement in our research is essential for realizing a vision of equitable schools for young people.
Hope and Change
The success of the UChicago Consortium is defined by our mission to do research that supports stronger and more equitable outcomes for students in Chicago and the nation. We believe that adults can get better at serving students and that systems that produce inequitable educational outcomes for students can be transformed.
Policy on Intellectual Independence and Transparency
The UChicago Consortium investigates the progress and challenges of CPS, identifies how programs and policies are working, and illuminates what matters most for school and student success. To carry out this work, the UChicago Consortium collaborates closely with CPS and other organizations, asking policymakers and practitioners to help shape the research, so that it is relevant to problems of practice. To maintain intellectual independence while carrying out research in collaboration with CPS or other partners, the UChicago Consortium relies on internal and external oversight and transparency of results.
The UChicago Consortium strives to observe the highest scholarly, scientific, and professional standards in the collection, analysis, interpretation of data, and reporting of research. Consortium researchers are expected to behave with integrity and honesty and arrive at their conclusions based on the standards of social science evidence … Read the full policy.
Founded in 1990, the UChicago Consortium is based at the Urban Education Institute (UEI) at the University of Chicago. We created a research-practice partnership with CPS—inspiring close to 50 other cities and states to create similar partnerships.
Across 14 different CPS administrations, the UChicago Consortium has been a consistent provider of comprehensive evidence on the district, and has become an institutional memory for the district on many issues.