Marisa de la Torre is a Managing Director and Senior Research Associate at the UChicago Consortium. She is an economist with extensive econometric expertise focused on causal inference using quasi-experimental designs. Her research interests include urban school reform, school choice, and early indicators of school success. de la Torre has examined the impact of school closings in Chicago, the effect of policies aimed to turnaround low-performing schools, the impact of selective enrollment high schools, long-run trends of school indicators in Chicago, and what middle grade indicators matter to be successful in high school and eventually in college. Her work on the impact of school closings prompted Chicago Public Schools to create a Student Bill of Rights for students affected by school closures. She has co-authored numerous journal articles and reports and her work has also appeared in book chapters. Her research is frequently covered in the local and national media, including the New York Times, Ed Week, Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Tonight, and local public radio.
She is currently a Co-Principal Investigator for a project funded by the Spencer Foundation and the Chicago Community Trust, School Closings In Chicago: Understanding The Impact On Students, Teachers, And Schools—which uses a mixed-methods methodology—and a Co-Principal Investigator for a project funded by the Smith-Richardson Foundation, Improving Access to High-Quality Schools for Disadvantaged Youth: Selective High Schools in Chicago —which uses rigorous quasi-experimental methodology. She is also leading the work in Chicago on a joint project with researchers at American Institute for Research, Access to Eighth-Grade Algebra: Helping Schools Understand Prospects for All Students, funded by IES.
Before joining the UChicago Consortium, she worked for the Chicago Public Schools in the Office of Research, Evaluation, and Accountability.