Let’s pay attention when students, teachers tell us what they think about their school

School climate surveys are one of the most promising tools we have to create school environments that help students succeed. When we understand where school climate needs improvement, we can address the fundamental conditions that create great schools and help all students succeed. Yet, therein lies the rub. As school climate surveys have gained traction as improvement tools, real challenges exist in using that data to change and improve practice in ways that don’t undermine their credibility.

In Chicago Public Schools, wealthier students get far more As and Bs than low-income students

A West Side Chicago teacher was all smiles as she described her funny and smart six-year-old students, first graders who she said she absolutely “loves, loves, loves.” She takes seriously the task of building a foundation for her students, almost all of them Black and from low-income families, so they compete as they get older.

So when it comes to grades, she focuses on whether they are meeting standards. She gives out few As. Mostly, she gives Cs...

Alissa Matthies

Alissa Matthies is the Operations and Project Management Specialist at the UChicago Consortium on School Research.  She supports research activities across the UChicago Consortium through designing and maintaining core operational practices and developing resources for the team.

Full-day pre–k programs lead to better long-term outcomes for dual language learners

After months of deliberation and negotiation with Congress, President Biden unveiled the Build Back Better Framework on October 28, 2021. This framework encapsulates tangible legislative actions to see through many of President Biden’s campaign promises, like the proposal to implement universal pre–K for all three-and four-year-olds. Previous research has found that universal access to pre–K has a positive impact on students’ academic performance and can also reap longer-term benefits to the U.S. economy.

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