Asset framing

Disaggregation sounds like a complicated word with no place in real-world conversations about improving education. But it’s actually an important tool that allows educators to understand how different groups of students fare in schools. Each of the strategies mentioned in our last blog – that allowed Chicago educators to dive deeper into data and pull out student strengths through their commitment to asset framing – were made possible by disaggregation.

‘The Make-or-Break Year’ offers ed reformers sobering lessons on how real school change happens

“If we have to remove dead weight, we will remove dead weight.” That’s what the assistant principal of Chicago’s Orr High School told me in 1998, when I asked him how he dealt with no-show students. What he meant was, they’d be dropped from the school rolls and handed a list of alternative schools to call.

Portfolio school governance creates unstable charter sector with too many school closures

In an important brief from the National Education Policy Center, William Mathis and Kevin Welner define “portfolio school reform”—a school district governance theory which originated at the Center on Reinventing Public Education: “A key, unifying element is the call for many neighborhood schools to be transformed into privately managed charter schools… The operational theory behind portfolio districts is based on a stock market metaphor—the stock portfolio under the control of a portfolio manager.

High tech and common sense

We are well into the high-pressure digital age and the interconnected global economy, and those realities have affected education and how students learn.

However, some non-technological strategies still prevail as young people navigate their ways out of high school and college and into the workforce...

Silvana Freire

As a Research Analyst for a study of the landscape of computer science education in Chicago, Silvana will conduct quantitative research to analyze students' access, enrollment, and performance in computer science classes and to understand the short-term influence of computer science course-taking. Before joining the UChicago Consortium, Silvana worked as a Research Assistant at the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University, while she was getting her MA degree in international education policy analysis.

New study finds strong school climate key to effective early learning

A new study says programs with strong organizational structures hold the key to effective early-childhood education, and lists exceptional administrators and collaborative teachers as the two most important components of those structures.

The study was conducted by researchers with the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research (UChicago Consortium) and the Ounce of Prevention Fund, or Ounce, a Chicago-based nonprofit that advocates for and provides high-quality early-childhood education...

To keep high school students on track, there’s no time like the beginning

Ten years ago, Elizabeth Dozier, an assistant principal at Harper High School in an impoverished Chicago neighborhood, took a big risk. She hung a giant board in the main hallway showing each ninth-grader’s academic progress under three headings: green for on-track, yellow for close to on-track and red for off-track.

That was a violation of Chicago school board policy. Many educators and parents would have been aghast to see students publicly labeled like that...

School attendance is key

When I was a prekindergarten teacher, my young students always provided an exciting share of challenges. There were children who cried when their parents left in the morning and those who were always last to be picked up. There were loud children and shy children, potty mishaps, and naptimes that left me exhausted. But the issues that concerned me most weren’t the things that happened inside my classroom, but what happened outside – especially when children regularly missed days of school.

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