Jessica Thompson

Jessica Thompson is a Project Manager for the Equitable Learning and Development Project (ELDP), a three-year collaborative project between the UChicago Consortium, CASEL, and the National Equity Project. As the ELDP Project Manager, Jessica works to strengthen the work and impact of the ELDP’s equity-based investigation of the tools and policies needed to create more equitable learning environments for students.

Laura Davis

Laura Davis is a Senior Research Analyst at the UChicago Consortium. As part of a larger study of organizational factors that influence school improvement across contexts, her current work investigates the ways teachers, administrators, and district leaders conceptualize and make use of data related to school climate. Laura’s research centers broadly on the production of inequality in education, targeting intersections between teacher practice and the schooling experiences of students from marginalized and historically underserved communities.

Paulina Torres-Orejuela

Paulina Torres-Orejuela is a Research Analyst at the UChicago Consortium. In this position, she works on the To&Through Project, which provides data and resources to educators, communities, and policymakers to increase the percentage of CPS students who move to and through high school and college.

Alicia Chen

As Survey Coordinator at the UChicago Consortium, Alicia develops content for the 5Essentials and Early Education Essentials surveys. She is interested in describing the ways that school environments affect students’ learning and outcomes, and using survey data to provide insights for school leaders and stakeholders. Alicia has had a wide range of experiences working with and analyzing data.

In Chicago, a new early-warning indicator for elementary schools

At its first meeting last month after a changing of the guard, the Chicago Board of Education approved changes to the School Quality Ratings Policy (SQRP), the district’s accountability system. In place since 2014, the SQRP rates district and charter schools on a five-point scale (“1+” is the highest and “3” is the lowest) using a weighted system that considers a range of academic and non-academic factors. Notable among the changes is the addition of a “3–8 On-Track” measure for elementary schools—which are K–8 in Chicago—based on grade point average (GPA) and attendance.

David Orta

David is a Senior Research Analyst at the UChicago Consortium on the Exposure to Community Violence team. Before joining the Consortium, David's experiences include working in applied research settings as well as teaching sociology courses and mentoring budding social researchers. His dissertation examined the role of cultural organizations on the educational pathways of first-generation Latina/o college students at predominantly white universities.

Chicago is changing its elementary school ratings

Starting in September, Chicago elementary schools will be graded under new rules, ones that measure whether elementary students are primed for high school success.

The “3-8 On-Track” metric was approved last month by the new school board along with other revisions to how the district rates its schools, despite concerns about the speed of the shift and questions about its logic...

74 interview: Pulling all the levers

The sigh of relief that ricocheted through Chicago Public Schools (CPS) last month was audible beyond district boundaries. New Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced she would retain CEO Janice Jackson, whose 18-month tenure had earned her widespread support. Her December 2017 appointment came on the heels of years of brutal battles over school closures, sex abuse allegations, and bitter budgetary and teacher contract disputes.

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