Nina Ryan

Nina Ryan is the Assistant Director of R&D for UChicago Impact. In this role, she works on several projects across UChicago Impact, addressing product or service development needs with creative expertise. She also collaborates with the other units of the Urban Education Institute (UEI) as new tools and technologies are identified and developed. Most recently, Nina was a Project Manager on the McKnight Initiative at UEI and the Strategic Analytics Manager for The Success Project at UChicago Impact. Prior to joining UChicago Impact, she taught pre-k and kindergarten in Chicago schools.

Learning Conditions Are an Actionable, Early Indicator of Math Learning

Key Findings

  • Learning conditions are important leading indicators of B or better math grades for middle and high school students.
  • Learning conditions matter for students across racial and socioeconomic lines, and that when learning conditions improve, so does students’ likelihood of earning a B or better in math.
  • Learning conditions tend to get worse over time in the absence of intentional efforts on the part of schools to improve them.

Research Analyst

UChicago Consortium is seeking a Research Analyst II with strong data manipulation, quantitative research, and programming skills, and a passion for doing meaningful work to help schools become more equitable. The successful candidate will provide on-going support across Consortium studies and be a part of one or two teams of Consortium researchers. The Research Analyst II will provide data and analytic support throughout the life cycle of projects, including cleaning and documenting data sources, creating large-scale data bases, and applying different statistical approaches.

New policy would change when Chicago students are held back, eliminates test scores as factor

Chicago Public Schools could change when elementary school students can be held back a grade and plans to stop using test scores as a factor. 

The district did not hold back any elementary students during the first two years of the pandemic in a nod to COVID’s academic and mental health toll. Last year, it revised the policy for promoting students to drop a test that schools were no longer required to give...

3 misconceptions about pandemic-related learning loss

The recent release of the 2022 NAEP scores, which showed historic learning declines in math and reading two years following the onset of the pandemic, has brought renewed urgency to conversations around learning losses and recovery. Beliefs about these topics shape how policymakers, educators and parents act to support students moving forward. Yet our research shows that common assumptions about whose learning was affected the most and what it will take for students to catch up are, in fact, misconceptions.

'Somewhere I definitely wanted to be'

When Kyla Jimenez’s older brother Isaaq would travel from their home in Chicago’s Belmont Cragin neighborhood to the University of Chicago’s campus to participate in the University’s college readiness and access programming, she often tagged along. Kyla would explore campus buildings or do homework in Hyde Park coffee shops with her mom while Isaaq attended classes and events for the Collegiate Scholars Program for Chicago Public School students.

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