Examples of the National Impact of UChicago Consortium Work
In reports issued in 2005 and 2007, UChicago Consortium used freshman course performance data to define and describe a “freshman on-track indicator” that could be used to predict future high school graduates and dropouts as early as ninth-grade.The National High School Center adopted the indicator and used Consortium research to develop an early-warning system tool, which districts across the country now use. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation asked UChicago Consortium to run workshops where other districts, including Dallas, Albuquerque, Philadelphia, Omaha, and Rochester, developed plans to use the indicator as part of their accountability and intervention strategies. The U.S. Department of Education Institute of Educational Sciences also recommended the use of the indicator in its practice guide for dropout prevention. National interest in the indicators led UChicago Consortium to collaborate with the National High School Center to produce reports in 2010 and 2012 that extend the analysis to specific subgroups--students with disabilities and English Language Learners.
Organizing Schools for Improvement
UChicago Consortium's 2010 book Organizing Schools for Improvement: Lessons from Chicago, which details a comprehensive set of practices and conditions central to school improvement – widely referred to as the 5 Essentials – was called “The Most Important Research on Urban School Reform in the Past Decade” by Education Researcher. It is regularly cited by researchers and practitioners. It also serves as the basis for Consortium student, teacher and principal surveys administered in Chicago, and surveys conducted by UChicago Impact in cities such as Detroit and Minneapolis. These surveys are used to provide feedback to schools about their organizational strength in areas such as leadership, professional capacity, parent involvement and student learning climate. In Chicago, the reports that are based on these surveys are used for school improvement planning.
UChicago Consortium Institutes
UChicago Consortium has held a number of national institutes for groups from other cities to learn about the ways in which we work, and we continue to work closely with a number of these organizations through further UChicago Consortium Institutes. For example, UChicago Consortium supported the development of post-secondary tracking systems in a number of districts in states and cities nationwide, including Milwaukee, Denver, Dallas, Austin, Florida, and Georgia through a series of workshops. Over the last 10 years, UChicago Consortium has inspired the creation of similar education research organizations in at least 13 other cities, including New York City, Los Angeles, Newark, Baltimore, San Diego, Kansas City and Houston, and we have hosted several institutes that brought together research and district partners to learn about how we work.