When the Reform Board of Trustees of the City of Chicago adopted the Design for High Schools in 1997, the Chicago Public Schools had been actively involved in school reform for nearly a decade. It was generally believed, however, that reform efforts had taken hold more thoroughly in the elementary schools than in the secondary schools. The Design was intended to spur change in the high schools by increasing both academic press and personalism.

To establish a viable research agenda and prepare for a program of research on Chicago public high schools, the UChicago Consortium organized a conference, "Research on High School Reform Efforts in Chicago," at the University of Chicago's Gleacher Center in March 2001. The conference brought together a group of scholars and educators who, mostly independent of one another, were studying Chicago's public high schools, including the Design's efforts to improve them. The volume presents these authors' papers, which document the results of reforms during the late 1990s at the district, school, and departmental levels.

The conference and the compilation were made possible by the support of The Chicago Community Trust.


Introduction: Setting Chicago High School Reform Within the National Context
Valerie E. Lee, University of Michigan

The Effort to Redesign Chicago High Schools: Effects on Schools and Achievement
G. Alfred Hess, Jr. and Solomon Cyntrynbaum, the Center for Urban School Policy at Northwestern University

Progress and Problems: Student Performance in CPS High Schools, 1993 to 2000
Shazia Rafiullah Miller and Elaine M. Allensworth, Consortium on Chicago School Research

Small Schools: Transforming Teacher and Student Experiences in Urban High Schools
Nicole E. Holland, Northeastern Illinois University

Collaborative Learning and Whole School Change at Thomas Jefferson Academy
Steve Tozer, University of Illinois at Chicago
Connie Yowell, University of Illinois at Chicago
Richard Gelb, Chicago Public Schools

Teacher Learning Counts: Improving Instruction in One Urban High School Through Comprehensive Professional Development
Joseph Kahne, Mills College
Connie A. Bridge, University of Illinois at Chicago
James O'Brien, University of Illinois at Chicago

Cultural Modeling and the Challenges of Chicago High School Reform
Carol D. Lee, Northwestern University

Teacher Community, Biography, and Math Reform
Rochelle Gutierrez, University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana
Hector Morales, University of Illinois at Chicago

Research-Based Reforms Need Strong Implementations: Some Strengths and Weaknesses of Chicago's High School Improvement Program
James M. McPartland, Center for the Social Organization of Schools at Johns Hopkins University

Promises and Problems of Urban School Reform: The Chicago High School Context
Valerie E. Lee, University of Michigan