Elaine Allensworth is the Lewis-Sebring Director of the University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research, as well as a managing director of UEI. She conducts research on the factors that affect high school students’ educational attainment, including high school graduation and college readiness, as well as the structural factors that affect school improvement.
Allensworth is best known for her work on early indicators of high school graduation, including the study "What Matters for Staying On-Track and Graduating," which has been used to develop tracking systems in Chicago and in districts across the country. Allensworth is one of the authors of the book, Organizing Schools for Improvement: Lessons from Chicago, which yields a comprehensive set of school practices and school and community conditions that promote improvement.
She served as a committee member for the National Academies/National Research Council Committee on Improved Measurement of High School Dropout and Completion Rates, the Scientific Review Panel of the U.S. Department of Education, and the board of the Illinois Education Research Council. Currently, she is working on studies of high school curriculum and middle grade predictors of college readiness.
Allensworth holds a Ph.D. in sociology from Michigan State University, and was once a high school teacher.